That shame and fear play such a huge role in our lives.
“I’m not good enough, He doesn’t love me, I don’t think I’ll get that job, She doesn’t appreciate me”- sound familiar?
The “Shame” Voice
We all know that critical voice that always seems to creep in at the worst times leading you to experience doubt, fear, uncertainty, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and shame.
As Brene Brown shares in her research, we experience shame when I am enough turns into Am I REALLY enough?
For many of us, shame and fear get triggered frequently. Often, when we experience any type of discomfort (in a relationship, in a social situation, at work, with family or friends) it can trigger the failure cue– leading us to go into our story of not being enough. This is where it gets dangerous as we often find ourselves reacting based off that story. The underlying fear of “I’m not enough” is so powerful that it actually hijacks our limbic system- sending you into fight or flight. When we feel small, unlovable or unworthy, it threatens our core survival instincts. So you may find yourself getting defensive, shutting down, avoiding certain situations or people. Exactly what we don’t want to do- we do! These behaviors often then block connection and support, which only reinforce those beliefs that you are not enough or don’t matter.
This is important- because life is constantly changing- So it’s a vicious trap and holds you back from living the life you truly want to live!
Don’t hide in the dark..
We feel most alive when we are connected with others and sharing our stories. When you are able to honor your experience and own your story, true healing occurs. The less you talk about these parts of you (fear, doubt, shame, hurt), the bigger they become. Once you name it- you then have power to change it.
- Identify the triggers for your shame– What just happened before you formed the negative story and judgements about the situation? Notice what happened in your body as you experience this cue?
- Slow down and do a reality check– What is the behavior you are engaging in? Stop. Slow down. Recognize that you may be having the thought, or experiencing the feeling, but it is not who you are. You are the one having the experience. Imagine that you are the sky. And your experiences (fear, doubt, shame, discomfort, pain, anxiety) are the weather. They are always changing.
- Name it– This takes a willingness to lean in to the discomfort and vulnerability, which is not easy, in fact, it can sometimes feel darn near impossible. But this is the most important step in doing something different. These beliefs and stories have the most power when they are unspoken- but once you name it- it is no longer apart of who you are, just apart of your experience.
When you can make meaning of your emotions and speak them vulnerably, you can then choose your actions. Just because you are feeling uncertain about getting a new job, this doubt does not need to prevent you from applying as that limits your experience. You can choose to act according to what truly matters to you and live your best life, even if shame, fear, doubt, hurt and uncertainty still creep in. These experiences only have as much power as you give them.