By Gina Best
Shame doesn’t make any sense. It’s not rational yet it is real.
You didn’t get it done, you forgot or you put it off. Then you get called out for it.
You didn’t do it, ok you didn’t do it.
You may feel guilty about it, you take the steps to rectify it and move on. You feel guilty – based on something you did or didn’t do. I didn’t send the information to the client, I didn’t follow up with the client, I made a mistake or maybe it’s at home, not spending enough time with my family, my friends, I was short with someone.
We realize it or it is pointed out to use and we apologize and then move forward. I am sorry, I made a mistake.
Guilt is from behaviour, it is tied to actions or lack of actions. Sometimes it big and it takes awhile to let it go and move on.
Then there is shame. This is when guilt crosses into you. This is when it goes from I made a mistake to I am a mistake. From I didn’t do enough to I am not enough. A lot of us don’t know that we are carrying the shame, it seeps in, over time and it dwells deep inside of us. We may not even know until we hit a tipping point.
Recently I had a client who was having a hard time in her new business, it’s wasn’t going the way she had imagined, she wasn’t getting the result she had hoped for. It started out she was stressed out, feeling guilty anytime she wasn’t actually working on the business and generally feeling overwhelmed about the whole thing. She questions everything she did and asked herself was she doing enough, then a few weeks later she found herself on the sofa sobbing, she wasn’t enough.
Here is the thing about shame, it can’t live if you talk about it. The more you talk about it the more it lessons. I know that sounds crazy but its true. If you don’t do anything about the shame it seeps into everything you do including your business. Also there are times in your business that feeds the shame you already have. Like my client on the couch, the not doing enough in her business seeped into her life and hence she was feeling like she wasn’t enough.
What can you do about it?
Start with a list, what do you feel shame about? This is only for you and be honest, you can’t make changes if you don’t know.
Get a piece of paper and start writing, where did it come from, what is it all about. This can take awhile and I warn you it can be challenging.
Then find a safe person, someone who will listen to you, won’t try to fix you and just listen.
It’s a great starting point, get clear, get it out of your head and start talking about it. If you need help reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.