SUCCESS Stories Episode 16: Letting Go of Guilt With Valorie Burton
Valorie Burton is the author of 12 books on personal development, the founder of The Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute, and an international speaker on resilience and happiness. She has spent more than 15 years studying the research of resilience, positive emotion and courage while implementing it in her own life and with hundreds of clients from a dozen countries and nearly every state in the U.S. Her latest book is Let Go of the Guilt: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Take Back Your Joy.
Valorie Burton knew she wanted to write since she was in elementary school. She always liked public speaking, too. “It was little pieces coming together,” she says. But the thing that was missing was purpose.
Before she became a successful author, Valorie’s first entrepreneurial endeavor was her own public relations firm. She was good at it, but no matter what goals she set for her business, she always felt like, I don’t really want to be doing this. She knew it, but she didn’t talk about it—she just started praying.
Fast forward to a Saturday in July of 1999. Valorie was at a journalism convention and decided to stay for a panel of people who had written books on the last day. It was that day that she had an overwhelming feeling of her real purpose: She was supposed to inspire other people to live more fulfilling lives.
It was her third attempt at writing a book that she actually succeeded at it—after she why she was doing what she was doing. That “why”? Inspiring other people to live more fulfilling lives.
Listen to the full episode to hear Valorie’s story and how she got to where she is today.
A few lessons from Valorie…
- Purpose fuels perseverance. You can succeed at something that you know deep down isn’t your purpose, but when you don’t have passion and vision for what you’re doing, that is a problem. Not everyone’s purpose is tied to a business or their career; we all have a different mission. But there should be something that is driving you to whatever your life path is that allows you to persevere and be resilient whenever it gets hard.
- Happiness is a risk, and guilt is safe. The reason we beat ourselves up is because guilt is a debt; it tells you you owe. We punish ourselves by beating ourselves up, criticizing ourselves, by overcompensating or letting people guilt trip us… it shows up in so many ways. Sometimes we aren’t even calling it guilt—we just aren’t letting ourselves be happy.
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