So today I was sitting and watching a live webinar on showing up with total transparency in your business and in the middle of the presentation the presenter lit up a cigarette and kept right on presenting.
I was shocked. I was charmed.
You may think, "Charmed, really? More like gross. Who smokes anymore?". But me, I fell absolutely in love with this cheeky presenter. Why? Because she didn't give a flying f*** what people thought of her or her smoking habit. She was shameless!
I'm not advocating for smoking. It is gross. I know because for may years I lit up on a regular basis until I completely disgusted myself and stopped. But before I disgusted myself, I was aware of how much my habit disgusted others (and by extension how disgusting that made me) and I felt SHAME.
God bless Brené Brown for bringing shame out into the open and exposing it as a part of the human experience. If you haven't seen Brené speak or read her books, I suggest you do so a.s.a.p.
"Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change."
This quote sheds some light on why shame is so crippling. We get mired in it and become convinced that we are stuck. We feel unworthy of helping ourselves or asking others for help.
Shame is a word that comes up a lot in my work with clients, especially with women. Women are ashamed of their weight, of how much they drink, of their untidy house...Basically they are ashamed that they are not perfect.
It's true my clients aren't perfect. I'm not perfect. And no one on the planet is perfect. We just tend to think that everyone else has got their s*** together because they're not advertising that they don't.
One of the side effects of shame is how it isolates us. It's very common to withdraw from friends and social situations when shame has its hold on you. This just feeds the shame cycle.
So what's the fix? If shame is bringing you down, what can you do about it? The two antidotes to shame are: 1) self-compassion, and 2) emotional connection with others.
Self-compassion involves being as kind and loving to yourself as you would be to your child or your best friend. This isn't easy. We judge on ourselves so damn hard and forget that being imperfect is part of being human. See if you can give yourself a little grace.
Emotional connection requires that you fight the urge to withdraw and isolate yourself. It's tragic that when we really need the most support, our instinct is to push it away because we feel unworthy. If we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable and admit that we are feeling ashamed, we open ourselves up to a deep connection.
Shame is a sticky emotion. Self-compassion and emotional connection are the ways that we help ourselves and ask others for help when shame tries to settle in.
Don't forget...Ready, Steady, SWEATY starts November 26th (that's the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend). It's going to be a mind-body-palooza!!