Wednesday, 29 March 2017 08:34

Shame on You!

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The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
Carl Jung

Raise your hand if you’ve ever messed up? And I’m talking about the biggies here, the raw, painful regrets we would happily delete from our inner hard-drive given the chance. I have a suspicion that hidden within pretty much all of us, lurks at least one shameful act, that if offered a do-over, we would grab with both hands... Or is it just me?

Shame is a very powerful emotion, one which Dr. Brené Brown, describes as the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging. It’s the most primitive human emotion we all feel and the one no one wants to talk about. So let’s buck the trend today and talk about it!

The thing about authenticity is that the moment you start trying to be fully yourself, you hit a wall of shame and vulnerability that has you wondering just what right you think you have to be yourself. It’s a crazy way of thinking, but no less agonising for it’s erroneous conclusions.

Of course, if you have done something you deeply regret, this process can be crippling. Our first instinct with shame is to hide. We go into lock down mode and hide, and not only from others, we bury shame deeply within our psyche so even we don’t have to think about it any more.

This no-go area inside ourselves becomes a mini war zone. Our defences go up and the more painful it is, the more defensive we become. As judge and jury of our actions, our certainty that we are inherently bad traps us even further. Everything becomes about staying safe and protecting this very vulnerable part of ourselves. The easiest way to do that is to isolate ourselves, or at the very least, shut down emotionally.

Life Coaching is about much more than achieving a goal. It’s about negotiating peace in our volatile and potentially dangerous inner world. Before you can go out there and get what you want, you have to know what it is you want. And to know that, you have to know more about who you are. All of you. The good, the bad and the ugly.

It’s here in this rather murky playground, as we learn to love what seems unlovable, that life coaching helps us discover what worthiness is truly about.

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Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching

I'm a Personal Development Life Coach who specialises in L.I.F.E (Living Into your Fullest Expression). Based in Richards Bay, on the East Coast of South Africa, I live with my long-suffering husband, (his description!), two much-loved dogs and care for my elderly father who has Alzheimer's.

Read more about me here.

Comments  

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# Style&Life by Susana 2017-04-11 13:24
This was such a great post! Shame is something we all feel something in our life. We just need to find a way to work through it and not be out own worst enemy xx

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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-11 14:09
Thanks Susana, and for the rest, yeah, what she said!
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# Memory 2017-04-03 17:21
What a great post. Very transparent and insightful. You are right, some people are threatened by realness. However it is so liberating to live a true and authentic life.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-03 18:02
Thanks Memory. It's sound as if you are talking about authenticity from personal experience. There is nothing quite like living authentically, it gets a double thumbs up from me!
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# Rhian Westbury 2017-04-03 10:33
I try not to regret my actions as I am very much of the feeling of things happen for a reason x
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-03 17:27
Great attitude, one which I'm sure hold you in good stead!
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# Katie Kinsley 2017-04-02 19:28
Even if I try to put on a personality to be strong, I still can feel the shame on the inside. Its a very powerful voice that says "who are you kidding?"
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-02 20:09
Yep, that's the voice that does so much damage to us on the inside. It's not the easiest voice to 'unfriend', but it's well worth the effort to do it. It constantly surprises me that for so many people, their biggest personal difficulty is a lack of trust in themselves. Big hug to you, Katie, go find that mute button!
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# Elizabeth O. 2017-04-02 07:17
And for this, I really admire what you do. It's important to bring these people out of the walls that they built and allow them to thrive and grow, and improve as an individual. Yes, we've all been there, and we never thought we could move on from the shame or that feeling of being a failure. But time heals all wounds and it's better to get out there than to lock yourself in.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-02 20:04
I had a client recently that was brave enough to talk about something that deeply shamed her. The difference to her life over the last few months, from facing and talking about it, has been phenomenal. Maybe it is what you said, Elizabeth, somehow that feeling of not being the only one to have messed up, is so healing in itself.
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# Ali Rost 2017-04-02 05:14
I'm so glad you wrote about this topic and mentioned Brene Brown's work. I've been a huge fan of hers for years. I've made so many mistakes in my life that I deeply regret. I've discovered that if I face them head on and figure out the why behind doing what I did .. I'm able to move forward and truly take a different path. Adulting is so hard ..
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-02 19:56
I love Brene Brown, she is just so special. You have put it so beautifully Ali, and I am with you on adulting being hard! It's such a lesson in self acceptance to hold the space of understanding that you did the best you could at the time, while still knowing you did not handle it in a way that you like. It takes courage to do that.
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# clairejustine 2017-04-01 12:22
Lovely post, one to get me thinking. I am always making silly mistakes, that are shamefully but nothing too big that I can think of at the minute. Might think of something later though. .
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-01 12:50
Lol, I hope you are one of the lucky ones and never think of that biggie. It's a case of it is ain't broke, don't fix it!
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# Shirley 2017-04-01 07:03
I love the post and I agreed that Life Coaching is about much more than achieving a goal. Thoughtful post.

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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-01 12:49
Thanks Shirley, life coaching can be an amazing process for the right person at the right time.
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# Mary Burris 2017-04-01 03:02
In my 50+ years on earth, I've certainly made a few blunders in my life. Some that I would truly love to erase and pretend they didn't happen. But we dust ourselves off and make the best of it and vow to move forward in our lives.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-01 12:48
Been there, done that! I honestly don't think it is possible to get through life without some shame in some form. Love your attitude of dusting yourself off!
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# Susan 2017-03-31 16:55
Wise words. Modern 'wisdom' tells us that all shame is bad and is to be avoided, but often shame helps us do what is right. I mean, someone who molests children SHOULD feel shame. Where we tend to get stuck is that we wallow in the shame, and then push it down, instead of letting it shape us into doing the right thing. It's also heartbreaking to see people overcome with shame for no reason. Such an interesting topic to explore!
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-01 12:46
I so agree with you Susan, shame has a place in our life. You captured both ends of the spectrum beautifully. At the end of the day, if we can find a way to work with shame skilfully it will benefit, not just our lives, but also our engagement with the world around us.
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# Lindsey 2017-03-31 11:41
A lovely post, and one that has got me thinking about shame and what to feels to shamed. I am sure we have all done things that have left us crippling inside and it is to be authentic to admit it, so that you can relinquish that shame.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-04-01 12:42
Thanks Lindsey. Shame seems to be one of those emotions we all have somewhere inside of us, and yeah, learning to handle it is what it's all about.
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