For those who know me, know I am a huge fan of Brene Brown. From studying Brown's work I've learned about courage, vulnerability, shame, and how to navigate through life with compassion for myself and others in order to enrich my life, live authentically and create deep, meaningful relationships. 🌸 One of the greatest lessons I've learned from reading Brown's work is the difference between shame (I am bad) and guilt (I did something bad) 🌸. We often think that both of these emotions are negative, however guilt is highly correlated with behavioural change, and growth while shame is highly correlated with addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and the list goes on.
How do you know if you feel guilt or shame? Don't worry, I had difficulty with this too! 💁♀️The key is examining your internal dialogue. An example Brown uses is the internal dialogue if we were to cheat on a test. Guilt: “I should not have done that. It was stupid. Cheating is not something I want to do”. Shame: “ I'm a cheat. I am so stupid. I am a bad person”.
Guilt is often a positive motivator for change in our behaviour ❤️, shame may lead us to worse behaviour; when we feel shame, we believe that we are NOT ENOUGH 💔, that there is something intrinsically wrong with us. Guilt is looking at our values, beliefs and morals and examining our behaviour in relation to these.
The great thing is, there are tools to navigate through shame. I won't go into that here! If you're interested I highly recommend reading 'I thought it was just me (but it isn't)' by Brene Brown. I also recommend sitting in meditation so that we can reveal our underlying internal dialogue. See yesterday's post for tips on meditation.
Thanks for taking the time to read 🙏💘.
Artwork by @merakilabbe