Shame. It’s that 5-letter word that seems to always sit in the back of our minds as we question our past mistakes and missteps.
It’s that ongoing mental loop we find ourselves in, wondering if we’re good enough or if we have what it takes to accomplish what we desire.
And when you strive for success in life, thinking that you’re not good enough can, unfortunately, lead to even more feelings of self-doubt, making you lose the self-confidence you need to accomplish anything!
So! How do we move past these feelings? How do we practice self-forgiveness? How do we convince ourselves that we aren’t imposters and truly ARE enough?
Well, there are a few things you can do to not only take responsibility for past mistakes but also overcome the shame and doubt keeping you stuck.
So let me ask you this: Have you ever made a mistake and then spent time beating yourself up over it?
Maybe you think that your work isn’t good enough. Or that your opinions don’t hold enough value or meaning, so you choose not to speak up at all.
Or maybe something in your past is secretly haunting you, so much so that you keep replaying your mistakes over and over again in your head.
Well, the reality is, a lot of people tend to do this. They allow shame and self-doubt to dominate their lives rather than moving past such feelings.
The good news is that you CAN overcome shame by understanding how shame works – what it is, why we feel shame, and where it comes from. Just about everyone feels shame at one point or another in their life, but it doesn't have to control you.
The reason why so many get trapped in feelings of shame is that they become consumed with seeing themselves through the eyes of others.
You see, shame usually comes from external sources of judgment. So that inner critic that makes us doubt ourselves is often an internalization of others' voices telling us that we’re not good enough.
For example, if you are ashamed about something that happened in high school, then you might have had teachers or peers who were shaming you at that time. Or perhaps you were simply made fun of by other kids your age, and you internalized that shame and brought it with you into adulthood.
This is why shame and self-doubt can be so crippling. It’s an emotion that gives us the impression that we've done something wrong. In turn, making us want to hide or never go after our innermost dreams and desires.
Awareness + Forgiveness
So first, becoming aware of the negative self-talk you practice is crucial to moving past feelings of shame and doubt. Acknowledging and becoming responsible for this kind of low-frequency behavior can open your eyes to better decipher the narrative or story you are creating around your feelings of shame.
And then embracing the fact that not everything we think is, in fact, true. So choosing to rewrite that story and forgive yourself for your past mistakes can help you bring yourself back to reality.
Kindness + Compassion
The thing about kindness and compassion is that the more you show it, the more you’ll receive back to you. So if you find it easy to show kindness towards others, think about how rewarding it will feel to show that same level of kindness to yourself.
Instead of defaulting to that harsh inner critic, lead your thoughts with compassion, using the kind of inner dialogue that cultivates self-acceptance. So when you experience a temporary moment of shame, ask yourself, “Am I being kind to myself right now?” And then continue to make that your new inner dialogue.
Environment + Relationships
It’s also important to surround yourself with people who accept you no matter what. So that’s friends, family, coworkers, and so on who do not judge you for who you are or what has happened in your life.
The same goes for your environment. Being mindful of triggering environments is an excellent way to stop shame in its tracks. Whether that’s in the workplace, at school, or around certain groups of people, knowing when to remove yourself from toxic environments can help keep your head in the game and away from sabotaging self-doubt.
So now that you see how and why shame can have such a powerful impact on the trajectory of our lives, are you ready to do things differently this time around?
Well, the journey to erasing the limiting beliefs that fill you with shame, self-doubt, and even fear may have some bumps, but getting through it IS possible. Because remember, you ARE enough.
And as a little gift to help you on your way, I’d like to offer you some guidance with our Limitless You Meditation Pack. It includes a bundle of multi-sensory mediations to put you into the most confident and empowered headspace to shift out of feelings of self-doubt. So are you ready to erase your limiting beliefs of shame and self-doubt and magnify your personal power? Go here now to get your hands on this meditation pack and watch as the barriers in your mind start to fade away.
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.