What do you do when something bad, that might have been preventable, happens to you?
And by preventable, I mean… YOU feel you are the one who caused it to happen. Therefor, you beat yourself up thinking of all the ways you could have avoided it, happening. The more you say “What if?”, the worse you feel. You feel set back a million steps. You feel life as you know it is over. You feel like a failure.
The idea of shaming yourself for something that happened causes you to relive the incident over and over again.
Reality is, yes… it happened. NOW WHAT?
The second you give yourself permission to see your story from a different perspective is the moment “what happened” begins to take a new shape. The only way your story can shift from “shaming to sharing” is the meaning you assign the act of articulating an event that has already occurred and how you allow it to define you in the present moment.
I get it. You’re embarrassed. You’re hurt. You’re sad. As humans, life will alway challenge us to respond, to life. Plans will go haywire. We will hav
e accidents. And when it comes to “What Happens” to us, we have 2 choices. To SHAME ourselves. Or to SHARE ourselves.
My stories, particularly the one about me loosing my two front teeth, has become a benchmark for my coaching practice. Why? Because I did not ask for it to happen. Because I was really injured. Because I could have stayed home, embarrassed and depressed and most of all, because I know 100% it could have been avoided if I’d simply walked away from my relationship like I knew, deep down, to do. Trust me, the “what if” scenarios crossed my mind, over and over, within the first 72 hours. How could I let this happen? But then… a feeling came over me. I knew I had a choice. To be brave and go to the grocery store and show my face or hide my mangled smile.
Let me tell you… it was POWERFUL. To hold my head high while others stared. To take control of what soup to buy (it’s the little things) but most of all, to not let the fear of being seen and shamed for my accident stop me from stepping into the world, as me. Little did I know, to share my story publicly would not only be a gift of courage and confidence, but my decision would have a world wide ripple effect! Women and men from all around the world found my blog and wrote me, to thank me, for helping them see their story differently. They thanked me for giving them permission to embrace their circumstances, accept them, and move forward. Can you imagine if I had let shame stop me from sharing? Who knows where I’d be. After I wrote that blog in 2014, my website, Strangers To Friends, came back to life. I started the Meetup 2 years later. Because I had no shame and only wanted to share the magic with any and everyone.
Idea: take all the stories from your past, roll them into a bouncy ball, dribble them up court and nail a 3 pointer. Because you earned your right to own it and use your circumstances to serve you, not to shame you. You did not ask for life to go the way it did. But how you respond to it is the journey, is the healing, it’s the silver lining only you can be open to receiving, if you shift your shame. Love your flaws, your scars, your story. You are you because of it all. You are beautiful. You are perfect.
Everyone has a story. The next time you feel yourself sinking into shame, ask yourself, what would you tell your friend if you knew they were talking to themselves in the same way? Be your own hero. Be your own best friend.
Today, choose to have no shame.
Want to Chat with Carlyn? Schedule a complimentary 15 min convo to learn ways to share and shift your shame story!