“How do I stop feeling guilty for prioritizing myself?”

Submitted Request..

This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.

Podcast version: HERE

Quote: “The actions of others are not a reflection of you, but rather of themselves.”

Adding to the quote:

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind. They are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements that they have in their own minds.

Submitted Question

How do I stop feeling guilty for doing what’s best for me? 

How do I stop feeling guilty for doing what’s best for myself? 

I have been in a long-distance relationship for almost 3 years now, and he lives about 2 hours away by flight. If we end up getting married, I will move there. However, my mom always makes me feel guilty about the fact that I might end up moving there. I am 24 years old and don’t plan on getting married yet because we are not at that stage, but I just wish she was more supportive. I understand she probably feels sad that I will move away from her if we do get married, but she makes me feel so guilty about it and makes me feel like I can’t live my own life or put myself first because I am afraid of hurting her feelings. I am a very mature and educated woman, and I know what I’m doing and what’s best for me. How do I stop this? How do I stop feeling so guilty for doing what’s best for me? I always find myself putting other people's feelings first, but when it comes to me, they tear me down and make me feel guilty to the point where I cry and think about it for a week before I can make myself feel better.” 

My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.

That sounds like a difficult position to be in.

You have two people that care about you and love you it sounds like. 

You’ve also stated you know what’s best for you. 

There’s a disconnect after knowing what’s best for you.

There’s a feeling as you describe it to be guilt, not able to live your life the way you want, not able to put yourself first, fearful of hurting other people's feelings (naming your mom and perhaps other people), feeling as though people’s opinions thoughts and judgments tear you down, and it’s consuming you. 

I get the impression there’s a misunderstanding where your feelings come from. There’s a belief that they come from your mom, and or perhaps other people, externally.  That likely was conditioned, programmed and there’s lots of proof of that, starting with a blanky or teddy bear as a child, we are told they will make us feel safe, comfortable, loved, comforted, but nothing externally can inject feelings into us, not even you mom. 

What we see is all made up. The world is what we THINK then FEEL it is.

When we live a life where we are constantly thinking, believing, and doing things solely to please another person, we risk losing our own identity in the process. Our thoughts, beliefs, and actions become dictated by someone else's expectations, leading to feelings of resentment and guilt as we suppress our own desires and needs. It is essential to prioritize our own mental, emotional, and physical health. This is your life. Your mom has well-meaning intentions and wants to protect you, I am sure. See her through the lens of compassion and empathy and you might discover she has suffered and wants to prevent you from being hurt.

Seeking approval from another human being can lead to confusion about your own happiness, purpose, meaning, and what your skills, talents, and gifts are.

Everyone that enters your life teaches you something, you just have to be listening to discover it.

Your beliefs, your stories, thoughts, rules that you follow in your mind are creating the illusion that her opinions, judgements, views, expectations, wants and opinions are creating the feelings inside of you and making it incredibly difficult and confusing to live your life how you want to and standing in your power. 

Who would you be without these beliefs, stories, thoughts, rules etc? Slow down and ponder it, be in a place you feel comfortable, safe, a space that’s quiet and allows you to self reflect. 

This is your life. There are many possibilities, opportunities and chances waiting for you. The choices you make will determine the path you take and the experiences you have. Each decision you make adds to your unique journey, creating memories and lessons that are special to you. It's up to you to figure out what is important to you and what you want. Remember, every choice you make will affect not only now but also later on. So, embrace the power of choice and take responsibility for your decisions, as they define who you are.

When you take a step back and look at your mom through the lens of compassion and empathy, you may begin to see that her intentions are rooted in love and care for you. Her words are shaped by her own life experiences and the lessons she has learned along the way. While her guidance may be well-meaning, it is important to remember that ultimately, you are the one who gets to make decisions about your own life. Your choices, the outcomes, and the consequences all belong to you. Your mom doesn't have to live with the fallout of your decisions, nor does she get to claim credit for your successes. It is important to remember that while her perspective is valuable, it is ultimately up to you to chart your own path and create your own destiny.

Anyways, I hope this is helpful. Good luck


I wish you all the best. 

Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!

If you want to send a question, please send to hello@katherine-hood.com please include: 

  • A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
  • And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it. 

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