The truth about shame
Updated: Feb 1, 2022
Shame. The urge to hide or the fear of being seen, because you believe you’re inherently wrong. Bad. Broken. Not enough.
Shame has gotten international publicity recently thanks to Brene Brown's surge in popularity.
It's about time. Because as much as shame sucks... we need to talk about it.
Keeps people stuck
And 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 in response to you living out of alignment with your conscience or your truth.
Neither guilt nor shame are particularly comfortable. But due to its temporary and situational nature, guilt can be released, shaken off, and is sometimes seen as valuable.
Nah. No one likes shame.
People familiar with shame say they feel wrong and broken to their core. Like they are scared to exist, to be seen, and to speak their truth.
If you hate your body so much you want to hide and feel you're unworthy to show your true self in person - this is shame.
If you feel embarrassed because your boobs are uneven, your waist grew 3 sizes, or your acne just arrived and you think this deems you unlovable - this is shame.
Shame not only makes you FEEL bad, it convinces you that you ARE bad.
Shame is debilitating.
But check this out. Humans are wired for pleasure.
We seek it, we crave it, we need it.
Humans want pleasure.
Shame isn't pleasant.
Humans feel a lot of shame.
A disconnect between where you're at and what you want.
Which is actually great news. Because it means you have full and total permission to move beyond shame. To walk away and leave it in the dust. To 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 cravinggggg love and acceptance.
You NEED to know that your actions are separate from who you are.
Here are 4 ways to work with shame:
Begin noticing where and when ‘shoulds’ show up in your life. Who is telling you how to live life? Why do you believe it/them/her/him? What would happen if you challenged this ‘should’?
When given the choice between guilt or shame, choose guilt. Try to stay away from all encompassing statements such as “I’m a failure.” “I’m bad.” Something more gentle would be “I made a choice with a consequence that leaves me feeling guilty.” “I said something that doesn’t sit well with me and I know isn’t in alignment with my truth.”
Consistently offer yourself messages (sometimes called affirmations) that 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.”
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/thought you had is really as bad as you think it was. And if it is, then ask them if it makes you a bad person or if it means you're a good person who made a mistake. Hint: Never make friends with or date someone who tells you you’re a bad person.
My wish for you is that you step into your power so confidently that no cell in your body believes you unworthy of love ever again.
That may seem like a lofty goal.
Start right now.
And one day you just might wake up and feel free. ✨
Have you ever wondered if a coach could help you on your path? Check out this blog post where I breakdown what a coach does, who benefits, and what makes coaching different than therapy. I'm here to help you in any way I can. ❤