(Photo by Askhar David.)
You’d be surprised, maybe shocked at how many suffer shame at some level. About a quarter of my clients are uber-successful athletes, artists, and executives, yet most will sooner or later admit to battling shame. You not alone.
If you live with shame, become curious of it instead of afraid. When you face it with an open heart, you’re on the path to finding joy. You can build a new existence, perhaps one that feels small and flawed, but honest, each day accumulating treasure.
Instead of running away or ignoring your shame, welcome it. Like negativity, when you shine the light on shame, it will often shrink. It can be like an interesting artifact. When you carry an image of shame about you, you tend to project it into all kinds of harmless other items. It creates imaginary worlds inside your head that are invisible to others.
It’s time to step into the light and come out of hiding, to be seen with fears and failures, warts and yes, shame. You have countless opportunities to reinvent yourself. Just tackle one thing at a time and rejoice these moments.
You may feel like you are running out of time or have some expiration date, but that makes no sense. It’s your job to cast out your shame forever no matter your failed attempts. Choose narratives that make you feel more alive and contribute to this often twisted world. Treat yourself as a loving parent would. You’re sitting upon a pile of diamonds that you’ve accumulated, but don’t notice simply because shame has blinded you.
It’s okay to be worried or feel despair for that’s what humans often feel. That’s part of survival and growing. Just don’t let your shame build a merciless story of your worth, but rather construct something else from your shame.
Don’t worry about what needs fixing, because nothing does except to live in your reality. Investigate your shame like a scientist, celebrating and even lamenting it. When you treasure it, it opens you up to your little awkward moments, reaching out to others, and perhaps even to a little creativity or inspiration. For sure it can build empathy for others.
Remember to own your full self. Feel proud of even your small creations, the places you’ve visited, the acquaintances you’re fond of as well as those forgotten. They all add up to the treasure of you. After all, you’re human. That’s a success. Everything matters. Open your eyes, look at what you have now and in the past. This is where it all begins. Your future self will thank you.