Embracing Your Choices: Letting Go of Guilt and Taking Control

Only You Know

In our lives, there are often well-meaning individuals who believe they know what’s best for us. However, it’s crucial to remember that you are the only person who truly understands what is in your best interest.

Having the conversation about letting go and allowing yourself to make your own decisions can be challenging, especially with loved ones. I vividly recall what I refer to as the “adult conversation” with my parents. It took repetition for them to truly hear and understand my perspective.

“I appreciate your love and value your opinion, but this is my life. I need to make my own choices. Yes, I may stumble, but I’ll always pick myself back up. Please trust that I’ll be okay.”

Once they absorbed this, it became my responsibility to stand by it. I had to own my decisions, regardless of the outcomes.

For parents, this can be particularly difficult. Wanting the best for your children is natural, and seeing them face challenges is never easy. Yet, sometimes, those challenges are where the most profound growth occurs. Of course, this is contingent on age and maturity; a three-year-old shouldn’t dictate their own bedtime!

The Examples We Set

Life often presents us with choices that have repercussions, affecting those around us. Opting to leave a job can impact coworkers, family, and others. Choosing to end a marriage has far-reaching effects on children, spouses, extended family, and friends.

It’s normal to question if you’re making the right decision, especially when it involves your children. Guilt may creep in as you navigate the changes, but consider this: what lessons are you imparting by staying in an unhealthy relationship? What are you showing them about self-worth and standing up for one’s needs?

Stop Apologizing

While empathy for those affected is important, we must stop apologizing and feeling guilty for prioritizing our own well-being. Who set the rule that we should sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of others? This is not a recipe for personal success.

If you’re determined to lead your own life, you must take ownership of your decisions. Not everyone may agree with or like the choices you make, and that’s okay. Your life is not theirs to live.

Over time, people may come to understand the intentionality behind your decisions and even applaud your willingness to make difficult choices. It’s essential to stand firm, even if others respond differently.

You owe no one an apology for doing what is best for you. Period.

Let this notion sink in. I know it’s a paradigm shift, but try it on for size. Replace guilt with ownership and step into your role as the leader of your life.