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Shame: A Feast For The Inner Critic

Let's get real--everyone feels embarrassed sometimes.

You’re sure that you were right, and it turns out that you were wrong. 

You were late for your best friend’s wedding. 

Your zipper was open or your skirt got tucked into your underpants. 

Yes, your red face lasts for a few seconds then fades. You might blush every time you remember over the next day. But you DO forget. Eventually, you don't even remember that moment. But shame is another story.

Shame can last a lifetime.

It can begin in childhood when a teacher says, “you should be ashamed of yourself.” When you misbehave, your mother might tell you she's ashamed of you. Every time you do something wrong or make a mistake this feeling of shame gets reinforced. 

Eventually, shame becomes an ingrained, conditioned response any time you don’t meet your own idealized image of being right (or being good or being strong or being smart or being anything less than perfect).

This becomes a field day for your Inner Critic.

Your Inner Critic becomes the voice of shame. It tells you that you are wrong or bad or stupid or weak. It seduces you into believing that it is correct...and it knows what it’s talking about. Your Inner Critic can make sure you spend your energy hiding the shame you feel. You compensate by making sure you are good, sure you are smart, sure you are strong.

Shaming is one of the most powerful tools in the Inner Critic’s toolbox. When the voice in your head is merely critical or judgmental, you can dismiss it or even ignore it. But when it becomes shaming, it’s much harder to dismiss. Believing our Inner Critic’s shaming voice robs us of our aliveness and takes us away from being present in our lives.

A lifetime of living with shame can be altered by recognizing that it is your Inner Critic who feeds your shame. It feeds on each and every incident that it can use to shame you and its appetite is never satisfied.

Freedom lies in not feeding the Inner Critic more power, even if starving it is out of the question. We can diminish our experience of the shame that has been haunting us by checking in with ourselves and determining who is doing the talking. In those moments, ask yourself this: "Is it my Inner Critic or is it the truth?"

Is Your Inner Critic Keeping You From Success?

Find out what your Inner Critic is saying to sabotage your success and how you can move past her limiting beliefs. 


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