Shame: Is It a Choice or a Reality

Shame: Is It a Choice or a Reality

There are many different intensities of shame.

When you suffer from chronic shame you believe that you are:

  • Wrong;
  • Defective;
  • Inferior;
  • Inadequate;
  • Not good enough, and/or
  • Not strong enough, every day.

You most likely internalise everything that happens to you, and over personalise a situation.

If the feeling of shame is overwhelming, it can make you feel worthless and reluctant to face the thing causing you to feel shame, to act or to correct it.

Everyone experiences shame and the emotional experience of shame through negative self-talk.

Brene Brown says, “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”

Also, there is an intense fear of rejection when people know the truth about you, your beliefs and struggles, or even of your success.

Shame shows up in “familiar places, including appearance and body image, family, parenting, money and work, health, addiction, sex, aging, and religion,” says Brown. “To feel shame is to be human.”

Have you ever said to yourself?

  • I’m unsuccessful;
  • I’m not good looking enough, or
  • I’m not worth it?

You are not alone!

Everyone experiences shame in their day to day lives.


Women and Men Experience Shame Differently

Men and women experience shame differently

There is a difference between how men and women experience shame, and the issues they face with shame.

Society has placed a lot of pressure on how people should look, feel and behave.

Men feel like they must have a certain athletic body, be strong and silent with their feelings and be right all the time.

If they get something wrong, they may feel like a failure.

When men feel shame, they may react by getting angry and saying something harsh or shutting down in anger.

Society has pressured women to feel like they need to have a “perfect” thin body type, be traditionally beautiful, be a perfect mother, friend, sister, daughter, and partner/wife.

Women are expected to still do most of the chores around the house and child care and also work and they are not to neglect any role they play.

These kinds of expectations are unrealistic, and if a woman is feeling shame about her situation, she will tend to be flooded with mixture of anger, fear, guilt and disconnection.

A woman experiencing shame may appear more hurt and upset rather than angry.

Shame and Weight

Shame can be an anchoring emotion that keeps you believing that you are not worthy of losing weight or being healthy.

Shame can be an unconscious emotion that maintains your negative, unhealthy emotional and behavioural connection to food and eating.

Whitney Thore shares her experience in a TED Talk about her feelings of shame surrounding her weight, and how she overcame years and years of shame to live a more confident life.

This is absolutely inspiring!

To disengage from the emotion and ‘Shame’s’ destructive messages, you can build resilience from feeling shame.

Once you have built up your resilience you will experience more connection and happiness in your life.

Related: Shame – A Shared Experience


Let Go of Shame by Accepting Yourself

Let go of shame. Accept yourself

Self-acceptance is the choice to become the person you want to be and already are, by embracing everything that makes you imperfectly unique.

Self-acceptance is accepting yourself – flaws, weaknesses, mistakes and failures included – realising that you are not perfect; you are who you are and that makes you uniquely you.

It is about truly understanding and acknowledging everything about what makes you who you are right now – thoughts, emotions, behaviours, habits, experiences, personality, physical health, mental health – and not being afraid to look at yourself with all honesty.

All of these aspects are part of you, and they do not have to define you; you do not have to be a victim of them as you have a choice to change them.

Self-acceptance allows you to decide what you need to:

  • Acknowledge;
  • Celebrate;
  • Heal;
  • Improve on;
  • Change, and
  • Gain more knowledge and skills;

without comparison or judgement – to empower yourself to live the life you want.

Self- acceptance does not include your achievements, and how you look.

It is based on a positive perspective of who you are on the inside, as a person, despite any external aspects or experiences.

This allows you to feel good about just being you, which leads to individual and life satisfaction, possibilities, happiness and fulfilment.

If you are sick of feeling like you are failing yourself and want to feel empowered to live a life free of shame, fear and disconnected, then Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic is intended for anyone who has issues with binge eating, stress eating, food addiction or night-time eating.

How can we help you?

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