What A Shame
SHAME IS THE BELIEF that we are bad or worthless in some way. We shame ourselves through negative self thoughts and recriminations. Shame is different from guilt, in that guilt is to feel badly about something we have done, whereas shame is to feel badly about who we are.
We might be shamed because we have been discredited or disgraced at some point in our life, and that negative memory is continually regurgitated in our mind, haunting our thoughts and undermining our belief in our self worth. Shame can also sometimes result in anger and violence that is directed at ourselves or others.
Shame can get us into a vicious cycle of sabotaging ourselves, as if to prove to ourselves, to validate and reinforce the belief of how worthless we are. This can sometimes take the form of physical and mental abuse against ourselves to violently express our anger, although this is often done unconsciously.
Also self-shame helps us remain in a victim role, as we ‘victimize ourselves’ with self-administered punishments and negative reinforcements. When shamed, we develop an internal, judgmental personality that feels badly about ourselves and condemns who we are as a person.
As a result of this, we might feel less-than our fellow human beings, perceiving ourselves as being unworthy of our place in the world. Shame is often accompanied by some degree of depression, making this feeling of worthlessness more a symptom of depression than bona fide shame.
Depression can arise from being shamed by others as well as ourselves. Surprisingly, it can be scary to leave the insular world of shame. We are so used to it being a part of who we think we are. With effort we can change, but strangely we seem to find every justification to stay in our little box of mediocrity.
We have grown accustomed to these negative beliefs as being truthful facts about who we are. Of course, this is not the case. With insight and persistence, we can change our present beliefs and perspectives into a more positive approach to our self image… even if we have harboured shame for a long time…
Dan’s Quote: “Never succumb to negative thinking about yourself.
_____________See any setback as a positive life lesson and move on.”