ShameIn this week’s Sounds True Self Acceptance Project, Brene Brown speaks about the process of building shame resilience. I highly recommend listening to this talk. For those of you who won’t get the opportunity, I will summarize the main points.

Brene has been researching shame, courage, authenticity and vulnerability for many, many years and has given an excellent talk on Ted that is also worth watching. In this talk she starts off by stating her belief that the obstacles to self acceptance are feelings of lack of worthiness of love and belonging. The root of this is shame. Shame is a feeling which she describes as universal, part of our basic need for love and belonging which is hardwired into us. So shame is part of the human experience and unless we have psychopathic tendencies, it is unavoidable. Therefore she recommends that instead of trying to set unrealistic goals like trying to avoid the unavoidable, we should rather focus on building resilience to shame.

  • The first thing Brene recommends is recognizing the physiology of your shame experience so that you can recognize when you are feeling shame. For most people, the feeling corresponds to the stress response  as shame feels traumatic. So you may notice a sinking sensation in your stomach, rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, and specifically to shame, the urge to hide away, such as avoiding eye contact.We also need to identify what triggered the feeling. In some cases this may be obvious whereas others it may be more subtle, and may even be a thought we have.
  • She then suggests we reach out and share our shame experience with […]