Breaking the Bonds of Shame – Creating More Confidence For Ourselves
If you are are a Brené Brown fan, then you are part of a small percentage of people who are willing to have a look a the impact of shame in your life.
However, for most of us, shame is not something we willingly explore or spend time contemplating. If anything, we hide it when we feel it and we avoid it when we see it others.
Yet shame is everywhere, and although it’s not inherent to our nature, we still undergo a powerful process of learning shame through our conditioning.
“You should be ashamed of yourself!” Does this statement sound familiar? It’s something often said to children when we want to influence their behaviors, yet we don’t realize the lasting impact of those powerful words. In fact, shaming others is so prevalent, it’s rare to meet someone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of those words at least once in their life.
Once we’ve learned shame, we self-propagate it: we shame ourselves. Self-shaming is so ingrained that we barely notice it. What is noticeable is the erosion of our confidence and ability to learn and grow from the mistakes we make.
That’s a big problem with shame. It means something is fundamentally wrong with us, so there’s no way we can actually do something about our condition. We give up and stop trying.
Making mistakes is necessary. It’s how we grow our wisdom, learning to discern how our choices are impacting our lives and adjusting our behaviors according to the insights we gain from these awkward and often painful moments is crucial for healthy maturation.
But it’s not all bad news about shame. Because we learned shame, we actually can unlearn it.
There are 3 ways we can interrupt shame and start to reclaim our lives and rebuild our confidence:
1. Name The Shame: When we are in shame, our tendency is to hide. Yet shame thrives in isolation. So the first step to interrupting the pattern is to recognize when we are in shame and to name it. If we can identify when shame is present, we have a chance to transform it. In the beginning, this isn’t easy, but the more we practice, the stronger and more agile we become when handling our shame. For example: I feel shame about my body, I’m not beautiful enough.
2. No More Blame: Once we have identified the presence of shame, we then have the opportunity to turn our attention to how we are using blame to avoid the responsibility of transforming our lives. We may blame ourselves, others or circumstances. When we do this, we assign our power to the blaming rather than the transformation.
This step is more like taking honest stock of all the contributing factors in our situation and then shifting our attention to transformation, what we’d actually love as an outcome. For example: I haven’t actually been loving my body or doing the things that allow her to thrive.
3. Fan the Flame: What we’d love is no small thing. What matters to our heart is crucial, consider it like a form of inner guidance. Even if we have no idea how what we’d love is possible, it is viable as an option because it exists in your heart.
When we ask ourselves: What is the outcome that I would love? We mobilize our creative genius. We shift our power from what felt like an impossible and horrible condition into the limitless realm of possibility. For example: I’d love to feel vibrantly healthy and switched on in my body. By fanning the flame of what we’d love, we become aware of what is possible and can mobilize ourselves in that direction.
It takes great resilience to choose to face shame head-on and to reclaim lives. We will be faced by this choice, not once, not twice, but possibly many time every day.
The good news is that through exercising the 3 steps outlined above, you’ll be using your will in new, powerful and creative ways and this builds confidence!
If this article has been helpful, please share it. I’d love to invite you to join me for my 6 hour Shameless Surrender training. where we not only look more deeply at shame, we also explore the importance of shamelessness and surrender, especially with regards to creating more sensual and sexual confidence. Together, we can do this.