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Are you hard on yourself when you fuck up?

Black women tend put too much pressure on themselves to never make a mistake. The Psychology of Women Quarterly published a study on the Strong Black Woman schema (SBW) and found that women who embody the SBW ideology  expect perfectionism out of themselves.

A flawless track record is simply an impossible expectation to have of oneself. So, if that’s the standard you hold yourself to, you might live with a lot of guilt. Guilt serves its (limited) purpose. It’s your radar going off to let you know you need to right a wrong, make amends or apologize. However, after it has prompted action, it’s time to let guilt go. Holding onto it can have serious consequences. One study published in Psychology Health & Medicine found that people who hang onto guilt are more prone to chronic illness, pain, anxiety and even cancer. If you live with guilt, it’s time to learn from it, release it and move on. Here’s how to start.


First, Thank Your Guilt

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While you don’t want to hang onto guilt longer than necessary, try to recognize the fact that your ability to feel guilty is a positive thing. That means that you have a conscience and you care deeply about how your actions impact other people. Guilt is simply proof that you desire to be a positive presence in the world (and, perhaps you failed to do so in a given instance).

Not everyone feels guilt (hello narcissists) because not everyone recognizes that their actions impact others, and that they’re part of an intricate and intertwined community. But you do, and that’s why you feel guilty. So thank your guilt for being a signal to you that you A) care and B) need to fix something. Your guilt is just your internal check engine light. It’s a good thing that yours is working.

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