Strategies for Overcoming Shame: Reclaiming Your Self-Worth

Arne Pedersen

Registered and Certified Counselling Hypnotherapist, Victoria, B.C.

Healing from Shame: Strategies for Recovery

Shame, at its core, is a belief that we are inherently bad, unworthy, or responsible for unacceptable actions or events that happened. It’s a heavy burden that can weigh us down, robbing us of joy and self-acceptance. Whether stemming from our own actions, judgments from others, or traumatic events, shame can deeply affect our sense of self and limit our lives.

Understanding Shame:

To heal from shame, it’s crucial to first understand how it operates and what triggers it. Whether it’s internalized beliefs about ourselves or external judgments from others, shame thrives in secrecy and isolation. By shedding light on shame and its origins, we can begin the journey towards self-compassion and self-acceptance.

The Power of Self-Love and Acceptance:

Engaging in this practice is an act of self-love and acceptance, as it involves giving yourself the attention, acknowledgment, and care you deserve. By creating a safe space for yourself and nurturing your inner voice, you affirm your worthiness and build inner confidence.

Tips for Overcoming Shame:

  1. Create a Safe and Comfortable Space: Find a quiet, secure environment where you can build an awareness practice without interruption. Ensure that you feel safe and at ease, as feeling unsafe during the practice may reinforce feelings of insecurity and discomfort, when we want to do the opposite.
  1. Focus on Your Breathing and Body Sensations: Begin by bringing your attention to your breath and the sensations of your body. Notice the gentle rhythm of your breath as it flows in and out, and observe any physical sensations without judgment.
  1. Scan Your Body from Head to Toe: Take a slow journey through your body, starting from your head and moving down to your toes. Notice the presence of each body part and acknowledge its existence, fostering a sense of connection and awareness, which over time cultivates worthiness from your continued attention.
  1. Establish Boundaries: Pay attention to where your body meets the chair or floor, recognizing the boundaries between yourself and your surroundings. This helps reinforce a sense of self and physical presence.
  1. Notice Body Sensations Without Judgment: Allow yourself to simply observe any sensations that arise in your body, without attaching labels or interpretations, because it is the labels that pull us into negativity. When your mind wanders or thoughts try to pull you away, gently guide your focus back to your body sensations.
  1. Cultivate Self-Acceptance Through Body Awareness: By tuning into your inner felt sense of body feelings and sensations, you are practicing self-acceptance in the present moment. Recognize that your body is the vessel through which you experience life, and as you honour its role in your journey, it will begin to support you with feeling better about yourself.
  1. Consistency Builds Habit: Commit to practicing this mindfulness exercise regularly, ideally for at least a few weeks to make it familiar within your regular routine. Over time, it will become a habit, allowing you to cultivate a deeper sense of self-acceptance and dissolve feelings of shame.
  1. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a loved one facing similar struggles. Embrace your imperfections and recognize that self-compassion is the antidote to shame.
  1. Consider Professional Therapy: While self-help strategies are valuable, some wounds may require professional intervention. Therapy offers a safe space to explore and heal from shame, guided by a compassionate and experienced therapist.

Why Therapy Matters:

Therapy provides a comprehensive approach to healing from shame, addressing underlying traumas, negative beliefs, and coping strategies. Through modalities like mindfulness, hypnotherapy, and emotional processing, you can uncover the roots of shame and cultivate self-compassion. To ensure your therapy journey is as productive as possible, I provide a comprehensive audio program to maintain momentum and progress between sessions.

Ready to Reclaim Your Self-Worth?

If shame is holding you back from living a fulfilling life, know that you’re not alone, and support is available. Schedule a free 1-hour Zoom video consultation with me to explore how therapy can help you overcome shame and rediscover your innate worth. Together, we’ll embark on a journey towards self-acceptance, healing, and empowerment. Don’t let shame define your story—take the first step towards reclaiming your self-worth today.