Shame, Guilt… and Self-Acceptance

by | 22 Sep 2014 | Coaching

In my last post I wrote about how coaching journeys often reveal more of the truth about what’s already there inside of us… and of course this throws up our deepest fears and what so often gets in our way; “but what if I find I’m not good enough”, “I’m a bad person”, “I’ll be rejected”.

We all (but to varying degrees) carry shame, guilt and fear fed by their accomplices secrecy, silence and judgement.

It’s been one of the aspects I’ve found most sorrowful and difficult as I’ve been by my Mum’s bedside in the last few weeks. As she drifted in and out of morphine dreams, and we help her to resolve the business of her life it’s like her subconscious has been peeled open for me to see all her deepest shame, guilt and fear.

And of course I’ve found no cause for her to feel any of that. It’s her own self-judgement that’s created it.

The more that’s been revealed, in her present incredibly vulnerable state, the more I see and admire this wonderful human being full of courage and love – I can only love her more as I see into the depths of her soul.

Brene Brown speaks movingly and eloquently about shame in the TED talk she did after her first talk on vulnerability went viral. She speaks of how the anti-dote to shame is empathy. I would add compassion, non-judgement and love – unconditional acceptance if you like.

And if we want to find our way to become the people we have the potential to be, to come to a place where we can wholeheartedly accept and enjoy who we really are and what we bring, these are the antidotes we can reach for, to self-administer too.


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