Why You Should Tell Your Shame Story With Pride and Confidence
Do any of these seem familiar? Thinking that you are not good enough. Being ashamed of who you are, what you look like, or how you live your life. Or maybe, feeling shame for being preyed upon. The shock, appall, and overwhelming amount of sadness you feel become the story of your shame; but you do not have to be a victim. You need to tell your shame story without feeling ashamed.
The Shame Story
The phrase may be new to you, as it was recently coined by Dr. Brené Brown, author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection. All three titles are New York Times bestsellers.
Basically, your shame story is the history of why you developed the amount of shame you have. It is the collection of incidents, memories, and traumas that continue to linger, causing you anguish for many years after the injury was inflicted. Your shame story will continue to stab at you with the red-hot poker if you do not learn how to cope with it.
A shame story may seem mundane or petty to others, but to you, it is something pivotal. Do not be afraid to talk about that which makes you feel unworthy or like a failure. One way to handle the shame is by telling your shame story – with pride.
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Remember who you are
You need to remember who you are (said Mufasa to Simba). I know, The Lion King is a kid’s tale. Or is it something more? See, Simba runs away from his fears and shame of having been an accessory in his father’s death. While little Simba was not guilty of anything, Scar shamed him into thinking he was – and he grew up holding onto that horrific moment. The more he lingered in the past, the less he thought about his present self.
When the shame gets to be too much to bear, you need to stop for a moment and remember something valuable. Look at how far you have come. In spite of everything, you still stand. We all do things we regret. We all make mistakes. However, how we live with those scars for the rest of our days is what defines us. Look at yourself with pride, because you made it through the past.
When you begin to accept the here and now, you can begin to reconfigure what the past looks like. This does not mean denial. This means taking the situation and trying to find something redeeming about it. For some, it may be difficult to find a positive in being assaulted or being bullied in high school, and then shamed for it.
Those who get shamed for their skin color, their religion, or their sexual preference may see nothing but bad. Again, these terrible experiences may have brought about a new strength or pride in yourself that you do not realize exists yet. So reconfigure your thoughts slightly. Look at the situation will all angles and ask yourself what you can learn from it.
About the time you start sharing with others the reason why you once were shamed, you will see that there is nothing to be ashamed about. Rather, you will realize where the shameful behavior was – it was those that cast that scorn upon you to begin with. When you see the lessons, gather some confidence in knowing you survived, and have a support system willing to listen, you will be rejuvenated.
That is why you should never feel ashamed to tell your shame story. As you recite the story, you gain valuable insight on the actions and reactions. You see it with a different perspective and can readjust your perspective. Though every situation may riddle with your scars, it is your choice to rise above the circumstance to become a champion.