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The Guilt and Shame of Working So Much

Episode #102

We feel guilty when we feel that we’ve been missing out on moments with our loved ones due to working too much.

We ALSO feel guilty when we don’t feel like we’ve hit the vision of what we think we SHOULD be doing, especially, if what we’re doing is not serving us.

In this episode, we talk about how this feeling of guilt is caused by pressure from society. The demands that are placed on men by society turn them to work more and to be at work more. Men often fail to be present with their loved ones because they are working too much, resulting in a feeling of guilt and shame.

In order to change this, you need to have a self-check. If this is you, you may feel like you have lost your way and have been missing a lot of important things in your life.

In this episode, we teach you how to get back to what really matters to you and how to get rid of the things that aren’t serving you in order to clear yourself from guilt and shame.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to eliminate the guilt and shame from working too much
  • The importance of proper communication with your loved ones
  • The factors that cause men to work too much
  • How to know what really matters to you and get rid of the things that aren’t serving you.


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Episode Transcript

Tim Matthews 0:00  

Because I allowed it, my life became full of obligations that I had to meet that didn’t fill me up at all. At that point, he was full of sacrifice and also full of a lot of struggle. So he hits the nail on the head when you talk about doing what you love across all areas of your life because when you’re in there, the guilt does tend to evaporate.

Doug Holt 0:23  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host and founder and the man from Leads. Tim, a powerful man Matthews.

Tim Matthews 0:38  

You’re going to ask me how I’m doing?

Doug Holt 0:44  

Nope. I want to, and I’m trying to switch it up, just now that I can see your face. I want to see your reaction—so little psychological testing. So Tim, how are you doing?

Tim Matthews 0:53  

It’s very important to me that you ask me how I’m doing, Doug. I’m doing great. I loved the last episode, and it was fun.

Doug Holt 1:05  

Great. Tim, what do you have on the plate for us today?

Tim Matthews 1:09  

The guilt and shame of working so much. 

Doug Holt 1:13  

I’ve been there. The guilt and shame of working so much. So what’s been your experience with that?

Tim Matthews 1:21  

Transparently. This afternoon. I was working. I’ve got a big action list here as we’ve been cranking through it. Amelia comes into the office, and she’s like, can you just take a break for five? Can you take a break for five? Doug was just waving at me through the video. I’m like, What the hell is going on? Hence the pause.

Doug Holt 1:51  

You turned your face. I couldn’t hear you in the microphone very well.

Tim Matthews 1:55  

All right. So as I was saying, that was funny. What do you do with these big waves and points? So she comes into the office, and it’s like when you work, you’re in the zone, you’re getting stuff done, you make decisions. It takes a lot for me to break my focus away from doing that, to instantly switch into a mode that enables me to build and connect and play with Amelia. She just wanted to come, and she sat on my lap and around me and wanted to chat. So she first said, look, at our five minutes, I’m just getting this stuff, don’t say that five minutes. It’s like, sometimes when you know those five minutes, it can just feel like five weeks when you’re just in that zone. What I did was, I put my laptop away, and I just sat there with her and just connected with her for a few minutes. But that is something that is a constant juggle for me personally. The guilt and shame of feeling like I’m working so much even though we have the decompression routines that we go through after a long day helped me unwind and then be present with Amelia. There’s sometimes when it’s difficult too because I will just love what I do. I love The Powerful Man, and I love the work that we do. I love building the company, and I love the people we work with, on the team, everything about it; I love it. So it’s easy for me to work longer than, let’s say, I sometimes say that I will. But a big driver for me as well as making sure that I keep a check on it. 

