The feeling of shame – a valuable barometer or an almost insurmountable hurdle?

Most people have known the feeling of shame since childhood. It is something very human, deeply rooted in each one of us. Shame normally creates great discomfort and is accompanied by unpleasant physical symptoms that we reveal in our facial expressions and our posture and cannot control. But where does shame come from and what is it for? Why does our sense of shame so often slow us down? How can we deal with this?

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that makes us extremely uncomfortable because it does not correspond to our value system and to our concept of decency. We would then prefer to flee and hide, either because we are ashamed of being part of it or because we as viewers are ashamed of someone else’s behaviour and do not want to be associated with them.

However, there is a feeling of shame that has a more serious impact. For example, if something is forced upon us or we are made to believe something about us over an extended period of time, it is difficult to break free from this counterproductive self-image later in life. If, on the other hand someone insults, embarrasses or humiliates us, it is possible that the shame we feel as a result of this bullying resonates deep inside and becomes a constant burden or handicap. It often makes it impossible for us to reach our full potential and lead a fulfilling life.

Shame is a kind of barometer for our dignity and vulnerability within our own value system. Too much shame, however, is a barrier on the path to more self-confidence.

We can tear down this barrier and allow ourselves to fully and vigorously affirm our personality and abilities. Life is constantly evolving and opening up opportunities for a new beginning every day.

Strengthening and motivating people, showing them step by step their own hidden resources, is a matter close to my heart. Because when we are strong and self-confident, we trust ourselves more and feel more comfortable in our skin. Then, there are no more half-empty glasses!

With warm regards,

Tatjana Gaspar