“Kewyn you are so stupid! Seriously how can you be so dumb! You just can’t do anything right…” This is what I would say to myself after I opened a package that I’ve been waiting for days and noticed that I placed the wrong order.
I suddenly realised what I was doing, I thought “Hold on a second, I would never say this to anyone, no matter the reason! So why am I speaking to myself like this?” Has this ever happened to you?
I am my toughest critic. What I realized was that I was actually partnering with shame. Before I can go any further you need to understand the difference between Guilt and Shame.
Difference between Guilt and Shame
Guilt says “What I’ve done is wrong” and Shame says “Who I am is wrong”. Guilt says “I feel sorry for what I did” but Shame says “I feel sorry for who I am.”
Guilt is centred around your actions whereas shame is around who you are as a person.
What do you think about yourself?
I’m not the introspective kinda person, however, I’ve come to realise throughout the years that what you cultivate in your heart and thoughts will sooner or later be expressed through what you say and how you behave.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. – Proverbs
Being healthy on the inside is important. We need to learn how to silence those moments when we start to speak to ourself in a way where we shame ourselves and attack who we are instead of what we did.
Sometimes the voices in our heads can be a lot more subtle. What I would encourage you to do is to actually actively think about it and catch yourself in the moment. Just today, what did you say to yourself when you looked in the mirror?
Cultivating a healthy heart and thought process is something that will help break shame off your life.
Shame leads to performance which leads to perfectionism
The feeling of being unworthy, insignificant will often push people into working to receive worthiness and significance. They will do things so that in return they would receive love, worth and acceptance.
Working to receive worth leads to always having to perform at a higher level. The root where this performance comes from is perfectionism.
So anytime we feel inadequate or less than, we find a way to perform so as to receive the re-assurance that we are worthy.
This is the second part of my series on perfectionism. You can read the first part of the series here.
Practical ways to change your thinking process
First, you need to understand that not all the thoughts that come to your mind are yours. Last year for about three months I was just on an emotional rollercoaster. I very quickly realised that not all the thoughts in my head were mine. I compared my thoughts with my character and noticed how some of them were just not in line with who I am and were not worth entertaining.
1. Try to catch yourself speaking down to yourself and stop it.
2. Compare your thoughts with your character and see what is not in line with who you are as a person.
3. Read, watch, listen and entertain thoughts that are worth it.
4. Write down who you are and inspire to be and read it out loud.
5. Be kind to yourself and please give yourself a break.
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Do you speak harshly to yourself? Got any questions? Send me some feedback!
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