If guilt is weighing you down, author, speaker and journalist Minda Zetlin suggests looking at it from an outside point of view. When you feel guilt, it means you have empathy for your fellow man. But if you feel held back by your own judgements, it can drain you and keep you from moving forward.
Picture: Amy Wilbanks/Flickr
Zetlin describes a way you can look at your guilt differently:
When I was about 5, I stole a toy doghouse from another little girl. I got away with it, and I still feel guilty. That's the nature of guilt: If you're anything like me, you'll judge yourself much more harshly than anyone else would. So use that fact: Try to judge yourself as if you were someone else. If someone else had done what you feel guilty about, would you see it as an honest mistake? Would you believe this other person deserved forgiveness? Have you done what you can do undo the harmful effects of your error? If the answers to these are all yes, then you have to let yourself off the hook.
Eventually, you have to let go of your mistakes and accept the fact that you're human. You should remember what you've done so that you don't do it again, but you also have to find a way to forgive yourself.