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Understanding Shame: A Path to Self-Acceptance

Updated: Jun 5

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Understanding and Overcoming Shame

Shame. It’s the urge to hide, the fear of being seen, and the pervasive belief that you are inherently wrong, bad, broken, or simply not enough.

This powerful emotion has recently gained international attention, thanks to Brené Brown's influential work. And it's about time because as much as shame sucks... we need to talk about it.


  • Breeds secrecy

  • Keeps people stuck

  • Takes lives

Shame is so uncomfortable that most people try to ignore it, avoid it, or escape it at all costs.

Shame vs. Guilt:

Guilt is the heavy knot in your tummy that appears when you act out of alignment with your conscience or your truth. While neither guilt nor shame is particularly comfortable, guilt is temporary and situational. It can be released, shaken off, and is sometimes even seen as valuable.

But shame? Nah. No one likes shame.

People familiar with shame say they feel wrong and broken to their core. They are scared to exist, to be seen, and to speak their truth.

  • If you hate your body so much that you want to hide and feel unworthy to show your true self, this is shame.

  • If you feel embarrassed because your boobs are uneven, your waist grew three sizes, or your acne just arrived and you think this makes you unlovable, this is shame.

Shame not only makes you feel bad, it convinces you that you are bad. It is debilitating.

The Human Desire for Pleasure

Humans are wired for pleasure. We seek it, crave it, and need it.

This means you have full and total permission to move beyond shame. Shame isn't serving you or helping you become a better person. You can walk away and leave it in the dust. You can say goodbye to the lies you've believed about who you are and what you're not.

Shame isn’t necessary for survival. Nobody ever evolved from feeling like shit. On the contrary, your body is craving love and acceptance. You need to know that your actions are separate from who you are.

Understanding that pleasure is a natural and necessary part of life can empower you to break free from the cycle of shame. It’s about recognizing and honoring your basic human need for joy and connection.

You have the right to experience pleasure, to seek happiness, and to live a life that feels good to you.

Your body and mind are designed to thrive on positive experiences.

By embracing the human desire for pleasure, you open up a path to healing, self-acceptance, and a life where shame no longer dictates your self-worth. You can transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you, moving from a place of shame to one of joy, connection, and true fulfillment.

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4 Ways to Work with Shame:

1. Notice Where and When ‘Shoulds’ Show Up in Your Life

  • Who is telling you how to live life? Why do you believe them? What would happen if you challenged this ‘should’?

2. Choose Guilt Over Shame

  • Try to avoid all-encompassing statements like “I’m a failure” or “I’m bad.” Instead, use gentler language: “I made a choice that leaves me feeling guilty” or “I said something that doesn’t sit well with me and isn’t in alignment with my truth.”

3. Offer Yourself Counter-Messages

  • Use affirmations to counter your shame stories. Try “I am enough,” “All parts of me are welcome here,” or “Nothing I do can dampen the light in my heart.”

4. Get Accountability for Your Thoughts

  • Sometimes we all need a friendly reality check. If you notice yourself slipping into a shame spiral, ask someone you trust if the choice you made or thought you had is really as bad as you think. And if it is, ask them if it makes you a bad person or just a good person who made a mistake. Hint: Never make friends with or date someone who tells you you’re a bad person.

Stepping Into Your Power

My wish for you is that you step into your power so confidently that no cell in your body believes you are unworthy of love ever again. This may seem like a lofty goal, but start today. Start right now. One day, you just might wake up and feel free. ✨


Final Thoughts

Shame is a complex and deeply ingrained emotion, but it doesn't have to control your life. By understanding the difference between guilt and shame, challenging the 'shoulds' in your life, using affirmations, and seeking accountability, you can begin to overcome shame and step into a life of greater self-acceptance and joy. Remember, you are inherently worthy of love and acceptance. Your journey to freedom from shame starts today.



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