Shame of a perfectionist: Are you a celebrity? If not, forget it.
Anyone of us might experienced the feeling of being ashamed in the past. Most of us can forget about it quickly, but there are some embarrassment which still stays there, and when we remember it, we feel uneasy, our hands sweat, our faces turn red.
A lousy presentation? A disgraceful saying? Whatever the case, the longest shame is the shame in front of others. (Because if you do a shameful thing that no one witnesses, the shame will drift into your subconsciousness forever).
For a perfectionist, shame is a real enemy. Because in about two dozen embarrassment in the last ten years, there might be only two cases that stayed in the minds for normal peeps. As perfectionists, because of high standards, their expectations of something are often pretty far from reality, that’s why they would cope with the feeling of their own shame more than others.
So, if you are not a perfectionist: take a breath, take s step to control your shame, why would you let it dominate you and not vice versa?
But if you are not a perfectionist, are you a public figure? If not, you are still lucky enough. Imagine the embarrassing moments of celebs being photographed, recorded, made into meme and spread around day by day.
Do you feel better?
Now if you already took a step to control the feeling of shame. Now have a look at it. In my personal experience, observing inner emotions is not just objective, it also makes my mind calm and less sensitive. Just by observing the emotions, the role changes, you will be the dominant, not the emotions that can dominate you.
You will see it just as a simple emotional cube. If it is a personal feeling, such as sadness or boredom, it is easier to cope than shame: the type of emotion which is always exaggerated because of being judged by others. That’s why this feeling often bother us the most.
But the first truth is, the shame that makes you uneasy remembering of, is not really a shame to all the witnesses. Points of view are different from one person to another, which means the same thing you can think of as a big mistake and feel very embarrassed, but to others (for example, people who demand less), it would not be considered as a mistake at all.
So let’s suppose that 50% of people who were there look at that thing as shameful.
The second truth would be that, in those 50% considered it as embarrassing, almost all of them had forgotten it. They all have their own shame and have no time to remember yours, if you’re thinking of yourself as the center of the universe. If there is a person who still remembers, the chance they will repeat that to you many years later is extremely low. Also, my own experience shows that no one remembers the shame in my past. So if anyone repeats that to you, then the guy is a bit unusual, a bit too disgraceful and cruel. Will you exposing yourself to shame in front of an ungrateful and cruel man?
So there is almost no outside factor that exists for you to present your shame anymore.
Now we can see the shame as a piece of completely personal and intrinsic feeling. Drop it in the box of “negative emotions,” and condemn it in the following ways:
- Negative emotions often show off when we are not too busy. Getting a bit busy over something is a good way to repel negative emotions effectively. If you do not know what to do then you can try my “100 new things”.
- You can also observe your feelings. Watch it closely in the direction of gaining experience. There is no point immersing yourself in the past if you do not learn anything from it. Do not study history to repeat it, but study to improve.
- Unless past mistakes are too serious, you may accept yourself for some minor ones. Because of course we are not perfect. The 80/20 rule shows that if you try to achieve a little more toward perfection, you will add a lot of effort which most of it is not properly recognized.
I hope that just by thinking a bit differently, you will know how to manage your shame. Only ONE thing that caused shame, do not let it make you remember and get embarrassed for so MANY times.
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