Feeling guilty? Channel it into productive action instead



Something I often struggle with is guilt. Feeling guilty that I’m objectively much better off than most of the population on earth. For all the privileges I have been endowed and all I have now – especially after the past few years. And then… feeling guilty on the flipside for wanting even more. For still aspiring to bigger and better. Dreaming, desiring.

It’s a weird tug of war. It’s a weird middle ground. But I know I’m not alone in this. These are all totally natural feelings.

In fact, we dive into guilt a few times in Money Groove – guilt over spending (even when you can totally afford it, and got plenty of value out of something!) and guilt over wanting more when objectively, you’re way better off than so many others in the world and yet you still desire more. These aren’t things we can just sweep under the rug or brush away. They’ll just keep on popping up and coming back.

Here’s what I DO know. Here’s what I have to remind myself of, over and over again.

It does nobody else any good for me to struggle. There’s no upside or benefit or prize to not having what I want, to playing martyr.

It’s not a zero sum game. How poorly or well I do doesn’t change anything for anyone else.

If you aren’t making enough to live well … worrying about making ends meet … how can you possibly ever achieve your full potential? Particularly when inflation continues to balloon and push up the prices of EVERYTHING constantly?

In taking care of myself first and flourishing, I can then turn around and help others. Simply: when you have enough to take care of your own needs, you can look to help to solve those bigger problems. But you gotta handle things at home first.

Take that guilt and turn it into fuel and momentum instead.

One thought on “Feeling guilty? Channel it into productive action instead

  • Reply steveark September 9, 2022 at 09:38

    I can’t imagine why you’d feel guilt over having better circumstances than many others. I feel grateful but not at all guilty. I am fortunate, that’s all. Guilt should be reserved for hurtful and dishonest choices we make intentionally that harm ourselves or others. Empathy is appropriate toward those less fortunate, that and assistance. But I think that’s what you were saying at the end.

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