Shame Keeps Us Stuck. Taking Responsibility Frees Us.
How often have you felt guilty or “ashamed” about yourself or about something you did?
For example, have you ever felt “ashamed” about:
- yelling at your kids?
- being overweight?
- drinking one too many glasses of wine the night before?
- not being further along in your career than you “should” be?
As Don Miguel Ruiz writes: “Human beings are the only species on the planet who punish themselves over and over again.”
Repeatedly feeling ashamed just keeps us stuck.
How Can You Take Responsibility Instead of Sitting in Shame?
When I feel “shame,” it is because of my thinking. It is an emotion that really doesn’t move me forward.
When I feel guilty or ashamed, I try to be curious and compassionate about why I am thinking that way.
Then I do my best to take Responsibility for what I am feeling badly about.
For example, if I yelled at my kids (which never happens 😀) and I didn’t want to, I might feel ashamed.
However, if I take responsibility for yelling and admit I was wrong, my shame dissipates.
I can say to my child, “I am sorry I yelled, but I was very angry that you lied to me about X.” If this happens again, rather than yelling at you, I am going to enforce the consequence of Y.”
How Taking Responsibility Can Free Us of Shame
In response to the questions above, ask yourself this – instead of feeling ashamed…
- How can I take responsibility for my weight and health, and also get support to help me lose it?
- How can I take responsibility for drinking too much and make a plan to not do it again?
- How can I take responsibility for where I am in my career and make a plan to figure out my next steps?
As with everything, remember to be curious and compassionate about your “shame” first.
Then see how you can take responsibility – even in the tiniest way.
Try it, and let me know if you feel more FREE!
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