Worthlessness, depravity, torment and fear. The definition is up to you. No matter where you stand, shame breeds nothing but negativity, which can cause you problems throughout your journey. Life experiences can lead to shame along with hurts and disappointments. These situations may give people a shame-based nature that we carry around like old baggage. Shame can also be a glowing mantra if low self-esteem is formed at an early age. Additionally, people tend to internalize shame from embarrassment or from the result of unkindness shown to them by others. But it is how people deal with shame that carves out their path. We can overcome it or succumb to it. Psych Central reported, "psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental-health professionals have reported that abnormal styles of handling shame play an important role in social phobias, eating disorders, domestic violence, substance abuse, road rage, schoolyard and workplace rampages." We don't know exactly how to get rid of shame 100 percent. Beat shame at its game with the following 7 insights.

Dig a little deeper.

Ask yourself the reasons why you feel shameful after a situation or random thoughts, it could be from an old wound and there needs to be healing. Shame has a way of being passed down through the generations. The cycle just continues to go on until someone makes the decision not to live like that anymore. For example, if a child is constantly ridiculed, neglected or abused, they will feel that they don't belong and they will feel not worthy--shame then sets in. The child will do the same thing when they become adults if it is not corrected.

Express yourself through writing.

Be honest about what you’re feeling. You can start writing to release your negative emotions. Writing is a great way to discharge what is going in your soul as well. By keeping a log of your feelings, you can start to gauge and catch certain patterns in your thinking. This is a good start for someone who doesn't like to confide in people that easily. When you’re done, take the paper and crumble it up and burn it if you need to. This not only signifies a release in your emotions but it is a way of letting the past go.

Remove negative barriers.

Remove things in your life that are negative or no longer bring you joy anymore. If you are around people who make you feel shameful, it is time to clean house. What we mean by this is someone always being critical of you and what you do. If you accomplish something, they find something to counteract the achievement with a negative remark. Enduring this for a period of time will spark shame and it will erode confidence as well.

Stop working to please people.

You will not be able to please people as we are a fickle bunch. This only leads to more dissatisfaction and more shame! Author Joyce Meyers explained: "You can stop striving for acceptance, stop lying awake wondering if you’re good enough and stop living under the tyranny of people pleasing," she wrote. If you want to experience freedom, stop pleasing people because there will be days they love you and there will be days where they don't.

Silent your inner critic.

We are told in 2 Corinthians to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We need to heed this advice when we are dealing with shame and dealing with thoughts that we are not good enough. "These critical feelings lead to avoidance behavior," Betty W. Phillips, Ph.D. wrote. "This can include overeating or drinking, oversleeping, in other words, attempts to drive the bad feelings away. Shame is even more destructive, with people feeling powerless, embarrassed, humiliated, worthless and self-hatred." Clear out your negative thoughts to remain focused on the positive and refuse to listen to inner chatter that is discouraging. 

Forgive others.

Pretending that nothing is wrong is more damaging and will bring more tension into your life. Holding onto what you or someone else has done is another assault on the mind. Acknowledge your frustrations, pain or cry for a release, but don’t be dishonest with yourself or others. Drop the pain by replacing obsessive thoughts of anger with a Scripture or imagine a place that brings you peace. "You can choose to stay stuck and hold on to anger, bitterness, resentment or you can choose to move forward by letting go," wrote Dr. Linda Mintle. How can you do this? Start to forgive others whether they deserve it or not as it is for you.

Set better boundaries.

Boundaries are needed to maintain a balance in life. Give yourself permission to say “no” without carrying the baggage of guilt if you feel pressured or if you feel like you are being manipulated. If you need help, write a list of ways that you can set up better boundaries. This can be at work, at home, or in your relationships. By setting boundaries up, you are also stopping shame. This will come in handy as people use shame as a weapon of power to get you to do what they want you to do. This will also take out the users, the tricksters and those who push you to the limit.

You have the power to stop the shame game from defeating you. You need to cast out shame for your health, family and overall happiness. Know that the process will not be easy because there could be old wounds that need to be opened and healed. If you need assistance, find help from a mental health provider so you can find the wholeness that you are looking for.
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