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  • Writer's pictureMarcy Kocher

Let’s talk about shame

Talk about shame?


Why would we ever want to do that?

Because talking is one of the most powerful ways to defeat it.

First of all, what is shame?

Shame is a powerful emotion that comes from beliefs like:

  • I’m not enough.

  • I’m too much.

  • There’s something wrong with me.

  • I’m different than everyone else.

  • I’m all alone.

Shame’s misguided purpose is to keep you shut down, small, stuck, safe.

Shame instructs us to stay in:

  • Secrecy (hide who you are).

  • Silence (don’t tell).

  • Judgment (it’s all your fault).

We tend to react to shame by:

  • Hiding. This can look like not believing in ourselves. Minimizing our needs or achievements. Not going after our dreams and perfectionism.

  • People pleasing. We often overcompensate to prove that we are lovable.

  • Blame. We might harshly judge ourselves or others.

If you see yourself in any of this, welcome to being a human.

We all have shame, and we always will.

The goal is not to eradicate shame. The goal is to develop shame resilience.

Three powerful ways to increase our shame resilience are:

1. Self-compassion

  • Self-compassion includes understanding, loving, accepting, and allowing yourself to be who you are.

2. Courage

  • It takes courage to show up and be seen as who you are.

  • It takes courage to trust yourself and others.

  • It takes courage to let your desires be known.

  • It takes courage to make decisions and make mistakes.

  • It takes courage to expect success.

3. Connection with yourself and others.

  • Vulnerability is the key to connection. Hence, talking about it.


Brene Brown is a renowned expert on shame and vulnerability, and she suggests that we tell our story only to those that have earned the right to hear it. I agree.

Let’s be wise in choosing who we share our deepest parts with.

But we must start to talk.

One of my earliest experiences with this was when I was a teenager.

I remember cautiously and nervously sharing with a friend about the alcoholism in our family. I felt alone. I felt like there was something wrong with me. I felt shame.

However, I never forgot that moment of courage and vulnerability because the person I shared with also had a secret that they needed to share.

There was alcoholism in their family too.

I discovered that I wasn’t alone by connecting with that person in a meaningful way that I will never forget.

A way that gave me compassion and courage to continue to connect with others.

A way to not only fight my shame but to help others with their shame as well.

And the more I talked about it, the more I normalized it for me and for them and the less shame we all experienced.

Shame wants us to hide. But I guarantee there is someone else out there who needs to hear your story so they can share theirs.

I would love to be your safe place.

If shame is keeping you stuck or small. If you are having trouble taking action or if all you do is take action and you’re burnt out, let’s talk.

It’s time for you. Your life is calling. Don’t waste another minute.

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