Feeling guilty can have a huge negative impact on your self confidence, self esteem and happiness. It has a draining effect and in reality, serves no useful purpose.

Furthermore, these feelings can start a vicious circle - feelings of guilt are a sign of low confidence and self esteem, and low self confidence and self esteem can make you feel guilty. So how do you go about breaking this circle and letting go of guilt?

Guilt can stem from many many things; overeating, not spending enough time with the people you love, something you have done which hurt someone, taking time for yourself, spending money on yourself, avoiding things, even feeling happy can cause feelings of guilt.

Sometimes guilt can be an appropriate emotion when you have done something which is against your own moral or beliefs. You know when your conscious is pricking, when you have done something to provoke guilt.

While, in this case, it is a 'suitable' emotion, doesn't mean it should be held onto. Acknowledge you have done something you are unhappy about, do whatever you can to rectify the situation, and take responsibility for your actions. Continuing the feelings of guilt are futile.

At other times the guilt is completely misplaced. Maybe you want things to be perfect, and feel guilty when they aren't, for example, it rains on a day you are holding a barbecue, you feel guilty. Or you feel guilty for looking after yourself well, for example about buying yourself nice things or spending time exercising, which is a sure sign of low self esteem.

Being a human means making mistakes, they happen to everyone but you need to realise that feeling guilty will not change the mistakes you have made.

Mistakes are a crucial part of the learning process, they help you grow and become a little wiser. So learn to embrace them, think about the mistakes you have made, is there a lesson you could take from them? Perhaps you keep making the same mistake again and again. I believe if this happens, life really is trying to teach us something and we need to look a little closer at what that is.

For example, if someone overeats again and again, feeling guilty about doing this isn't going to stop it happening, in fact it will make it worse as it leads to comfort eating. And maybe the lesson isn't that you need to eat less or diet, you may need to deal with some underlying issues which cause this eating. Perhaps it is a low self esteem or self confidence, perhaps you are unhappy about something but are for some reason, reluctant to make changes. Look at the deeper issues and as these resolve the guilt will dissipate.

Forgiving yourself and letting go of guilt may not be easy – but it is essential if you want to feel confident and happy. Working on improving your self esteem can help, be gentle with yourself and begin to take responsibility for all your actions. Live purposefully and be true to your own morals, values and beliefs . But most of all forgive yourself for making mistakes, a human not making mistakes is a human not living – life is about experiencing all emotions, make today's emotion happiness.

There are different types of guilt, but in order to have a healthy self esteem and self confidence it is imperative to work through all of them, let go and move on.

Author's Bio: 

Kate has written and tested a powerful workbook which will improve your confidence instantly and permanently – download it here www.improvedconfidence.com/about and start making changes now!
She also writes a blog inspiring others to become happier through improving self confidence and self esteem which you can find at www.improvedconfidence.com