Shame is excruciating and harmful.
At its core, shame is the belief that we’re not good enough. Childhood is where most people acquire this message and the resulting shame-related wounds.
What Contributes to Toxic Shame?
Childhood abuse, neglect, trauma, bullying… all these instances can plant the seed of shame and send the message to those suffering from it that they’re flawed.
Many people sincerely believe they’re inadequate and need to hide who they are – work as hard as possible – in order to “earn” their worth.
They end up never connecting to their true authentic self. They self-abandon, deem themselves unworthy, and spend a lifetime taking cues from society – being who they think they’re supposed to be – instead.
It can lead them to becoming hyper-consumed with work and material wealth, as they seek desperately to try and compensate for how little they value themselves, never pausing to have self-compassion, and understand that as children, much of what happens to us is beyond our control: it’s not a reflection of our inherent worth as a human being.
Often, shame contributes to addiction.
Sometimes, shame is buried so deep, it goes undetected. It’s been our inner monologue – directing our actions for such a long time – that we don’t recognize as something other than yourself.
Here’s the truth: you are good enough, just as you are. No amount of money, “likes,” accolades or accomplishments will make you “more worthy.” Your inherent worth as a human being is a given.
Yet in this world of hustle, of trying to please everyone, of wanting to be liked and fit in, this truth is promptly forgotten. Or it’s recognized intellectually, but not deep down, where we need to hear and understand it mos
There’s good news though. For those carrying shame, you don’t have to live with it forever. If you’re ready to let it go, here are some ways that can help combat toxic shame.
1. Speak to a Therapist
For those keen on getting rid of toxic shame asap, therapy is the best way to go about it. The Relationship Therapy Center provides individual counseling in Roseville and Fair Oaks, two convenient Northern California locations.
Our therapists help patients explore and examine the cause of the toxic shame, and work to eradicate it – and all the ways it holds them back.
2. Examine Your Perspective
Shame can keep us from doing things we dream about. It can lead to a crippling fear of failure, because we’re so worried about the subsequent embarrassment if we don’t get it right.
Many people allow big emotions like shame and fear act as a barricade between them and their dreams. They obey them, stay within the allotted confines, never questioning why. Many people think failing means they are a failure.
In reality, it’s not that dramatic.
They may not have hit the intended mark, but it doesn’t have any bearing on who they are as a person. In addition, the knowledge gained from trying something is extremely valuable, regardless of the outcome.
What are some ways shame is holding you back, and how is your perspective letting it continue to control your behavior?
3. Have Self Compassion
Shame eats away at self-compassion, which can lead to more shame.
Remember, no matter who you are or what your title is, you are worthy of love. You don’t have to achieve anything to be worthy. You don’t have to extend yourself and please everyone to be worthy. Do your best to honor yourself, all the parts of yourself. If you need to rest, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re lazy.
No matter what you do or don’t do you deserve kindness and compassion.
A lot of the things we feel ashamed about are things that society pushes us towards; tells us we should have or be.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness seems to make its way into everything these days, right?
Here’s why. Our world is full of distractions – things that pull us away from our center. Mindfulness invites a pause, a chance to breathe before we react.
When there’s the potential of being flooded with shame, it’s no different. To the best of your ability, breathe and observe.
Remind yourself, you are safe.
It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s part of being human.
5. Be Clear About Your Values
Some people may feel shame because they don’t have a higher education, they don’t make as much money as their peers, or they don’t like their appearance.
Yet if you value true connection, none of this has much of a bearing on the superficial stuff. Love, connection, joy – all of that comes when you’re able to see yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and understand that you’re no better or worse than anyone else.
Sometimes, having boundaries that protect us – our core values; our definition of success – from what society defines as successful, is a good thing. It’s very freeing.
6. Don’t Expect Change Overnight
This may be the most important one. Many people try something once, and totally dismiss it if it doesn’t yield immediate results.
Think about this for a moment: People who suffer from toxic shame have carried it with them for decades. They’ve made countless choices from that shame tainted perspective. Thus, change will take time and require both patience and compassion.
Therapy is an excellent way to discard toxic shame. Your therapist will be able to help guide you with compassion and offer a clear unbiased perspective.
Human beings are complex, and life can be tough and unfair.
However, you have a say in what happens next. You can always search ‘therapist near me,’ or if you’re a Northern California resident, our clinicians would love to see you at either our Roseville or Fair Oaks location. Give us a call or text, we’re here to help whenever you’re ready.
Therapy in Roseville, CA, Fair Oaks, CA, or Online in California:
If you are ready to change your life for the better, we can help. To begin therapy at our Sacramento area locations or online, follow these steps:
- Contact the Relationship Therapy Center and schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to learn more.
- Meet with one of our talented therapists
Services Offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include, anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.