(An A to Z 2014 Challenge entry)
I am a person who struggles with Shame. It can be a big scary word that we all experience, it just tends to be scarier with those of us who struggle with it. I realized I have struggled with it for a long time, but it wasn’t until within the last year that I finally was able to identify and put a name to it (with a little bit of help).
You see, experts of shame like to compare it to a monster under the bed or in the closet. It doesn’t like to be talked about, and when we do it starts to go away — kinda like acknowledging the monster, then it is gone or less prevalent in our lives. Shame drives its power by being unspeakable, so that is why it loves perfectionists, it is often easy to keep us quiet. Perfectionists will always be their own worse enemies.
Brene Brown is a rock star when it comes to understanding shame and how to conquer it. Watch her talk, full of words of wisdom below.
I know the video is long, and highly encourage you to watch it when you have the time. If you need a condensed version, here are some closing notes and words of wisdom from one of Brene Brown’s books, Daring Greatly:
- We all experience shame. Shame is universal and one of the most primitive human emotions. The only people who don’t experience shame are those who lack the capacity for empathy and human connection.
- We are all afraid to talk about shame. The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives. There are a couple of very helpful ways to think about shame. Shame is the fear of disconnection. We are psychologically, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually hard wired for connection, love and belonging. Connection, along with love and belonging, two expressions of connection, is why we are here. And it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Shame is the fear of disconnection.
Have you ever struggled with shame? Have you ever heard or read Brene Brown before?