Self-Love Challenge: Week 9: Letting Go Of Shame
WEEK 9: LETTING GO OF SHAME
PREVIOUS WEEKS IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM:
Disclosure: I am not a psychologist or any type of medical professional. This post is for entertainment purposes and if you feel it relates to you in a deep way, seek help from a licensed medical professional.
INTRO TO WEEK NINE:
What is shame? Shame is when we feel extreme humiliation or embarrassment for countless words or actions we have made in the past. Shame could also be derived through environmental factors and our upbringing making us feel inadequate.
Regardless, shame encompasses the entire being of a person.
Most of the time we dwell or hold onto these feelings and let them eat away at us. It can cause us to have low self-esteem and feel incompetent.
Let’s take a closer look at what shame means to us and how we can work towards letting it go.
LETTING GO OF SHAME:
Why is it so important to let go of shame?
Shame is a deep-rooted emotion that ties us down to negativity.
If we feel ashamed, we ARE shameful; we don’t just have it. We feel judged and highly misunderstood to the point of no return. We label ourselves as shamed and feel wrongedand worthless.
Shame is different from just feeling guilty. When we feel guilty we feel as if our behaviors were wrong. Guilt can be overcome way quicker than shame because it’s easier to address the behaviors we made versus fixing what’s feeling inferior inside of us.
So why are we still holding on to this unnecessary amount of pain?
To work on moving past it, we first need to recognize it.
I believe that there are two main reasons why we feel ashamed:
Feeling we have failed
People or things not living up to unrealistic standards
Shame can come in many forms at many different levels for each individual. So what does it look like to you? What triggers it?
Think back as far as you can go. Did you have a well-nurtured environment growing up? Do you have a lot of past traumas? What were your favorite and least favorite memories? Were you a shy child? Did you ever experience any failures?
Now, with all of your experiences which ones make you feel weak or inferior?
It may seem difficult, but we have to first acknowledge and accept before we can cope and move on.
Do you feed your mind false identities? For example, do you constantly have a poor body image? Are you telling yourself you’renot skinny enoughor pretty enoughor tan enough? Do you tell yourself you’re not successful enough? You’re not doing enough or rich enough? The questions could go on and on.
I'm guilty of these shameful questions and my guess is that you have some of your own as well.
They’re all mind games.
We’ve dug out these pathways in our mind deep enough that we full-heartedly believe that they are true. It’s time to change the direction those pathways run.
I apologize in advance because I do not have a fairy wand that will cure your shame immediately. Just like everything else in this challenge it requires action, time, patience, and perseverance.
Now that you’re getting a sense of awareness for what brings your shame, accept it completely. OWN THAT SHAME. This way you can search for the positives and counteract those shameful feelings.
First things first, journal. Journaling will always be my number one task. It is such a great coping mechanism because you can be so raw and real with just you, a pen, and a blank sheet of paper. Write it out in ways that make sense to you.
Next, talk it out. Talk about your feelings with close friends and family and even seek a counselor. Therapy sessions are great ways to talk things out and get solid advice in return. Turn to your support system and get things off of your chest.
Other ways to cope is to practice the mindfulness we have learned in previous weeks. Staying in the present moment and not having time to ruminate on what you failed to live up to is a start. Practice meditation and release all of the negative thoughts from your mind.
Continue the coping skills that work for you. Then practice it over and over again until the shame slowly dissipates.
Like mentioned previously, it takes time and practice. Fully releasing all of that built up shame will not happen instantly. Remember to give yourself grace and forgiveness during the process and dive deep into your soul.
You got this.
BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR WEEK NINE:
Intentional Living by John Maxwell.
GOALS FOR WEEK NINE:
Write everything out that brings you weakness, inferiority, and shame. Write down possibly whys for what is causing that.
Talk it out. Talk out everything you’ve potentially bottled up to a close friend or even a counselor.
Practice using different coping mechanisms that you haven’t used before. See if they work better or worse for you then previous ones. They all aren’t going to be a good fit for you.