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How to make peace with shame.




Brené Brown defines shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection. This feeling may be excruciatingly obvious or very subtle.

NOTICE this: The first step towards healing shame is to notice when you are being self-critical. It may be that your self-critical voice is so familiar that you don’t even notice when it’s present. Whenever you’re feeling bad about something, think about what you’ve just said to yourself. Consider asking: Is that true?


Vulnerability offers you relief from having to hide from yourself, the simplicity of just being as you are without having to change anything. Resisting your experience of shame creates endless suffering, but acknowledging and allowing it is required for healing shame on any level.

OPEN to this: Journaling is a potent tool for healing shame because it’s a way to start telling your story so that you can own your story. This intrapersonal (connection to ourselves) work is key to helping you face your story without shying away from it and is a necessary step toward overcoming shame.


Self-compassion is the remedy for shame. Having compassion for yourself is no different than having compassion for others. Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.

WELCOME this: What language would a wise and nurturing friend, parent, teacher, or mentor use to gently point out self-judgment, while also encouraging you to be compassionate? What is the most supportive message you can think of that’s in line with your underlying wish to be healthy and happy?