There’s nothing wrong with reflecting on a situation and considering where you got off-track, but for some of us, these types of thoughts can quickly start us on a spiral towards shame and a habit of self-blame. Shame is icky and uncomfortable... you might recognize it in the pit of your stomach, in the downcast of your eyes, or the whole-body collapse sensation you feel when you’re confronted with some piece of information that seemingly confirms what you’ve sometimes suspected: that you’re not really a good person. Guilt is the feeling you get when you did something wrong, but shame is the feeling you get when you sense you are something wrong.
Here’s the thing, though: self-blame and shame often prevent you from feeling the real feelings you need to feel, or taking responsibility for the real things you need to change. In other words, self-blame and shame are actually counterproductive to you doing better next time! When too much self-blame triggers shame, it’s easy to get defensive and run away from real responsibility. Conversely, it can also be easy to fall into a shame spiral and get stuck in believing that you really are a hot mess that needs total life reconstruction. Oh, the drama of our brains!
Here are 5 things to do to bust through your self-blame and avoid the spiral down to shame:
Hi friends! I'm Jordan Motta, a licensed therapist in CO and FL-- lover of both snowfall and ocean waves. A work-in-progress, constantly in search of a life of peace, a girl sailor with a pocket yacht, I love helping people find more options about how they want to live their lives. Follow me on Instagram @jordanmottaLMFT.