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6 Tips To Combat Shame That Will Inspire Your Self-Esteem

6 Tips To Combat Shame That Will Inspire Your Self-Esteem

Life is so hard; shame is so evident. Can we really combat shame? We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and night in us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us – that we are bad, flawed, and not good enough – and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs – Brene Brown Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness; we will discover the infinite power of light. Here are the tips to combat shame that inspire your self-esteem:

Accepting yourself as you are

As Carl Jung said – “I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”  Nobody is perfect; after all we are human beings. Accepting yourself as you are is the primary requisite to combat shame. We can’t let ourselves be seen if we are terrified by what people might think. Nothing is going to work unless you do the work. So take the decision to love yourself with all your imperfections.

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If others hurt you, the reason may not be always you

Most of us commonly attribute others’ rejection as a hallmark to validate ourselves. Just stop that. You are officially a prisoner of “pleasing, performing and perfecting.” Sometimes it’s just what you do not who you are. I’ve spent many sleepless nights thinking over fitting myself according to others expectations. Once I realized the fact, my heart is at ease.

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Express but don’t defend

Sometimes we may hurt others too. Let us not be arrogant and stupid – that may erode our relationships and enhance our shame further. In that case, the best tool is, “Express but don’t defend”. If you feel, you have done a mistake; just express your feelings but never ever defend. If you start defending, you give an impression that your feelings are not valid. Be proud by not defending your feelings. Usually inner strength is respected; we get back what we put out.

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Let go of need for approval

You are not here to please others; you just have to please yourself to live truly. Look at people in your life as “practice”. The way they react allows you to see what has to work on within yourself. Through them you can practice to let inappropriate reactions go off and develop more responsible ways of behaving. Instead of getting approval, if you practice the above said principle – you can miraculously improve your social relations with your needs keeping integrity intact.

Practice vulnerability

There is always a truth in paradox. You may think that being vulnerable is letting others to give the power to shame us. But the truth is vulnerability is the best antidote to shame. When we are vulnerable, we indirectly inspire others to be vulnerable too. Vulnerability is life’s great bravery. Inculcate it; embrace it to combat shame effectively.

Seek out empathy

The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives. Whenever you come across shame, just share with whom you trust; it relieves you to the core. Empathy is connecting with the emotion that someone is experiencing, not the event of circumstance. It conveys a simple acknowledgement, “You are not alone”. Before concluding, just remember these words from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling – You are not a bad person. You are a very good person who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We have all got both light bad dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.    

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KAMAL SUCHARAN BURRI

Founding Director, Newlight Cinemas

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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