Guilt and atonement as religious thought patterns are present everywhere
When I was younger I believe, who was raised more atheistically, that religion no longer plays a role in our country. Over time, I was taught better. Religious motives and thought patterns still pervade our everyday lives to a large extent - one thinks first of all of the work ethic that is often demanded or the willingness to perform, which stems from the Protestant work ethic. And even during the corona pandemic, the topic of guilt was always omnipresent.
I would like to use a very banal example that affects each of us, but is otherwise neglected by politics and business: food. In fact, the issue is far more important to society as a whole than it appears from a political and economic perspective. It is not for nothing that self-acceptance and body positivity are so hyped as a counterweight to ever more perfect-seeming ideals of beauty. And especially with regard to diet, exercise and body shape, feelings of guilt arise just as quickly as with a decline in motivation to perform.
The ideology of seduction and guilt
Of course, a healthy diet is important and, as I can only say from my own experience, it has extremely positive effects on the body and mind. Unfortunately, as with many other things, people have deep-seated clichés about nutrition in their heads that are also cleverly used by marketing. Here one would like to raise awareness and encourage more precise thought. There are, for example, many foods that are considered healthy, but are not that healthy at all. The Stiftung Warentest has tested smoothies and the result regarding the absorption of sugar by the body is really exciting. In general, a big problem is that there is really a lot of sugar in a lot of foods and that you become addicted to it almost unintentionally.
But you shouldn't approach the topic too ideologically, after all, every person is different and everyone has their own needs that you have to talk about honestly. With the almost religious motif of seduction, guilt and atonement, which the diet industry also does well, we don't get any further, it is much more important to consider the intrinsic motivation and the respective blockages of the individual.
9 approaches against the vicious circle of guilt and atonement
And the same is true of work productivity: Here, too, there are often seductive distractions in the form of procrastination, you quickly feel guilty that you haven't done enough and achieved enough - and the atonement then takes the form of even more work and money . How can you escape this vicious circle? The following steps will help:
1. Beware of addiction!
Work and food have one thing in common: They can be addicting: A busy schedule keeps our adrenaline pumpingSpiegel rise quickly - and that's addicting. We feel needed and have everything under control. If this high lasts for a long time, we will eventually feel exhausted, overwhelmed and sick.
2. Away with the to-do lists
To-do lists and a lot of tasks only seem to make us productive. The obsessive-compulsive attempt to be productive can actually make us less productive; when we focus on just one thing and focus all our attention on it, we have a natural energy that gives us satisfaction. Thanks to this energy, we achieve our goals without difficulty and do more in less time.
3. The journey is the goal: cheers for serendipity
Too much focus is only harmful because it prevents serendipity. When we have a to-do list in front of us, with tasks to be done in a given time, we tend to focus on the goal rather than enjoying the steps that get us there. Deadlines and time slots are partial necessary, of course, but you should still try to enjoy the individual steps and details that the task entails instead of just thinking about the result.
But the problem is: It seems impossible to reconcile productivity and serendipity. While we concentrate on one task after the other, we have no nerve for the unplanned - no matter what it is, we perceive it as a disruption.
4. Keep track of what is really important
Enjoying the path and looking at it as a goal also has another advantage: Paradoxically, if the focus is too strong, we quickly forget what is really important for us in life. Because everything around us seems unimportant. We only focus on our tasks. And only have one goal in mind. Complete the task as quickly as possible and move on to the next. We forget to take a breather and to reflect.
This also implies the time aspect: We work better and more creatively when we are completely in the here and now, instead of trying to complete many tasks in a short time. Because then we are often distracted because we are already thinking about the next task instead of concentrating on the here and now and that damages our current work a lot.
5. A relaxed mind in a healthy body
Creativity needs a relaxed mind in a pleasant atmosphere without major distractions and without the constant thought of what else to do. But if we are to be productive, we usually don't have time to let our thoughts wander. We put one foot in front of the other and see neither left nor right.
6. Accept the loss of control: Nothing is as certain as uncertainty
Crisis situations such as the corona pandemic have shown that we cannot control many things at all. But why are we holding onto it so manically?
Probably because it gives us security: if we check off the tasks on our list one by one, we feel good, we have everything under control. In reality, this type of control is just an illusion. Chaos and disorder are just waiting to throw us off the hook. If our satisfaction depends only on how productive we are, the unexpected can quickly throw us off track. The better moth would be: Nothing is as certain as uncertainty.
7. Relationships suffer from guilt
Feelings of guilt and constant activism also undermine our personal relationships with others. Even though we often say that friends and family are the most important thing in our lives, we spend a lot more time doing things we think we need to do now.
Personal relationships are extremely important for our creativity, inspiration - and in the end also for our work success, because whatever we create in our work, we create in the end for other people and that will only work optimally if we use it from the beginning include the work process.
8. Turn off the guilt
The constant guilt gnaws at us like the little man in our head who keeps telling us what to do in order to get approval from our colleagues and superiors. If we block out that voice and clear our minds to be creative, it will help us grow. And not only as a workhorse but also as an individual. As a suggestion, here are a few things to ask yourself before getting down to work:
- Instead of asking: "What do I have to do today?" ask "What am I going to create today?"
- Instead of saying, “Check out my to-do list”, ask yourself “What can I cross off the list to find more time for creative work?”
- Instead of complaining: "Why do I have to do this tiresome task" ask "How can I turn this task into something that will help me advance and maybe even give me pleasure?"
9. Get off the hamster wheel
Ultimately, it's about getting off the hamster wheel in which many people enslave themselves thanks to their guilty feelings. Because meaningful creative work is not just a question of productivity and stubborn processing. We also need creative freedom, then our work will be better.
The exit can already be achieved by small things, for example by saying “no” to the boss, to the family, to the partner or other demands of daily life. That sounds easy, but it also requires that you break through your mental blocks and become really independent. In case of doubt, a minimum of financial freedom is required in order to be genuinely independent. As a self-employed person, I only achieved this through my equity investments, for example.
Conclusion: prevent feelings of guilt Sense and real advancement
Feelings of guilt and also the religiously and morally deeply anchored desire for atonement are understandable and human impulses. But they are often simply unnecessary and even hinder good, meaningful results that advance us as people and as a society.
If, on the other hand, we exchange our productive work for creative activity, every moment of our work becomes art. We will get absorbed in our work because creating something demands our full attention and ultimately brings more impact to ourselves and other people than just stubbornly working through tasks. The necessary social development that will help us to solve the problems of the future - it is only possible without these somewhat outdated religious blockers. This is where we should start, without guilt and with common sense.
More knowledge - PDF download, eCourse on demand or personal advice
Offline download: Download this text as PDF - Read usage rights, Because we do not automatically submit the title of this text for privacy reasons: When buying in "interests" the title register if support is needed. After buying text exclusively Download at this URL (please save). Or for a little more directly an entire book or eCourse with this text buy, read on.
Your eCourse on Demand: Choose your personal eCourse on this or another desired topic, As a PDF download. Up to 30 lessons with each 4 learning task + final lesson. Please enter the title under "interests". Alternatively, we are happy to put together your course for you or offer you a personal regular eMailCourse including supervision and certificate - all further information!
Consultant packages: You want to increase your reach or address applicants as an employer? For these and other topics we offer special Consultant packages (overview) - For example, a personal phone call (price is per hour).