Shame - Deal With It!
Previously we have written about shame and what defines shame. We had an overwhelming response to our article, which lead me to the question in everyone’s mind, which is, how do you get over shame?
Shame is an emotion we experience when we feel that others, society and most critically ourselves are judging us. How do we take our power back to make this feeling of shame go away? Shame makes you feel vulnerable, exposed and it does not empower you to live your best life. So let’s unpack this a little… Shame makes you feel vulnerable and vulnerable is when we feel exposed and unable to face others or society for the fear of being judged. Being vulnerable can be very powerful, being vulnerable is being human and being human is what defines us and makes us authentic, the person we are. Only by being vulnerable and authentic can we reach the core of who we truly are. Once we know and feel that raw self - only then can we ask ourselves the question of “what makes me - me?” be real, be honest and own it.
Does an action define who I am or am I greater than my actions and mistakes? How much value do I place on other’s opinions or perceptions of me? How important are these people in my life? Asking these questions can be very powerful and might take you down a road to question the value of the relationships you have.
Realising that life is not about others but rather about you (me). I am the one that matters and I am the only one who is giving others the power over me through my thoughts. No doubt you have heard this before -- Control your thoughts and take charge of your life. A dear friend of mine’s wise words ring in my ears ‘life is meaningless until you give it meaning”. We give shame meaning by giving it the power to control our behaviour through our thoughts. Stop the thoughts and you stop the shame. Ask yourself – so what?
So how do I stop the thoughts, think the thought and then ask youself, is this factually correct? Is it true? You will find the answers surprisingly refreshing time after time. You are in control of your thoughts and therefore in control of the emotions we place to a situation or event. We define what we think and feel and to this end we define and own what we believe.
Is shame just an emotion we experience on a belief we hold of ourselves, if so then question the belief, is it true? Your answers should have no external influence or pressure – it’s all about you. There is no shame in us, only authenticity of being that which we are. So what does it matter what others think?
Go ahead be you and live your life with the meaning you want to attach to it. As my dear friend says, choose it powerfully, make it count, make it your life and own it.