Because I know that you know in the next couple of years when we do have kids, this is something for me that I’m passionate about making sure I’m there as a father. It’s a big focus of mine to set things up now so that that’s going to happen. The guilt and shame of working so much is a constant checking in of it for me, constant checking, and I’m always checking in with myself. It always comes back to this point. I either feel guilty because I have then finished early sometimes. I’ve gone with Amelia, and the first bite, I might be thinking about work, or I am working longer, and I’m not with Amelia, and obviously, I work from home. Amelia doesn’t work, so she can hear a pirate about the house sometimes and play with the dogs, and now it can be glorious afternoon sunshine in TomSka. Take the dogs for walks, you want to come? And I’m like, and I would love out there to be with you. But sometimes, it just doesn’t work out that way. As I’m discussing this, I’m thinking in my mind, well, what do I do? What do I do to be able to navigate this? A big part of it for me is making sure that I stay in constant communication with Amelia. Constant communication about what’s going on within the business, how I am, where she is, and making sure that she feels seen in her. We’re playing in her world, examining her dreams, her wishes, and so on. Because I know something that I used to do as a business owner is so wrapped up in making it all about me that I used to forget to check in with her and her world. Also, alongside that communication, just being willing to be called out by Amelia used to push my bonds. She said You told me you wouldn’t work. I used to say, well, you just don’t get it. I’m doing this for Rose, and you said you want to go to these places, you’ve said you want these things? Well, how do you expect that to happen? I just used to feel so torn. Whereas now I welcome it so much more. Because obviously, I’ve done the work on myself. So I’m able to spot that trigger? But I mean, how do you handle it?

Doug Holt 6:30  

It’s a great question. Now, it’s not a big issue for me. But it used to be, I used to be, and I still kind of am addicted to guilt, that feeling of guilt coming up through. The way I was raised and guilt was used with me quite a bit to get me to manipulate me to get me to do things. So I still feel guilty quite often. But the work things are not as bad. So like it’s constant communication. Also, one day, my wife sat me down, and we had a conversation about it. She’s like, look, and I don’t mind that you work a lot because you do what you love. We’re not in a position where we have to work, but a position where we want to work. That’s a beautiful thing. A lot of people don’t have that. But I still work alive. She’s like, look, but when you’re with me, I want you to be present when you’re with our family. I’d rather have one night, maybe two nights where you’re just 100% present. We do something fun and have a great time, rather than having five or seven nights, where they’re just okay, where you’re checking your phone, you’re not present, your minds elsewhere. Like that’s horrible, it’s almost worse. It’s a sort of emotional, mental torture for my wife. I got that, Tim. it resonated with me. So, what I do is constant communication, even today. My wife and I were talking, and we’re making plans; we’re solidifying our schedules for the end of the year, which sounds like a long way. So we’re here recording this at the beginning of October. We’re still planning the calendars. We have people that want to visit. We have solid October and November books. And most of the weeks booked with friends and family are all great stuff. But it’s the communication. Here are things that I get to do. Every Tuesday, Tim and I get together to record these podcasts. 

So this is what I need to make that happen. I need the house to be quiet. We’re lucky enough, Tim, you, and I, to work from home. But with that comes other responsibilities. You’re also always there. Why can’t Tim come out and play? Why can’t daddy play? My son wants to knock on my door. Things of that nature. So, it’s constant communication. But I also make sure I validate her and what her time is. What are the things that you want? She came up to me today and said, or yesterday, and I just need time to myself. So great, not a problem. I went to my schedule, and I rearranged meetings and things like that. She will have the day off tomorrow to herself, which is awesome because I can play with my son. That raises that feeling of guilt for working too much. Because I’m still allowed to dive into my passions, The Powerful Man is helping men help powerful men realize their power was such an amazing thing. But I find that communication that comes in there, Tim, is all too critical. Then really understanding, what do we do with the guys when we do the 90-day game? Is it to explain to my wife why this is important to me? Why is meeting Time for an hour and a half, two hours for the podcast, important to me? Who does it affect? Well, how does it tie into my family and me? And then my wife also has done the work, so she understands that work. We call work. We enjoy it, but we’ll still call it to work. It’s something that fills my cup. It’s something that fills me up. I make sure work doesn’t get in the way of my priorities, like missing things with my son and my wife and, and friends and I tie him in. I get to fly to the UK, here and in November, for another Alpha Reset. So the guys that are listening to this will be going can’t wait to meet you guys there; it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a lot of work. But I also get to play. I get to hang out with Arthur, and I get to hang out with Lee, I get to hang out with Rick. It’s going to be such a good time. So, it’s work. But I put things in place where I don’t feel guilty about living my dreams.

