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What Are You Ashamed Of?

What Are You Ashamed Of?

Here at CAREER LIONS HQ, we promote a lifestyle that you are in charge of. You are responsible for engineering your life.  As I have been reading The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown, I have come to such a realization (at least for me) and feel that I need to share this with you. Whenever I feel I am holding back on something or feeling any resistance towards taking action in realizing a goal it’s always because of the same thing. The thing that holds me back is SHAME! Shame towards thinking big (and coming across as arrogant or delusional), shame towards taking credit for achievements (thinking I need to be humble), and shame towards opening up about feelings (no need to look vulnerable, I rather am an ice queen). o be honest, I am tired of feeling like this. Also, think it’s such a shame to be ashamed? Read on as I’ll dig into getting more the shame resilience theory.

About Vulnerability and Shame

Brown has opened the eyes of many during her TEDxHouston talk about the power of vulnerability. Brown is a researcher on the topic of vulnerability. In her talk, she explains that connection is what gives meaning to our lives as we’re neurologically wired like that. Our lives, basically, revolve around some sort of connection. This could be a connection in social context or connection to ourselves and our own creativity. In order to create a connection, we need to be vulnerable. In her next talk, she explains that the main cause that is holding us back from being vulnerable is shame.

The Shame Resilience Theory

While the framework about shame and vulnerability looks simple at first glance, the execution of being more resilient is a rather hard one. That’s when I realized, shame has become such an interwoven part of so many of my train of thoughts and (lack of) action. Luckily for us, Brown provides us with a practical theory to become more shame resilient. Here are the steps:

  1. Recognize the signals, causes, and triggers of shame.
  2. Practice critical awareness, ask yourself: are your expectations even realistic?
  3. Reach out to others.
  4. Speak up about what you’re ashamed of.

From my own experience, I noticed that I always feel annoyed whenever someone is underestimating me. Being a bubbly girl in a technological work environment, this is not exceptional. My first reaction is always an annoyance, but when I take a closer look it’s more my own insecurity and shame that causes this reaction. I am projecting my own feelings of shame onto someone else, thinking I might not be smart enough or something. And what has that realization brought me? Relief! A relief in the type of feeling: Ahh, it’s not you, it’s me (but not the cheesy breakup line). And when it’s about me, I can do something about it! While the thoughts of others, unfortunately, are not in my span of control, I am in control of my own reaction and perception.

In conclusion: for real connection and creativity to take place we need to be vulnerable and become more shame resilient. Now, what about you? What are the things you don’t do because you feel some form of shame? Will you be reading the book or watching the TED talks? Let us know in the comments below!

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