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Shame Is the Secret Saboteur of Success

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Shame is the painful belief that a person is defective by their very existence, and is the secret weapon of sabotage against personal success. Essentially, shamed is a response that results from our parents and teachers helping us learn how to be a part of society, which we very early on tend to absorb into our energy bodies at a core level. Over time, people affected by shame make compromised decisions from a diminished view of themselves that affects their productivity, relationships, and overall life wealth.

Most people don’t know that shame is running their lives, so here are a few questions to help you identify if shame is a dynamic that might be sabotaging your success.


  • Do you crave recognition while hiding from it at the same time?
  • Do social situations make you feel like running away?
  • Are you highly critical of others, particularly in their success?
  • Are you the first to claim responsibility for a project gone awry?
  • Do you find your inner voice saying things to yourself you would never say out loud to another person?


If any of these questions strikes a chord, it could be that a deeply buried sense of shame is limiting your presence in the world. Shame goes beyond guilt, which is about doing something wrong, to actually believing that your being is wrong, that your very existence is something to be ashamed of, and which may be so ingrained that it could feel like there is no other way of living. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Three Things You Can Do Today:

1. Notice the thoughts that run through your mind daily. Your thoughts reflect your beliefs, which are the source of what you are energetically emanating. That is, if your beliefs (on any level) reinforce that you are not worthy, that you don’t deserve what you want, or that other people’s abundance is worthy of your envy instead of your blessing, shame is likely to be a big component of your default paradigms about life. And you will be seeking validation of that belief in every experience you have in order for your linear mind to be right about having those beliefs, consciously or not. Pay attention to what you think about to determine if shame is sabotaging your success.


2. Focus on receiving a compliment. It can be really challenging to simply receive a compliment from another person if you are shamed. The first thing you might do is deflect, minimize, or even ignore the compliment. Next, you will likely detract from the person who gave you the compliment in thinking ‘if they only knew the truth, they wouldn’t say that’, making the praiser wrong for giving you the compliment. If this is the case, receiving a spontaneous compliment with grace and a simple ‘thank you’ is a big step in overcoming shame.

3. Look at where you feel smaller as entry to healing. Your energy is your key to life wealth, and if you feel small in a particular situation or relationship, you need to consider that carefully as an access point to what needs healing. Shame is often reflected in a shrinking feeling, a sense of being overmatched by someone or something, or not able to handle whatever is happening in full power. If you feel small in a particular set of circumstances, that could be an indicator that your success is being sabotaged by shame. And that becomes your powerful moment of choice to do something different, whether it’s receiving a compliment, speaking your truth, or showing up at a networking event.


Shame is, ironically, nothing to be ashamed of, but it is one of the biggest barriers to personal success. The day you decide to actively address the shame that could be undermining your success is the day you start claiming more of what you want in life. May it bring you everything you deserve as your birthright to abundance, good health, and success.

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