Tim Matthews 10:35  

I love it. I think as you share this. I think for Amelia and me, constant communication helps. I think where I could probably improve, and I could be a bit more flexible. Sometimes I would say. Sometimes I can get so transfixed on this is where we are going; this is what we’re doing. That ‘s like, I’ve committed to this. So I’m going there. But I’ve got a lot better at that. I’m able to be a lot more flexible than I used to be. If it’s only stubborn, and if stubborn is the right word, but can be used to be almost, it’s almost like I have OCD in a way. This is what we said we do. This is the way we said it’s going to be right bomb tunnel vision, go there, then you just miss everything else that goes on around it. All the other opportunities that life has to offer. I’m a lot better with that now. A lot better. Again, with guilt and shame, one of the things that have helped me is Amelia. I make sure that I’m committed to dinner nights or dinner days, or whatever it is, whatever form it takes, for me to make sure that in my schedule in my calendar, I have time, every week, multiple times every week, to just be with Amelia. Sometimes I can plan these nights that I think you’re going to be so great. She just wants to hang out on the sofa. She just wants to do nothing. Just chat and listen to music, which is awesome. So I’ll just do that. I’ll play in her world. I think another key thing for me and being balanced and allowing more balance so that the guilt and the shame of working so much is a lot less is taking time for myself. Whenever I take time for myself, at the end of my week to review my week, just an hour or two, to review how my week has been, what’s worked well has been the wins, while the lessons hang in a change for next week. That always helps me to catch the pattern so much quicker. Put things in place before they reach a boiling point where Amelia isn’t bringing them to me. It always helps if I say to myself at the end of the week, hey, you know what? I realized that this week, I’d worked a lot. So I’m going to take Monday afternoon off, and I’d love to take you out. I’d love to take you and the dogs. I will go for a walk on the beach. This is where I think we could go. That works so much better. In acknowledging that might have worked too much and brought it to her rather than just thinking, I got away with it, how we can keep going. I’ll just keep working. I’ll just keep working harder until it gets propped up. She doesn’t mind because she’s not saying anything. Just because she’s not saying anything, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t mind.

Doug Holt 14:03  

Hey, sorry to interrupt the show. But I wanted to ask you a question. Do you ever feel like something’s just missing? Like there’s something more out there, and you just can’t put your finger on it. I get it. Go over right now to ThePowerfulMan.com to discover the system that other businessmen just like you are using. We’ve included 10 case studies of 10 Men just like you who have found the solution and found their way on their path. We want to share that with you and go over to ThePowerfulMan.com slash freedom right away. Now let’s get back to the show. 

So true. We talk about the guilt of working too much. There’s a gap between what we are doing and what we think we should be doing. That’s where guilt can be put in. So we feel guilty about working too much, often when we feel like we’re neglecting people around us that are important. When we feel guilty, we feel guilty for the way when we are missing out on the football match? Or are we missing out on the baseball game? Or missing out on the play? Or the recital? Or things like that? Are we missing those moments because we’re working too much? Or perhaps, our loved ones sitting at home waiting for us? Are we missing dinners with them? Should we be better fathers? Am I a good father? Is this a question I ask myself all the time? It’s a question. Am I a great father? That’s the thing I want to strive for. The guilt comes in when we don’t hit that vision of what we think we should be or what we should be doing. That’s when it comes into alignment. So that’s one of the ways that we can get around that Tim is aligning ourselves with ours. Why are we doing this? Work, for example, is it serving the greater purpose of our good of what we want? Who does it affect? So for you, and Amelia could be obviously, the financial repercussions or time or just you filling your cup working with the guys, which you do such an amazing job with coaching and mentoring them. Then you’ll want to look at a kind of rocking chair test. That’s what I use a lot, and we use it with the men. But working today, the podcasts that you and I are doing, I’ll just use as an example because my wife and my son are out playing right now, which is amazing. There’s; definitely, you can feel guilty about; I should be at the playground, going down the slide with my son and having a great time outside, which is what I typically do. But also, I know that this fills my cup and the rocking chair test. I go, well, if I’m sitting in a rocking chair on my porch at 85 sipping a lemonade. Why be okay with this decision? Or will I have regrets? And my 80-year-old self loves the fact that I’m doing this podcast with you, Tim; it loves it. It could be either, or it would love me playing on the slide too. So I eliminate the guilt when I go through that process because I know I’m on the right path. I know there’s not a gap between what Doug is doing at this moment. What I think Doug should be doing.

