The only shame is to have none. ~ Blaise Pascal

 

Are you one of those fine folks out there who knows deep inside your heart-of-hearts that you really want to change a few things in your life, but you just cannot find whatever it takes (you're not sure what it is) to get going? Overcoming shame associated with not accomplishing what you want can be a first step to getting started.

 

Or are you one of those fine folks who gets super excited about an idea, but from one moment to the next, the necessary steps for completion slide off away from you, or you simply lose your original I-can-do-this feelings?

 

Or maybe this scenario fits one of you better: all of the excuses you offer after you've talked yourself out of it actually seem reasonable or sensible?

 

Do these excuses seem familiar to you?

  • It doesn't need fixing. It's okay just the way it is.
  • Nothing horrible has happened because it's there. I'll just leave it alone.
  • I'm not energetic enough with everything else on my plate to make the effort because it's way too hard.
  • If I make this change, what will my friends think about me?

Well, we're all pretty good at coming up with reasons "why-not-to," but I think all you get from excuses is negative motivations and the accompanying icky feelings.

 

Take Feelings of Shame, for example. You've got a list an arm-length's long about business ideas you could do from home while you're raising your children. Yes, they demand full time attention, it would seem. And yes, your ideas are still swirling around inside your mind. You change your business name and title inside Facebook every time a new idea hits. But you don't take one step toward making any of your business ideas a reality.

 

You are left with feelings of shame as a result. Your friends and family learn that your ideas are like so much smoke. Shame fills your throat and your stomach twists when you return to one of your own ideas. Your self-talk becomes negative and shameful because you know you've let yourself down again. Your self-worth feelings deteriorate into "I'll never amount to anything," the same message your mother pounded into when you were a little girl.

 

The shame blossoms inside of you into something with which you are no longer able to cope. In your heart of hearts, you do care about your own ideas, but the habitual shame to which you've become accustomed torments you. You'd like to actually follow through on one of your ideas, but your shame is paralyzing you. It just feels easier to "forget about it."

 

How About a New Way To Overcoming Shame?

 

While it may be a new insight to realize that you have made a habit of feeling shame, and that it is seriously holding you in a place where you don't seem to be able to move forward, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

 

You might speak to your spouse or significant other about what you've just realized. Do you wonder how your lack of follow through on your ideas is affecting him or the family? Ask him to tell you. And then ask him if he could help you take just one next step toward it's accomplishment so you are not left inside the Shame Bubble you're so accustomed to.

If speaking to your partner won't work for whatever good reasons you might have, consider speaking to another: perhaps a minister, a teacher, a grandparent, a parent, a counselor. You can learn new ways to become more productive and fulfill your own desires without sliding into shame.

 

You can turn what is a negative habit into something more motivating, more positive. You can enjoy telling stories about your actual progress and see the approval in the eyes of your friends and family, and not the old turning away because they know you don't follow through. You can learn to motivate yourself to just take that one next step as you see it and learn to overcome shame.

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