Actually, shame is all about me – and why I feel not worthy.
Most of us battle shame – often, this is an intensely personal battle that we fight alone. And spend a lifetime losing – continually! According to Brene Brown, shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. Many of us don’t see it because we camouflage it so well: being busy, buying stuff, or exhausting ourselves for artificial medals (that big promotion! The new car! House!) or external affirmation (Head Office loves me!).
Remove the camouflage and shame is really the fear of disconnection – the fear that we will not ‘achieve’ something, a ‘standard’ that we will not be able to live up to, or ‘performance’ that will not affirm who we are. In essence, shame is the fear of feeling unworthy. Latest brain science tells us that the pain of social rejection and disconnection is real pain – that’s why we do our best to hide shame, it’s real pain!
How do we hide our shame? We hide shame to protect ourselves, and we do it by blaming something or someone, rationalizing things, wiggling out of situations, or plain ‘just hiding’. Not dealing with shame is dangerous because it’s highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders and bullying. Learning to deal with shame starts with developing ‘shame resilience’ – the ability to practice authenticity when we experience shame, and to move through the experience without sacrificing our values, and to come out on the other side with more courage, compassion, and connection that we had going into it.
It’s hard to do it alone! Developing shame resilience works best when you have someone to support you, in a safe and confidential space, to help you work through these areas that defeat you. Why fight a losing battle?
Why battle alone? Work with us in personal coaching or coaching supervision to help you start your journey towards developing shame resilience. Contact for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Reference: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown)