Overcoming feelings of Shame | Shame avoided will stay quite the same…


Guilt is mixture of melancholic anxiety that steps from a remorse held for an action engaged in… shame is a deeper depression accompanied by a degree of restless self-hatred which arrives when we cannot accept and forgive our self – when we essentially feel uncomfortable with who we are as opposed to feeling unrest for an action we partook in.

Guilt is for actions

Shame is for identity… shame is felt for who we are… shame tricks us into believing that its’ uncomfortable feelings are permanent, justified or deserving, and unforgivable or unresolvable…

Shame convinces us to believe that “I am flawed and unforgivable for __________, I am an unacceptable person.”

The strange thing about shame is that it enslaves us without generally making its’ presence overtly known… most people crippled by the grasp of shame will not say that they feel shame nor would they easily be able to identify the source of their shame.

People engage is all sorts of relationally sabotaging behaviors because of their shame… they feel inadequate and undeserving of love and attention and therefor unconsciously engage in behaviors which ultimately manifest their fears and destroy their attachments to others…

But their fears were never true… no one is undeserving of love… shame convinces you that you are so unacceptable that you deserve to be imprisoned in your self-enabled misery.

Shame quiets your voice…

Shame keeps your limbs from moving in ways of defending your self-worth…

Shame riddles you with distracting anxieties that steal your attention from isolating the source of your discomfort…

Finding your shame and offering it acknowledgment steals a significant degree of your shame’s power.

Ask yourself,

“Why do I not defend my boundaries?”

“Why do I not allow myself to trust my intuition?”

“What is keeping me from attempting to achieve my potential?”

“Why am I able to protect everyone’s wellbeing except for my own?”

“Why do my actions suggest that I am undeserving of a voice?”


Within these existential contemplations you may find the source of your shame… allow the feeling to be understood by your body and by your emotional self.

Shame prefers to direct you unconsciously… once your shame is in your consciousness it will still attempt to control you, but it will have lost some of its’ deceptive strength.

By simply accepting and acknowledging shame you will do a great deal in freeing yourself from its’ symptoms of anxiety, disempowerment, hopelessness, and depression.

Shame is strangely related to pride… shame is related to the kind of hurtful pride which gives you such inflated goals that you find your imperfections impermissible…

If you should choose to have so much pride that you cannot accept that you are not perfect… you will have a difficult time ever overcoming your shame…

Part of your recovery… part of you forgiving yourself… … … is humility

To humbly and honestly say, “I can accept my imperfections… I am acceptable, lovable, and deserving of respect… it is the overly proud voice inside of me that suggests I should be perfect, which is the source of my shame.”

If you can be accepting of you faults you take away the footing of shame… you offer shame no means to latch onto you.

By trusting that you will do everything in your power to act with compassion towards yourself and others you can justifiably and rationally move forward without shame… every action is both good and bad… perfection is relative to perception… and as perception is inconsistent, perfection is not objective.

You cannot live without fault… you can live with acceptance and compassion.

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

William Hambleton Bishop

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

3 thoughts on “Overcoming feelings of Shame | Shame avoided will stay quite the same…

  1. I recently was given the perspective that shame comes from society saying you have broken its norms (noncomformity), and guilt from breaking our own norms. This has initiated many helpful conversations with people.

    • nice … i get it. the ego creates or maintains it’s stability through the way it is percieved by others… so that would make sense that one would feel shame as a result of non-comformity – though it would really be their ego feeling the shame, which opens the door for recovery through acceptance. nice comment – i enjoyed how you woke my mind up this mornin’.

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