Holman’s handbook of addictive disorders defines shame in the following way.
He refers to it as feelings of defectiveness because of having a need.
Because that’s the story we sell inside our heads. Even though we want to bring ourselves into full alignment with what we long for, some part of our brain superimposes guilt on top of that need.
After all, having a need might mean tension and conflict and standing up for ourselves. Having a need might mean not being agreeable, setting boundaries with other people and causing trouble.
We can’t have that. If this boat’s a rocking, shame on you for knocking.
It’s a form of deprivation. Extraordinary denial. Disciplined avoidance. This mindset is not serving us. Each time we shame ourselves, our capacity to function well plummets. Each time we shame ourselves, it weakens our immunity and steals our energy.
On the other hand, as they say in recovery circles, each time we represent ourselves as people whose needs deserve to be taken seriously, we’re strengthened. We’re less likely to let unacceptable situations build up over a long period of time.
The world doesn’t want your shame. It has no use for it.
The time has come to bulldoze your way out of its debris. To step forward and honor your deepest needs.
That doesn’t make you defective, it makes you a human being.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you experience yourself as a real person with needs, desires and a point of view, or a vessels to fulfill other people’s expectations?
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