The word “shame” followed by the comment “You are too hard on yourself ”
I have been a huge fan of Brene Brown for a few years now. I commonly refer to her books as “toss’ers.” I read them, she hits a nerve and I toss the book out the window or across the room. Normally, five to ten minutes later I go grab the book and continue reading. She is a researcher that studies shame, guilt and vulnerability. I have put a link down below to one of her first talks at a TED conference a few years back as well as links to 2 of her books that are favorites of mine.
Brene defines shame as “…the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” Shame is something that every human being capable of emotion feels, but it is also something that people sweep under the rug and don’t talk about. You may experience shame in the amount of financial debt you are carrying and having to “keep up appearances” with friends and family. You may experience shame in not being smart enough or qualified enough when turned down for a promotion so you tell your friends a lie to cover it up. A person may experience shame after being sexually assaulted and not want to tell anyone. Someone may experience shame when they have gained 336lbs because they have never really felt like they fit in anywhere. Every human being has experienced shame on one level or another and choose to bury it deep inside, sweep it under the rug because it is awkward and uncomfortable to talk about. Hiding the shame and guilt you feel about things in your life doesn’t make them go away, experiencing them and talking about them does.
“You are too hard on yourself Nikki” Of course I am that is why I gained 336 lbs. I have been living in a world of shame, constantly striving to be perfect, too fit in, too be liked by people I meet. I have this co-worker who constantly makes comments about how I shuffle my feet. I am pretty certain the sound she is referring to is my pants/thighs rubbing together when I walk, but I actually found myself trying to adjust the way I walk when going past her desk as not to disturb her.
It is ridiculous to live in this constant state of shame. This is me, this is my body and I am not going to apologize for it anymore. If someone doesn’t like me, that says more about them than it does me. I am not going to beat myself up anymore for being who I am. This is what that post was about. It is about me not being hard on myself anymore, no more apologizing. No, I am not going to go out there and start being a beotch, but I am going to stop apologizing all the time and hiding who I really am.
I truly believe that if people spoke more about the things that made them uncomfortable…can you imagine how different your life would be? All the time you spent worrying and stressing about it in your brain…gone! That was me stressing and worry about people finding out the number of the scale and always apologizing for being me, gone. I have a lot of free brain power and I love it!
Talk about the one thing in your life that you stress and worry about so much. That one things you fear judgment on or that one thing that you think defines you as not being worthy of love and connection.
Here is a clip of Brene. Enjoy….
Here are the links to the 2 books…