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Cleanse Your Mind Of Resentment

Linda-Ann Stewart

Mark was a simmering pool of resentment. Anything said to him he perceived as a slight. He felt that the whole world was given advantages denied to him, and that he couldn't get ahead. No one wanted to be around his negativity, so his belief was a self-fulfilling prophecy affecting his personal and professional life.

Anger generally signals that some value or boundary has been violated and occurs during a single event. If anger prompts positive action or a decision to change, it can actually be beneficial. It can motivate you to stop smoking, eliminate a negative friend, or work for social change.

However, if there isn't a resolution, release or plan to address the cause, then anger can curdle into the toxic emotion of resentment. When you hold a grudge or want revenge, resentment has gotten hold of you. It poisons your whole perspective and continually restresses you. This destructive emotion can become a habit and cause you to view yourself as a victim.

There are different types of resentment.
  • Do you feel someone has wronged you or treated you badly? If so, you're simply rehearsing something that has already happened. Even if it's warranted, resentment won't change the past. But it will erode your self-image and sense of empowerment.
  • Do you begrudge people who have something you don't? "Whatever you resent is a statement of what you lack," says Robert Anthony. It's common to resent co-workers who have been promoted, or a public figure who has fame or fortune. By resenting them, you're indirectly telling yourself that you can't have what they do.
  • Are you upset at having to give up a lifestyle or habit that has been pleasurable? Most smokers resent that they have to quit smoking even though it's self-destructive. They also don't like it when others pressure them to take that action. Unfortunately, their very resistance undermines their success.
Resentment doesn't affect the person it's aimed at. The only one it harms is you; your health and mental well-being. They'll probably never even know how you feel and might not even care if they did. So it's not even fulfilling a productive function.

You may hang onto resentment because you feel it protects you. It reminds you not to trust the person who hurt you or go back to the company that treated you unjustly. But you can learn that lesson, and avoid falling into that trap again, without it costing you.

There are definite consequences to holding onto grievances. Mark experienced all of these.
  • It makes you unpleasant to be around. People like to be around those who are positive, upbeat and cheerful. That does not describe someone with a grudge. The people you attract are going to be resentful and disgruntled like you.
  • It gives you an excuse for failing or committing yourself to your progress. Resentment can cause you to feel that nothing you do will make a difference. It sabotages your success and undermines your goals.
  • Holding a grudge siphons off enormous amounts of energy that could be channeled into accomplishment. It's debilitating on every level.
  • It actually hands the control of your emotions and decisions over to others. You give them the power over whether you move forward or sit and stew.
Resentment is the biggest obstacle to achieving your desires and having more good in your life. If you continue to feel resentful against a person, job, political party, social class, or group of people, you have bound yourself to the very thing you dislike. And the only way to free yourself is to let go of the attachment.

In doing so, you don't condone the offense, like the person or persons, or have them in your life anymore. It doesn't erase what was done, it just frees you to move forward from it.

The opposite of hate or resentment isn't love or approval. The solution to resentment is apathy. You don't have to pardon the offense, just put it in the past. When you cease resenting others, you don't care what they do or think. You've successfully detached yourself from them and the situation. It no longer affects you in any way. You've freed yourself and taken back your power. And this opens the way for success and a happy life.

Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at You can contact her at or 928-600-0452.


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