The 5 Iron Paper-cuts of Shame that will Kill your Personal Growth
Shame is often a dirty word. It puts light where we refuse to see. It places attention on those aspects we're deathly scared to have revealed.
It kills your personal growth.
Like Carl Gustave puts it: Shame is a soul eating emotion.
And it exists in all of us. Whether we were exposed to it as a child or saw others suffer from it, a lot of our personality stems from hidden shame.
In fact as a unknown famous author says more of our current personality is a result of past shame unresolved.
The sad thing is that many of us suppress it and try to sweep under the rug.
Like a crying child through the night it never seems to go away and often finds a way to rear it's head back into our lives.
Here are the 5 shameful areas that we suffer with the most.
Where you grew up
This one may seem strange to some.
Especially if you've never been denied visa access, struggled to get a decent scholarship at an elite school despite having the best grades, or given rudely stares when no one knows your country.
Only then you may really get it.
Many people react to this by simply changing where they're from on their social media when they haven't moved or even lying to other to avoid such stigma.
In addition as we try to fit in it becomes a lot easier to avoid the question. And that's sad because it stripes away from your uniqueness.
Where you grew up has a unique culture, way of life, language and dialect, and cultural sites.
You should actually wear your country proud on your sleeve.
I'm from the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. And while it's loved by many, people do give the double stare because they may not have heard of it.
And that doesn't bother me at all. In fact it makes what I have to offer and my perspectives as a coach quite unique.
And so should you in your country. Big or small.
You should not take the blame for a country's prior misdeeds either. Whether it was Cuba embargo ban or Vietnam war or Hitler's killings, don't let that rub off on you.
One person / government doesn't define a country and any deeds definitely don't define you.
Who your parents are
This one may be touchy for many. Especially if you live in a culture where there were many tribes still exist such as in many African countries.
Who your parents are / what tribe they belonged to determined how much respect you got and how far you could go in life.
On a more global basis, who your parents are to some, may determine how intelligent you are and how much income potential you may have, or whether you're viable to marry a particular spouse.
Some of you may deny this, but just as racism is being exposed today - I assure you these stigmas still do exist.
The problem with them all is that it's a very narrow way to view life and the world.
Though poverty still exists in many areas, internet access and the availability of basic living amenities is pretty much worldwide.
Nobel Laureates, world changing leaders, influential scientific discoveries, movie and sports stars have all come from all walks of life.
And some of the best people too.
Therefore it stands to reason that one shouldn't be judged on who their parents are or what country they were brought up in.
We have equal capability of reaching our full potential and should live and be treated as such.
Now because of where you're from that may look different.
You may have a different compromise to make. e.g. internet access may not be as readily available. However the point still holds: you have and deserve just as much of a shot at success as anyone else on this planet does.
Nothing and no one should stop you.
This also touches a hot vein among many.
Especially with the current unlawful killings and mass exposure of racist acts and brutality.
However we all know racial discrimination still exists. Whether you're competing to get a high level position or for admission to the school of your dreams, many prejudices still remain.
While I won't veer on the side of naming people and racist events, many of this goes unreported and this simply has to stop.
No matter what the history books or curricula may attempt to convince you of, no race is superior to another.
You should absolutely expunge this from your thinking if you are to reach your full potential.
Everyone is beautiful no matter what the color of their skin looks like and so are you.
You're not smart enough
Another area people develop deep traumas and shame around is that of intelligence.
Whether it's your IQ (intelligence Quotient) or ability to pass tests.
Some of the deepest societal stigmas are rooted here.
But let me ask you: what makes one "smart" anyway?
And no this isn't just about street smarts (though it would be quite relevant). But does not getting a high GPA or a good math score render one dumb?
We know of countless examples of people who do very well for themselves and defy all odds despite not passing any test.
Ofcourse to function as a competent and well-placed citizen we do need a basic grasp of cultural and the ability to conduct ourselves very well.
I can write an entire book on this point alone. Because apart from race this is one of the biggest thorns sabotaging your progress.
Your worth isn't reduced to a test score. You can always try again if you must. More pertinently your ability to thrive in this word and excel goes way beyond that.
Being "smart" or even getting good grades doesn't guarantee any success. There is ample opportunity for professional advancement and available resources to chart your own path even right from your own home.
In fact it's very dangerous to determine your worth on a test score, even if it's good.
It puts you in a box, stifles your personality and causes you not to improve other areas of your life.
You are smart enough and there's nothing you can't have or achieve when you put your mind to it.
What you look like Naked
Our looks may be another area we are all super conscious of. It's something we can't hide (although many try with products ;).
It's something we have to deal with daily.
And while it normal to want to look our best, many people completely avoid what they look like naked.
This can even depress some people and severe lack of confidence, and performance anxiety.
An while your looks may not completely define who you are as an individual, there's one special thing about it: you can change it.
We all know what we would be in awe of in others.
The question is why aren't you committed to having it yourself. You need to be accountable and take full ownership of how you look.
You may not like what the picture looks like currently, but you have to continuously mold it.
Yes others may give glaring looks or make snarky remarks, but the biggest detractors may be you.
And it's a good thing since you have control over it.
Whether you have a genetic defect or not, a cure or workaround does exist. Quit thinking your body or circumstance is special.
You need to own that or "not let yourself go" in order to order to maintain it.
This is important because it's one of the main areas your self confidence comes from.
And it's not something you can "mind hack" your way through.
You need not be "perfect" about it, but do your best.
It's the only permanent way to let go of and overcome any shame around it.
Fear and shame may never completely go away. And I know that sucks to read.
You may not be able to control the stigmas that do exist, but you definitely have the power to determine how your life is impacted by it.
No cause is far gone to change.
You need to ensure you're in an environment that is conducive to our growth and wellness as people and also let go of our excuses and do what's necessary.
As bad as things many seem and you may feel, remember that there is always a way.
You just must muster the courage to find it.