This week in the membership one of my members was talking about the question that another member had asked during our previous session.
The man I was coaching said, “when That guy asked that question, it was as if he had been reading my mind.”
This is the amazingness that comes from being part of the membership. You get to hear the questions you didn’t even know how to ask, asked for you!
This moment was when I decided that I needed to answer that question for you all, here on the podcast.
As part of the coaching I do, often we talk about shame and how to manage and deal with it.
The question we’re talking about was part of this discussion about minimizing shame in our lives.
The question was, “what is a good way to not let myself feel so much shame when I act on my urges?”
First off, let’s talk about why we feel shame.
Knowing what shame is gives us the ammunition we need to actually end it.
Shame is often contrasted with guilt.
The thing about guilt is that it can be a powerful catalyst for change.
Guilt is about learning that what you have done is not what you would like to have done, had you been able to.
I’ve heard it said this way and this definition works for me.
Guilt comes when I understand that what I’ve done is not right for me.
Guilt comes when I’ve acted incorrectly, based on my own sense of right and wrong and according to my agency within the framework of truths I hold.
As brene brown put it, guilt is I did something bad.
Shame on the other hand, is not about a behavior, but about our sense of who we are.
Shame comes when when I believe that what I’ve done makes me bad, irredeemable and unacceptable.
Shame comes when I’ve acted contrary to my framework of truth knowing that I’m discarding my own sense of what is right and wrong and feel incapable of exercising my own agency.
Again, going back to brene brown, Shame is, I am bad.
So “What is a good way to not let myself feel so much shame when I act on my urges?”
Here are 3 things that you need to do to eliminate shame when you have acted on urges that don’t fit your idea of who you want to be.
First, you need to decide that this is an opportunity to learn
Learn something move forward.
Second thing you’ll need to eliminate shame when you’ve acted on your urges is talk to someone you trust.
- Create intimacy
- Practice openness.
Third thing, understand that you are enough.
Each of these things will help you eliminate shame and understand that you are not bad.
Hopefully they will serve to strengthen your capacity to exercise your agency, accept responsibility for your actions and shape the person you want to be.