How Guilt Caused a Career Challenge

Liesel Teversham

Liesel helps HSP introverts to embrace their sensitivity as a superpower, and overcome obstacles so they can thrive. She also works with clients to solve their health issues, and has authored 2 books. More here.

Published on 2022/04/12

I’ve heard people say after a challenging or traumatic time: “That’s all in the past now. I’m moving on.”

I’ve said it myself. And I’m all for moving on.

The trouble comes when parts of our brain (that we don’t have conscious control over) have not actually put it in the past. We can say out loud that we’ve put it behind us with the most sincere intention in the world. But the subconscious, emotional brain does not care what the conscious part of us says!

An example:

I’ve been working with a beautifully sensitive, smart ambivert with an Oxford engineering degree. We’ve been working through her CliftonStrengths so she can bring her best self to her current work environment.

There were some challenges in previous workplaces. She had an injury that led to a serious concussion, and was unable to go to work for a while. She went back to work too soon and started feeling incompetent and guilty for not being able to think or concentrate.


In one session, we were working on an issue around procrastination at work, being out of her depth, and doubting herself.

In a session, we were using EFT Tapping to release some layers around that. Out of the blue, she had the insight that she still had some guilt trapped in her system about the time off work from the concussion. She was now working for a different employer – but her brain didn’t care.

She was still feeling guilty to have taken so much time off work for an invisible injury. And parts of her were trying to make up for it by continuously thinking: “I’m not doing enough! What else should I be doing? I’m just not doing enough yet! I need to do more!”

It was putting huge pressure on her. No matter how much she did, the anxiety and guilt lingered.

Taking steps

During the session, as her insight arose about where the relentless pressure came from, she resolved to have a conversation with her line manager about this. That would bring it out in the open so that she could start having a healthier relationship with work.

I love how EFT tapping always leads to insights, clarity, and a healthier way forward.

Clearly, even though the injury and concussion happened years ago, it wasn’t truly ‘in the past’ yet. She was still living (unconsciously) from the emotions that arose for her at the time.

It’s not her fault. It’s just the way the brain works to keep us safe in the future. And that’s exactly what happens for most of us.

EFT Facilitates Insights

While we tap in a session, clients have almost miraculous insights about events from the past that impact their decisions and actions now. They almost always say “Wow, I did not realise that was still there. I thought I’d let it go.”

Is there something that you keep doing in a certain way and you can’t seem to stop? It might just be that there’s a past unresolved emotion that is driving the bus on your behalf.

It is so worth getting to the bottom of it with EFT. Then, when we’ve cleared the emotion from the past, it is truly possible to say “NOW I’m moving on” – because it really is in the past.

When all the pieces of an event are fully processed, they can be moved into long-term memory – without the sting. And we can then create a future that we would love to have.


Want to become an Insider? Receive my thoughts, best articles, events, and occasional offerings.

You may also find this interesting…