I Kick Ass at Life (except this one part....)

A collective theme is in the air. The energy is swirling around women feeling not good enough because of some aspect of their life that is underdeveloped. For some women it is about dating or relationships, for some it is about learning to enjoy life without substances, for some it is knowing and being seen for their strength, for some it is about starting a family, and for some it is about owning their career. 

The shame about these perceived weaknesses is palpable in my work with women. Often my clients are minimally aware of the shame in the room with us. Yet, it looms over the two of us, blocking progress and keeping them down and stuck. Like an abusive partner, telling us we are already not good enough, why bother trying, there is no way we could ever do any better. 

And this shame monster holds us captive, paralyzed. 

The thing is, shame is coming from our own body, soul, and psyche. We do this to ourselves. There is not abusive partner, no one holding us back other than ourselves. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Why are we getting in our own way?

The trouble is shame is elusive and meta. It is the feeling we feel about the feeling. And often is it what keeps us from turning anger into action. We are taught as children about the basic emotions: sadness, anger, excitement, happiness. But we are not taught about shame. Shame feels like heavy. Shame feels like warmth in our head and knots in our tummy. Shame keeps us immobilized. 

Check it out, think of a time in your past that you felt ashamed but did not want to share it with anyone because you felt different. Remember how you kept it to yourself? Remember how it kept you paralyzed and afraid someone would find you out? Remember how you tried to forget about it? How was it resolved?

Next week we will discuss how we come to these perceived deficits or weaknesses. Today, let’s start by taking an action step to release the shame. 

Today I am challenging you to share your shame with one trusted friend. The only way you will recover from this shame monster and take forward movement is by not isolating in your pain and fear. It could be a close friend, family member, or therapist. You are not alone, everyone has perceived deficits or weaknesses. Explore with your trusted confidante how keeping this to yourself affects you. 

For more on the topic of shame consider reading Brene Brown’s books: “The Gifts of Imperfection,” “The Daring Way,” and “Rising Strong.”

If you are interested in working with me as a therapist and would like a free 20 minute consultation, contact me at kim@bravecounseling.com or 240-480-0152. I work in person in Denver, CO or over secure virtual video chat for those outside of the Denver area in Colorado, Maryland, and DC.

Kimberly Ottinger