“Can you help me get over guilt?”
asked Rita, an RN and a Remote Clinical Care Manager during our phone in coaching session. Rita continued, “I start work early, I work through lunch, I work late, and I still feel guilty. What do I do to not feel guilty?”
How easy it would be if guilt were like a light you could just switch off when you wanted to.
When I was in college, my first car was my Dad’s ’67 Volkswagen. I was happy to have a free car, because I was working full time to put myself through school, and I was happy not to have a car payment on top of college expenses.
One day, the check oil light went on in my little Bug. I had no idea what that light meant and all I could think of was “Great! Like I have the money to pay for this!”
I was telling my friends about this when one of the guys says, “You know there’s a fuse for that.”
“A what?” I said.
“A fuse,” he answered. “All you have to do is go where the fuse is and pull it, and boom! The light goes out.”
Ok, judge me if you want, but remember, I was 18 years old at the time, and I wanted to believe that pulling that fuse would make the problem go away.
So, you guessed it. I pulled the fuse. I actually felt proud of myself that I found the fuse in the first place! Of course, this did not solve the problem, and it wasn’t long until I was forced to face the real problem and do something about it.
When clients ask me to help them get over guilt, I tell them this story, and the moral of the story.
Guilt is often like the check engine light in your car. Sure, you could pull the fuse and the light would go out, but you’d still have the problem.
When you leave work feeling guilty, worried or unsettled, check in and ask Why?
Did you do what I call your “One True Thing”? That’s the one action that’s worth more than the combination of the nine other actions you did take.
If you didn’t take care of that #1 priority, you’ll probably be pestered by guilt and worry until you do make first things first a habit.
Guilt can be a good thing. Check in and let it speak to you and guide your behavior.
Let it help you get the right things done quickly and well. You will not be able to overcome overwhelm by working longer days, only by working more wisely.
Hope you found this valuable! Eager to hear of your favorite ways to stay focused on getting the right things done!
Crystal Jonas, “The Employee Performance Optimizer” helping leaders leverage their employees’ time, talent and energy so they can be positively productive in a drama-free workplace.
For a free 30-minute consultation for what you can do to stop feeling guilty about work left undone, email Crystal@CrystalJonas.com or call 719.291.0366 to schedule.