Boss Lady

5 barriers of the business woman: guilt


Being a woman trying to succeed in a man’s (business) world is hard. We face more barriers than men – and often have to try and overcome them by ourselves.

Our barrier series is outlining the five most common hurdles,  what

they are and what to do about them. The first one was brand, and the second one we’ll address here is guilt.

Female guilt is real. With everything we have going on, it’s a mystery as to why we feel guilt – but we do.

It is also debilitating when it comes to a woman trying to reach a level of success in life, business and career.

As most women agree, you can never win being a woman. If you are a stay-at-home mother who puts in the tough times to keep her family on track, you’re classified as ‘just a mum’. If you work full-time and have your children in child care you are a horrible mother. And if you decide to not have children in favour of your career – well, you’re clearly the devil incarnate and shouldn’t be allowed to draw breath.

Guilt is a wasted emotion and 99.9% totally unjustified. Try these on for size — they may sound familiar to you?? You feel guilty because of…

  • Sleeping in 10 mins
  • Not working out for a day
  • Eating that extra yoghurt or having that chocolate bar
  • Not getting home in time to cook dinner (had to get take out)
  • Didn’t stay back at work when everyone else did
  • Your team didn’t do well so you take the blame
  • Not attending a child’s performance or activity


Guilt can set you back hours, days and even years on the path to your goal of serious success. When you have the temptation to feel guilty either for something you have done/not done —  or as a result of someone else’s actions or words — consider the following:

  • Remind yourself of what you have achieved today, this week and in life.
  • Look at the big picture of where you are headed and ask “does this really matter?”
  • Put your blinkers on and ignore all negativity (including the underhanded faux-compliments women are proficient at giving).
  • Choose to swap a guilty thought with a positive one e.g. “I don’t get home to see my children until after work.” Replace that with “My children are blessed to have me set a dynamic career example and teach them the value of success.”
  • When you eat something you didn’t want to eat, accept the fact you wanted it, you enjoyed it and move on
  • When you don’t have time to exercise, remind yourself of all the exercise you do running around being the awesome woman you are

The key point to dealing with guilt on an hour-by-hour basis is to ensure it doesn’t become a barrier to you reaching your goals. One negative thought and we can go spiraling out of control — and that is a waste of time and energy.

Don’t let anyone — including yourself – ‘guilt’ you into stopping short of what you want out of life.

About Amanda Rose

Founder of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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