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....
This week a very capable client was struggling with some of the work I am having her do around ‘doubt’ and ‘letting go.’ She said she “came up blank” on what she was angry about, what she can terminate right now, where she feels shame and what she feared.
Questioning our thoughts and feelings often uncovers that they are assumptions and not true at all. These questions help you get deeply into the thoughts and feelings that hold you back - keep you guarded, resentful or powerless. Nobody wants to face them. But, if we don’t they chase us down the rest of our lives. Think of the last time you lashed out, withdrew, or quit something. What FEELING was at the heart of the behavior? I want you to be able to re-examine that feeling as to whether it is an assumption or really true. (This photo shows the process of finding the pause moment to accomplish this strategy.
She then shared that she does feel shame around weight and being...