When we experience shame, we live in constant fear of being rejected. Often we don’t even realize that shame is driving our feelings of not being good enough. And we become trapped in avoidance strategies we create to escape the pain. This leaves us in a perpetual state of unrest and denial of the truth of our power over our thoughts.
At work this shows up as edginess, control, lack of connectedness, and withdrawal. Thus robs you of executive presence and effectiveness. In relationships it shows up the same way.
It took me a long time to realize shame was behind my executive exterior. I was successful yet not connecting with colleagues, friends and family in a way I’d have liked. It took a lot of soul searching and humility to admit I felt unloved, unliked and unworthy after my divorce. When I could finally admit that, I could then be kinder and gentler with myself. It was a sigh of relief to not have to pretend I was anything more than I was - not perfect....
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