Shame is a focus on self, whereas guilt is a focus on behavior. When we use language that is self-deprecating and shaming in nature our self-esteem struggles. Shaming language, such as “I’m a failure”, “I’m an idiot”, “I’m a loser”, creates a belief system that our struggles are inherent to who we are and fixed rather than demonstrations of difficult moments in time. It’s important to transition from shaming language that focuses on self to ways of thinking and expressing that is more focused on behavior. In doing so, not only will you be more available to growth but you won’t feel as hopeless about change.
• Shaming language that we use about our own sense of self reduces our self-esteem and contributes to a negative thinking pattern.
• Shift the focus away from self and onto behavior if you are interesting in making changes, becoming more available to growth, and increasing your motivation.
• A few examples include:
1. “I’m a failure” becomes “I failed at that task.”
2. “I’m an idiot” becomes “That wasn’t the smartest thing to do.”
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Production Team: Heather Knox, Knox Creative; Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Host: Dr. Lara Pence
Synopsis: Dr. Lara Pence
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