Shame. Love. Stretch.

Almost 2 weeks ago, I challenged you to generate 5 minutes for yourself to answer the following 2 questions:

What is your Biggest Goal?
What is the Biggest Obstacle you face?

I got some very rich responses, and had a handful of amazing exchanges with you. Thank you. 

Take a few breaths and answer these questions for yourself now. Then, go on.

First, the goals: 

build my business, make new friends, be more present and relaxed in my body in more moments of my life, make more money, be as brave in my sex as I am in my art, put myself first, meet people who I share common interests with outside just being parents of small children, starting a new business, practicing self-care. 

Now, check out the obstacles:

fear of rejection, looking stupid, doing the wrong thing in the moment, feeling paralyzed, insecurity, tension, anxiety, stress, self-doubt, procrastination, making excuses, not knowing how to do it. 

Here’s what I noticed:

The goals are all about showing up, being visible, and being honest about who you are. 

The obstacles are all the “reasons why” we do NOT make ourselves visible. 

My biggest goal right now is to reorganize my business, reignite my own fire, and reorient to the intentions that pull me forward in the world so I can live my vision. 

My biggest obstacle is shame. 

I have named my obstacles as all those listed above, but it just isn’t accurate or helpful to do that any longer. 

(Its hella easier to say, “I just can’t deal with doing X today,” than it is to say, “Every time I look at that undone thing, it brings up all my failures and I start to believe that I’m a complete loser that no one will ever love.”) 

Let’s be real here. 

Shame is the “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. Shame is the fear of disconnection. The feat that something we’ve done or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.” – from Brené Brown

“If I put myself out there, then ABC bad thing will happen to me.”
“If I reveal myself, I will lose love.”

Shame can masquerade as fear, anxiety, exhaustion, avoidance, inability, negativity, judgment, frustration, distraction, and procrastination. Shame can amplify the intensity of depression symptoms. 

Shame is the story we tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough, can’t do it, won’t make friends, will be made fun of, will be rejected, etc. Its the reason we “can’t have nice things.”

Our biggest goals require us to shift, stretch, and walk out on a limb where we don’t have the security of the old way of doing things. Our biggest goals require us to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, but even more importantly, they require us to BE SOMEONE DIFFERENT. Because the person we’ve been can’t do the thing we desire to do.

Our shame stories are powerful, consequential, and most often TRASH! 

Sure, you might have failed a few hundred times. That doesn’t make you unloveable. 

Yes, that last relationship ended in divorce. That doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough to love big and be loved back.

Fine. Your dick doesn’t get hard. Or your boobs are lopsided. Or you’ve never had an orgasm. That’s ok. You are still loveable. 

These shame stories limit us every day we misname them and call them fear or insecurity or procrastination. When we let the stories in our minds roll around in there all by themselves without a no-bullshit reality check, not only do we get stuck in our stories, but we come to some conclusions that we shouldn’t. And in so doing, we limit ourselves — our possibilities, capacity, confidence, energy, engagement, inspiration, audacity, bravery, and love.

We can not insulate ourselves from the thing we fear — critique or rejection or failure or fear or fucking up — and also be a dynamic leader, a deeply embedded and contributing member of a community, a responsive and dedicated partner, a fantastic lover, or a multi-orgasmic powerhouse. 

If we are going to stop limiting ourselves and really live, we must double down on loving ourselves. 

Unpacking shame is an act of love, compassion, and kindness we give to ourselves. And it is one that we practice relentlessly and selfishly.

When we love ourselves, we create more options and opportunity in our lives. We give ourselves a bigger, richer menu to choose from. We expand our range of experience. 

I invite you into an act of love to stretch toward the goals you have, to care for you tender heart, to be the person who will achieve the goals you set. 

So let’s get all that noise out of your head and onto the paper. You don’t have to show this to anyone. Its just for you. The beginning (or new chapter) in your story of liberating your love. 

Answer these questions or complete the prompt:

What is the story I’m telling myself about the obstacles I face?
             The story I’m telling myself about the obstacles I face is…

What is the shame story working here?
             The shame story working here is…

Is that story true?  Like, really. Is it true?
               (If you can’t reality check the story in this moment through this exercise, set up a time with me for coaching.)

What story do I want to create? 
                The story I want to create is…

Who do I get to be to live this new story?

You got this. Generate 10 minutes. Breathe. Dig in. Do the work. Love yourself.

Wanna be part of the conversation? Do it here!

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