How I said goodbye to guilt and shame


There’s a chubby, embarrassed, terrified little boy who lives inside me.

I didn’t want anyone to know he was in there, so for years I tried to hide him.

Because I was ashamed of the things I endured as a kid I created masks and coping mechanisms that were great for compartmentalizing and compressing, but terrible for healing.

I connected with him few years ago and we’re cool now.

Shame is made out of guilt, regret, embarrassment and feeling worthless and unwanted.

Shame shapes, stops, cripples and unfortunately, sometimes, seemingly breaks us.

It may be born out of that thing that happened to you.

The way you were treated as a child.

That thing you never talk about and carry as a secret.

Perhaps you’re ashamed of where you come from or the choices of those closest to you.

It might be the embarrassment and regret of your own choices.

It’s like a boulder we carry.

Will you put it down for just a minute?

Seriously, if you need to pick it up for a bit longer you can, but for now set it down.


Now let’s look at it.

You couldn’t really see it that well while you were carrying it.

What’s it made out of?

No surprise that it’s heavy.

It’s heavy and it’s expensive.

What has it cost you?

How has shame kept you from being who you really want to be?

How has it held you back from doing what you really want to do?

Have you had enough?

If you just thought “yes”, here are some ways to get free.

1.  Recognize that you have choices.  You can’t change the past but you can stop it from eating away at your future.  If you find yourself always behaving like a victim and looking for ways to be easily offended, then the shame has found a nice home for itself.

2.  Be honest about the ways you have used shame as an excuse.  Do you have a mission or purpose that you are afraid to fulfill and have you used shame as a place to hide.

3.  Forgive:  the person who hurt you, he teacher who was horrible to you, yourself, your ex, the kids that bullied you in school, your dad and your mom.  Forgiveness is not about saying what happened was ok.  Forgiveness is about saying it wasn’t ok, while finding the strength to let go and move on.  Forgiveness does not require you to put yourself in harms way again,  but it does provide a light for the road ahead.

4.  Seek redemption.   Whatever you have been through, someone else is going through it right now and they need your help.  Think about where those people are and go to them.  That thing that you have been so ashamed of might become your life’s work.

No, this work is not easy, but there is a powerful, amazing life waiting for you on the other side of your past.  I invite you to engage the process of healing from your shame today with the hope that the steps you take will ultimately lead to brighter tomorrow.

For one on one coaching with Jim Trick, email or call 978-994-0431

Follow Jim Trick on twitter @JimTrick

Life coaching is the deliberate process of helping people identify and achieve personal / professional goals.    Coaching tends to focus on the present moment with special attention to a desired result.  Focused conversations create an environment for growth, purposeful action, and sustained improvement. Coaching brings a myriad of benefits: fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence.

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