“What we don’t need in the midst of a struggle is shame for being human” – Brené Brown
When times get tough, the tough get going…so they say. But putting overwhelming pressure on yourself to be your best while the world is spinning in chaos is also not very realistic. If you are like me (aka, a self-proclaimed perfectionist), you may be feeling guilt + shame during this pandemic for things such as:
- That you aren’t helping out enough
- That you aren’t being as productive as you should be
- That you aren’t proving what a badass you are even in our current trouble times.
- That you aren’t pivoting your business into something bigger + better.
- That you have extra time now to do things you’ve been putting off, yet you still haven’t accomplished them.
- That you aren’t making the correct decisions during this season of life even though you’ve never lived through a pandemic before.
While it’s amazing if you can pivot your business during this pandemic or accomplish your BHAG goals that you never had time for before, shaming yourself for struggling to be productive and attaining all of your goals will not get you anywhere. Especially while you are likely also dealing with a mix bag of other emotions due to the pandemic and the world’s social injustices, such as fear, anxiety, sadness, + anger. (Let’s be real…2020 had been a rough year for us all!)
Something I want to offer is that while it may seem like the world is shaming you for not being a better person, shame is ALWAYS internal. It’s created by your thoughts. The circumstances and the external world may trigger those thoughts, but ultimately your own thoughts are the only ones that will create your feelings of shame. And guess what…when you feel shameful, do your actions + results come from a good place? Heck no! So you ultimately end up standing in your own damn way!
So how can you cope and overcome these feelings of shame you might be having right now? Below are some of my best tips for working through shame.
Tip #1 – Acknowledge your shame.
It can sometimes be hard to distinguish between guilt and shame. Guilt can be adaptable + helpful. i.e., “I did something bad + I can change it.” Whereas shame is an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that you are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. I.e., “I AM bad.” Learning to recognize when you are feeling shame vs. guilt is important.
It’s also important to step back and ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way? Is there evidence to prove that I’m bad?” Go through and list all of your beliefs that are causing you to feel shameful and challenge them. Try to be as constructive as possible though with this activity.
Tip #2 – Reevaluate your environment.
Do you find yourself scrolling through your social media feeds with all these high-achievers and it is making you feel like less? Are you engaging with people that are constantly putting others down for their views + beliefs? Maybe it’s time to step away from those people and situations and find others that will accept you + support you, while also helping you feel connected + loved. Stop measuring yourself up against others’ standards that make you feel bad.
Tip #3 – Focus on your strengths.
As much as I would like to be perfect, I’m not. You’re not. None of us are. So instead of putting your focus on the things you are doing wrong or the things you haven’t accomplished yet, switch to focusing on what you are doing well. What have you already had success with? Reminding yourself what you are good at will help to build up your self-esteem and propel you forward in a positive manner.
Tip #4 – Learn to be more self-compassionate + allow for vulnerability.
I always go back to the question, “Would you ever say those same mean nasty things that you say to yourself in your head to your best friend’s face?” Probably not. Aim to be more forgiving of who you are and what you may or may not have done.
And remember, when you allow yourself to be more vulnerable, you are far more likely to see your desired success. If you are moving forward, you are trying new things and there’s a good chance you will fail. And not just once, but many, many times. Failing forward is what allows for growth and becoming the best version of yourself. Knowing that you will mess up sometimes doesn’t mean you are a mess up, it just means that you haven’t found the right tactic yet.
Tip #5 – We are all only human.
We are all just trying to do the best that we can. You may think that you want to do the right thing, but what is the “right thing” exactly? None of us really know. So instead of shaming yourself into doing what is “right”, do what feels “good” and what feels like positive personal growth. And remember as the wise Brené Brown once said, “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
Do you think you could use some more personalized tips on dealing with guilt + shame with your workload + in your business? If you think you might be interested in some business coaching, contact me for a mentoring session and we will work together to help you get past your limiting beliefs and closer to the success you want!