Tim Matthews 17:21  

It comes back to a point he said earlier that I think he is really important. When you are in a business, let’s use the word business. When you’re in a business means something to you that transcends just making money. It takes a different meaning, doesn’t it? So often, when we first start working with the men, they’ve reached a point whereby they have made all of the money that they thought was going to make them happy, they have everything they thought was going to make them happy, the homes, the holidays, the wives, the what, twice, the wife, the watch, the car. So it just hasn’t worked. They end up feeling even more alone and unsatisfied. Then problems show up in the marriage and so on. So I think you hit the nail on the head when you’re able to align with the work you do in the world. For me, I don’t feel like I have experienced sacrifice in my life. I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything. Because everything I do, even when I do work a little bit longer. The only thing that comes in there is the feeling that maybe I’ve communicated to Amelia that I’ll finish at a certain time and finish a little later than a set and know that maybe she might be eating into our evening or whatever on the rare occasion. But regardless, I wouldn’t. I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything. Everything in my life. For me, at this point, it is such a fuck yes. Because I’ve learned that whenever I tolerated things in my life, whether it was people, places, projects, whatever, that was coming, vanilla, whatever. That was a Fuck no. But I just allowed it, and you get what you tolerate. Because I allowed it, my life became full of obligations that I had to meet that didn’t fill me up at all. At that point, he was full of sacrifice and full of a lot of struggle as well. So he hit the nail on the head when you talk about doing what you love across all areas of your life. Because when you’re in there, the guilt does tend to evaporate.

Doug Holt 19:46  

That even so, I mean, obviously we can discuss whether you should be working in any business you’re not passionate about. I have strong opinions about that subject. But that’s, that could be another podcast that we can go over to but the idea of guilt. I encourage you guys to look at this because somebody pointed out this life. Are you guilty in other areas as well? Or are you just guilty and working too much? And if you’re guilty, you feel guilty working too much. You agree with it. That’s a key thing right here, you go through the whole process that we just mentioned, and you agree with it. Now it’s time for a change. So many of the men that come through the program, Tim, I was just talking to Rick, who we know. Rick comes back from this vacation with his wife, and he comes back to his office. He’s like, guys, I don’t have anything to do here. I don’t know what to do. His company has grown exponentially. He’s like, I’m just walking around the office, bugging everybody because I got, he’s successfully put himself out of a job. He’s taking care of himself, filling his cup and his soul. That’s what allowed him to do it. Often, what I think happens to him is a lot of the guys feel like their wheels are just spinning. They’re spinning, your wheels of a car racecar are spinning super fast, but they’re not going anywhere. So they dedicate more hours and more time, I’m going to get it done, or they’re not letting it go out of control. That’s a big one. Many men don’t want to let go of control because things are going to go right, things aren’t going to go right, etc. So they have to have their fingers in every little pie and know everything that’s going on, which causes them to have to work more and be at work more. So it becomes a process. 

