Dear 24-year-old self, Guilt is a choice and so is fear

After Tiffany had her second daughter, she couldn’t help but feel guilty about returning to work. In her life planning class, she raised that feeling aloud, only for the facilitator to ask her, “Do you really feel guilty?”

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“If I tell people I don't feel guilty, they're going to assume I don't love my kids. And then they're going to think I'm a bad mom. And then they're going to think poorly of me. And that's what I'm afraid of.” —Tiffany

After Tiffany had her second daughter, she couldn’t help but feel guilty about returning to work. In her life planning class, she raised that feeling aloud, only for the facilitator to ask her, “Do you really feel guilty?”

Listen in to hear how that question helped Tiffany wrestle with her feelings of fear.

What advice would you give your younger self? Text Tiffany at 317-350-8921.

Dear 24-year-old-self, Guilt is a choice and so is fear

Dear 24-year-old self, the advice I have for you is guilt as a choice. And so is fear. I'm your host, Tiffany Sauder. And this is Scared Confident. We're talking about number three today. If you missed the first two, go back and listen to those. But number three is guilt is a choice. And so is fear as a quick reminder.

It is interesting. I wrote this presentation, these lessons probably. 5 6, 8 years ago, like a minute ago. And it's interesting to see that these aspects of fear is, was still so much something I was conscious of then. And I'm obviously we talk about that lots here on secure confidence. So lesson number three, I'll repeat it as guilt as a choice.

And so is fear. So the vignette where this lesson showed up for me was when I was getting ready to go back to work after my second daughter. And I was in this class. Doing some like life planning kind of things. If I remember properly and I raised my hand or something was called on and I said, yeah, I just feel really guilty about going back to work.

And the person facilitating the meeting said, do you though? And at first I was like, actually kind of pissed off. Like, what do you mean, do I, do you think I don't love my kid? And they said that. But do you feel guilty? Like, do you actually feel guilty or do you feel guilty because. You think you're supposed to feel guilty and it like stopped me dead in my tracks, I was like, oh my word, I feel guilty because I feel like I'm supposed to feel guilty.

I feel like if I don't feel guilty for leaving my kids, if I don't want to stay home with them, that I must not love them a lot. And if I tell people I don't feel guilty, then they're going to assume I don't love my kids. And then they're going to think I'm a bad mom. And then they're going to think poorly of me.

And that's what I'm afraid of. Like that was really the truest narrative of what was playing out in my head is that I didn't actually feel guilty. The truth was like, I was really excited to get back. The truth was like, I was really pumped about being a mom and I was really pumped about what I was doing in element three.

And I wanted both of those things to exist in a sustainable way beside each other. I didn't actually feel guilty. And then they said to me, the guilt train is a choice you can step on and you can write it or you can choose to step off of it. And like, literally in my head at that moment, I like pictured myself.

Clumsily climbing off of that train and standing on solid ground and saying like, I'm making the decision not to ride the guilt train. It's not something I have to ride. I don't need other people's expectations of me or my life to make me ride the guilt trip. I don't actually feel guilty now. I think sometimes guilt is a really powerful subconscious tool that helps nudge us to the right decision for me, the right decision.

Go back to work and to own my opportunities here and to show up as best I can every single day for my kids at home. But I every day choose not to feel guilty because I don't actually feel that way. I was feeling that way because I felt like it was imposed upon me and not by anybody in particular. It was just like a thing I thought I needed to feel.

I was talking to somebody earlier today and they were talking about money and being an adult. I was like, are you actually worried about money or do you just worry about money? Because you're an adult. You think adults should worry about money? And she was like, oh my word, I totally just think adults should worry about money.

I was like, I know, I know. But is there anything functionally that you should worry about? She's like, no. So just don't and I think guilt is that like in the same thing, like we can choose not to feel guilty. So guilt is a choice and so is fear. And since I wrote this state, I've learned a lot more about fear and in this exercise of the fear journey, we get armed up with our fear statement so that we can hold that statement in the face of fear when it tries to get hold of our minds and our thoughts.

And so I, I support the fear as a choice, but I think making sure you have the tools to be able to manage your fear, to confront your fear. With your truth is a mighty, powerful way to live. So lesson number three is guilt as a choice. And so it's fear. And every day we have a chance to choose what is going to control the narrative in our minds.

And as a result, control our actions and behaviors and the things that we put our talents against.

So what else is on your mind? Text me 3, 1 7. 3 5 0 8 9 2 1 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1. And be sure to follow along on your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening today. .


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