I feel so ashamed
Over the past month I have been offering free clarity sessions to help you get unstuck. These sessions were really special and they had great uptake. I have met with people all over the world over the past few weeks, some with busy careers, others having left their careers for various reasons.
What I found interesting was the common theme that came through many of these sessions, a feeling of shame. So many of the people I spoke to (surprisingly for me, not all women!) felt ashamed. They felt ashamed that they had let their life get to this point. Ashamed that they felt so lost. Ashamed that they couldn’t talk to their family about how they were feeling.
There are many reasons we feel lost in life, that we let things get away from us, that we get to this point. For some of the women I spoke to, they had been so busy in their career they never realised how much they hated it. Others had given up their career for a move, but didn’t realise they wouldn’t be able to pick it up again. Some had just jumped from thing to thing, never thinking about what they actually wanted to do. Some had enjoyed being stay at home mum and now wanted to do more, but had no idea what that was.
The reasons these women got to this point are genuine. They are real. They are common. So where does the feeling of shame come from?
I believe a lot of the shame comes from society. We feel like we have to answer to other people - partner, family, parents. We feel like we have to have the ‘right’ answer all the time. Why? Because when we look at our peers, our friends, all we see is how they’ve got it all together. It’s not always the reality of course, but on the surface, everyone looks ok.
A huge amount of the shame comes from social media. So many of the women I have been working with this month spend far too much time scrolling on social media. The more they scroll, the more they think there’s something wrong with them. The feeling of shame creeps in stronger and stronger each day of scrolling.
I believe it’s time we stopped and all agreed that not one of us is perfect. No one has it all figured out. We are creating a false reality.
If we can do this, if we can agree that no one is perfect, no one has it all figured out, then we immediately take the pressure off of ourselves.
So what does shame look like?
It’s a feeling of guilt that we’re not doing enough. Feelings of guilt that we should be doing more. Feelings of guilt that we’re not happy with our lot. And it’s a feeling of doubt that we can do more. Feelings of doubt that we’re good enough.
It affects our mental health, almost all of the clarity calls involved tears. Women feeling shame and overwhelm and not knowing how to move forward.
It affects our relationships. How we interact with our partner, with our family. We snap more than we want to. We get sarcastic with those we love. We are short tempered for no apparent reason.
We need to stop. We need to remove this pressure on ourselves. We need to be aware of what we are saying to ourselves. We need to accept that no one is perfect. And we need to move forward.
To move forward, get clear on you, what you want and why. Start by knowing your strengths and how you want to use these in your life. Then consider your passions, what gets you excited. And make a plan for how you will use your strengths and your passions to move forward. Set a goal for yourself. Put it in your diary. Make yourself your number one project!
Together let’s drop the shame. Let’s be the wonderful women we want to be!
If you’ve forgotten who you are, I encourage you to download my free strengths assessment, What Am I Good At? https://www.theleaptolead.com/guide