A blog by Claire Standen Coaching
What can I add to the conversation about shame, that Brene Brown (the famous shame researcher) hasn’t already said? Well, I guess my personal take. Shame is such a sneaky human emotion. I don’t want to talk about emotions as if they’re actual ‘things’ yet it seems shame would have us believe we’re really not worth anything, or that we’re failures... or that we’ve screwed up massively and fallen short of expectations. What I want you to know is that shame is not coming from ‘out there’. It’s not inflicted upon you by anyone. And it’s not an actual thing. We can’t extract it in an operation. But we can do some pretty cool stuff to be free from it. To that end, I’m going to tell you a story. It’s the story of my decision to leave my husband, and that’s a spoiler. What went before was driven by shame. I don’t know how long I ‘knew’, but it’s fair to say I didn’t act straight away. It was only when I realised that one of the principal reasons I hadn’t acted on the knowing was because I was concerned what people might think, that I realised I was jeapordising my happiness and, indeed, my life- as a result of what people might think. Here’s how I reframed it: I get this one wild and precious life, and I deserve to be happy. I will not jeapordise that for the sake of what people might think when they hear the news. After all, they’ll soon be getting on with their lives again and me giving me and my marital status another moments thought. Screw you, shame! And it worked. I left. But did shame leave? Well, kind of. It has layers. The deeper I’m able to explore what really makes me happy, the more I realise shame has been a component of not accessing that happiness over the years. All those shoulds and musts... Which brings me to an important idea, that has bought me great freedom from shame and all its little pals: fear, hurt, sadness, anger... you name it! The idea/ conceit/ thought/ mantra goes like this; ‘There is no rule in the Universe that says.... you have to do anything at all’
Claire Standen - NLP Mind Coach
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