So if you’re noticing yourself in either of those scenarios and then you have to ask your question, look, is this worth it? Is this really what I want? If the answer’s no, it’s time to take radical change, go to The Alpha Reset, and you will rediscover your true center, your true north. I wished him transparently that all men would go through The Alpha Reset at varying levels of their life. So they get that kind of reset. That’s what it is, guys; you’re resetting to your natural setpoint, your true north, so you can navigate this wilderness that’s out there. Because societal pressures cause this feeling of guilt, pressures we put on ourselves based on marketing, and other aspects, where society is saying, Hey, Tim, you should be at this level, and you should be doing these things. You should be making a million pounds a month as a leader of The Powerful Man movement. You should be working 60 hours a week. Add now, never mind; everybody works 60; you need to work 80 and grind it out. You have a side hustle, for your side hustle was ridiculous about the demands placed on men today. By the way, you need to have six-pack abs, and you need to drive a nice car. You need to have a great spiritual practice. In this four-hour morning practice, you’re doing Wim Hof. You’re doing the pasta meditation for two hours, and you’re not out of it. All these things that, if you calculated it out, would take you 40 hours in a day, it’s just impossible. So we turn to work, and then we have guilt around working too much. A society’s pressures have put it upon us to have this, and that’s where a reset comes in. Reset to reset yourself and reset any way you want to. The offer reset is a proven methodology that we go through. You reset to your true north, and then you can move forward just like Rick has—traveling and running multiple businesses. Now poor Rick, the biggest problem in Rick’s life that I can see is the staff. His staff is like, Come on, man. They’re trying to get work done. Here you got Rick, the business owner walking around, just chatting with him because his businesses are going so well. That he’s got nothing to do that needs to be done, which is a whole another set of problems but beautiful problems if he asked me.

Tim Matthews 24:02  

Truly it’s a great position to be in. From when I was there. Last company. It is the annoying people who suffer, and they suffer there.

Doug Holt 24:13  

That’s great. So guys, if you find yourself in this position, right in this position of being guilty, feeling guilty, like maybe it’s you leave before the kids get up, and you don’t get home till they go to bed. It’s a common thing when you’re trying to make your mark. The problem is twofold. One, the feeling of guilt. The feeling of guilt has nothing positive around it. It’s just a feeling, and it’s a good time to self-check. Also, if that feeling of guilt is something you want to change, you’re missing something. You’ve been doing this too long. In six months, I’m going to grind it out. I’m going to build this startup for the next six months. It will turn into six years, maybe just two years. You’ve lost Your way, and I get it. I’ve been there, Tim. I know you’ve been there too; in the past, there are ways around this; you want to find your True North. Find that true north, have a reset, and make sure you get back to what’s important to you in this life, what matters, and clear yourself of the guilt of the shame of these things holding you down and aren’t serving you.

Tim Matthews 25:27  

Doug’s doing this, this thing through the video, you archive anything to that. So it’s you who hit the nail on the head; it’s so true. You said it so well, and you did; I’ve got nothing to say. I’ve loved the conversation, and it always brings me back to checking in with myself and how I’m operating, and what I get to do. It’s incredible. I’ll echo what you said in the sense of getting back to what’s important to you. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand that it’s difficult to answer such a simple question that feels so big. What do you want? Whenever we usually ask the men what they want, they often list everything they don’t want because they don’t know what they want. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s natural, but you don’t have to settle there. You don’t have to live there and then stay with that. Sometimes you can’t see your blind spots. So, having a reset going through a reset, I’d love it to be The Alpha Reset for obvious reasons. It’s proven we see the results time and time again. But however you go about it, just you’ve got to be able to if you’ve got this far in the podcast, this is resonating with you, then you’ve got to be able to make that shift and have the reset—the ways. Twelve months on, you’ll probably be still listening to this podcast, nothing will, I say nothing will have changed a hell of a lot will change because you wouldn’t have made a decision, but a lot of things around you will have started to collapse. I bet you know if you start such a thing as standing. Still, you either move forwards, or you move backward. So I implore you to make a move if you are in this position.

Doug Holt 27:14  

Now beautiful, guys, reset, realign, move forward, and passion. Gentlemen, that’s all we have for you today until next time for another episode of The Powerful Man Show.