What Are You Doing Out of Guilt?


If you’re in the “People Pleasing Club” this one’s for you…

Everyone is busy.  Everyone has a packed schedule, whether real or imagined, and people are even saying nowadays that they are removing the term “busy” from their vocabulary.  I love that idea because as my new favorite gal to follow on social media, Rachel Hollis at The Chic Site, has shared about in a recent Facebook Live video, the only thing that is even and fair and the same across everyone is that we all have the same amount of time.  Not in years, but in the length of a day.  I have 24 hours, you have 24 hours, our parents and our friends have 24 hours, famous people have 24 hours, lazy people have 24 hours.  24 hours, unless it’s a weird travel day where you’re flying across time zones and you don’t have a layover and you gain a couple hours and you have 26 hours…otherwise, you have 24 hours.  But what you do with those 24 hours is up to you.

But, if you’re a member of the “People Pleasing Club” (President here), you can fill up your 24 hours with things you end up doing out of guilt.  Stuff you kinda don’t really want to do but you’ve committed to because you felt like you had to.  Or, sometimes it sneaks up on you and it’s a slow fade into a continuous event on your calendar.  You start doing something occasionally, which turns into regularly, which turns into somewhat an obligation, and then it turns into the thing you dread all week and you just do it out of guilt.  The joy is gone, it becomes an annoyance, and you just limp through with a fake smile – or maybe you don’t even try to fake it and you just show up annoyed and short with people and roll your eyes…but you keep doing it.

I have put a lot of my 24 hours into listening to Chalene Johnson (fitness star, motivational speaker, author…you may recognize her from beachbody workout videos) and she introduced me to the idea of giving things a two weeks notice.  Not a new concept when you quit a job, but a totally new concept when you’re trying to quit the rest of the things you don’t really want to be doing.

Chalene (we’re on first name basis in my world) talked about how she went to her son’s school and taught a dance fitness class one day a week during gym class.  It became such a hit that the teacher asked her to teach the class a couple days a week.  And then she felt guilty she was doing this for her son’s class so she started doing this for her daughter’s class too.  And long story short, this one hour one time a week gig turned into nearly a five day a week commitment and she found herself just doing it out of guilt.

We all have our version of the dance class we teach five days a week.  Fun at first.  Fun when it’s optional.  Fun when we can control it and it’s just one day a week.  But not fun with it’s an obligatory thing and we’re getting nothing out of it and we’re not even showing up as our best selves anymore.

So, think of your thing.  Is it lunch with a coworker that is repetitive and you just want to stop the cycle of lunches with that person?  Is it a favor for a neighbor that has snowballed into taking too much of your 24 hours?  Is it hosting, throwing a party, going to events, etc that you are showing up to out of guilt?  Now that you have the thing – give it a two week notice.  Don’t up and quit.  Don’t storm out.  Don’t let it all build inside to where you explode and just cut it off so abruptly that the people you’ve been so loyal to don’t know even what’s happening.  Say something to the nature of …

“I just wanted to give you a heads up that as of (insert date two weeks out), my priorities (or schedule) are going to change a bit so (insert date two weeks out) is going to be the last time I’m going to be able to (insert thing you’re doing out of guilt).”

Lastly, after you’ve resigned from the thing you’re doing out of guilt, go fill that time with something you love.

What are you doing out of guilt and when is your last day?