In Part 1 we talked about how I define Shame. There’s the feeling of shame which is expressed as ashamed and then a thought/false belief component of being “less than”. It’s important to have a very clear understanding of what shame is before attempting to even understand what its affects are.
In Part 2 I shared ways in which Shame kills our Self Esteem and hopefully showed you why it’s so devastating to our sense of self. Ultimately, shame prevents us from living the life we want and and deserve. This is why I’m going to show you how to live the most “powerful you” by looking at ways in which we can destroy the affects of shame.
As I discussed in Part 2 of this series, generally speaking the affects of shame (i.e.; false beliefs) happen over a period of time. They’re caused by the things our caregivers say, our teachers say, friends, and so on. It takes years before our beliefs go from acknowledging our goodness, beauty, and intelligence to believing we’re not good enough, ugly, and stupid. What’s worse is that the underlying false beliefs aren’t really even visible to us. We can see the ramifications of carrying these beliefs but it’s not like we’re wearing a sign that reads, “Hey, I think I’m not good enough!”.
So I have some good news and I have some bad news. Which do you want to hear first?
Well, the good news is I have tools to share with you that will help to change these false beliefs around. It is possible and very likely that you can go from believing you’re not good enough to believing you are! Even better, once you have your power back you’ll start acting on your new beliefs of Enough, Beautiful, Intelligent, and Important. Think for a moment what your life would look like today if you (deep down inside) truly believed you were Enough. I get chills just thinking of all the amazing things that would manifest in my life if I had truly believed in my own goodness.
Unfortunately, there is some bad news that I have to share though. I don’t have a magic pill for you. No, you can’t just “BE POSITIVE”. No, you can’t just do yoga or meditate or read some book. Sure, all of these things will help but what it’s going to take is conscious DAILY practice. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other night and I told him, “I spent 38 years of my life practicing to suck at life. I need to practice for the rest of my life how to not suck at life.”
No, it’s not going to take the rest of your life to see significant change. You can start seeing changes immediately. However, you’re going to have to put in the work, allow yourself to slip up, and keep doing it over and over and over. Remember, you were born with all of your inherent qualities intact. You didn’t start having thoughts that you weren’t enough until after people convinced you that you weren’t. What you need to do is convince yourself every day that you are enough. You can’t do this once a month or even once a week. It has to be every day!
I know you can do this! I know you will start to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! I know that you don’t have to take the shaming from others! I know how amazing and magnificent you are and you need to know too!
5 Steps To Living The Most Powerful You!
Step 1: Awareness
You can’t change anything until you’re aware of what needs to be changed. The first step is to figure out what your false belief is. Now, most people have many different false beliefs but you can focus on one for right now. Remember, a false belief is anything that contradicts your inherent nature. So any underlying belief that you are not good enough, not beautiful, not intelligent, not worthy, not lovable, not important, or not connected would be some examples.
Step 2: Acceptance
You need to begin the process of contradicting these false beliefs and this can be very painful. Many people have been shamed so bad that they deeply believe these false beliefs and to contradict them almost feels like death. We’ve held these false beliefs as a mode of comfort and love in many cases, as odd as that may seem. However, we must practice daily by reminding ourselves that we are our inherent qualities and not the false beliefs.
We need to do this when we’re feeling happy as well as when we’re feeling sad and mad. Remember, when Aunt Sally shamed you at 4-years old she didn’t first ask how you were feeling. Those that shame don’t care or even need to know how you feel, they just shame you. Ridding shame from our lives isn’t a matter of feeling a certain way, like happy. So to unravel this we need to remember that the truth about who we are need not be dependent on our feelings.
Step 3: Return the Shame
Now, I’m not suggesting that you go out and shame the people that shamed you into carrying these false beliefs. It’s very easy to get into a blame game here where you’re so focused on blaming Mom who made you feel not good enough. However, we don’t want to blame as that will just keep us in the victim role. Instead, we need to accept that these people were doing the best they could under the circumstances. This isn’t excusing what they did. It’s allowing us to accept it and to forgive ourselves from staying small.
In essence we’re not really returning the shaming but rather the “shaming feelings” they dumped on us. If they made us feel not good enough then we need to give “not good enough” back to them. This can be a mental exercise and I highly recommend against physically giving anything back to any caregiver. Remember, this work is internal and we can do this even with people that have passed on.
Step 4: Feelings Check
Determine whether you’re having adult/present time feelings or carried feelings of shame. While I always advocate that you are not your feelings, they are still a crucial navigator in determining your moment to moment response in life. What this means is that your feelings serve a crucial clue in determining whether your response to a situation is shame based (stems from a false belief) or if it’s a present time feeling response.
Listen closely to your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. They will tell you a lot about the meanings you’re applying to the thoughts you’re having. Generally speaking if your false beliefs don’t have a lot of power over you, you will experience moderate swings and levels of feelings throughout the day. Yes, you will experience sadness, disappointment, anxiety, and anger but they will all be very short-lived and not intense. This is why it’s so important to notice those times when you’re having very powerful expressions of a feeling. It’s telling you something and it wants to shine light on that false belief.
Step 5: Start Expressing Your Powerful Truth
Make your Inherent qualities your starting place instead of your false belief. Instead of walking into a crowded room of strangers thinking nobody is going to want to talk to me or that you don’t belong, start with your truth in mind! Walk into that room deciding that you are connected, you are lovable, you are intelligent, and you are beautiful. If these are your starting places in life, the way you respond to these situations will be so different.
Taking your power back involves truly believing in your truth. The truth that you are honest, you are magnificent, you are worthwhile, you are whole, you are intelligent, and that you are precious. You were put here to express your truth, your inherent qualities. If our lives were lived starting with all these qualities in mind this world would be so different! Dreams would be lived, wars would be something you read about in books, racism would be a thing of the past, homophobia, discrimination, crime, suicide, and a long laundry list of horrible situations we still find ourselves in today. They all point back to false belief and that false belief always come from the abuse of shame at the hands of others.
We no longer need to be victims of the abusive shame other people put on us. I know you must be as tired as I am thinking poorly of ourselves and not believing our truth. It doesn’t have to be this way and in fact, it shouldn’t be this way. Be gentle with yourself, get support, and keep your head up knowing you are so much more than you ever thought you could be. Today is the day you get to decide you are going to be that person!
If you’re ready to start your journey and want to find out specifically what your false beliefs are and what you can do to get them out of your life then consider working with me!
With Gratitude and Appreciation,
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