Today’s article is about a short and shy feeling in your life. 
It might come up when your subconscious mind takes over shortly after you finally brought intuition to your awareness (and you know now what you truly want to do for a living).
Today’s article is about experiencing shame.

Imagine this:
Your vision is no longer covered in grey clouds, but it’s clear in your mind. 
Visualizing it leaves you with a warm, confirming, comforting, peaceful and inner balanced version of yourself.
You feel this is it. 
This is what you want to do for a living.
What you want to push yourself towards.
It’ just a glimpse, but it feels beautifully precious.

Can you feel it?

This feeling is satisfying, honest and vulnerable.
It is what meeting your true authentic self feels like.
Meeting who you truly are by giving attention to your real needs and desires. 
It’s the highest form of self love and inner freedom.

You are all set for your wants and you are very certain that this vision is a 100% right for you, right now.

But wait a minute.
What is that?
Suddenly your subconscious mind crawls in. 
You start processing thoughts that weren’t around a couple of seconds ago. 
You suddenly realize that your vision of what you do for a living is different.
Different from what the people in your environment are doing.

Just a minute ago, it felt so right and now you can’t even reach your previous feeling anymore.
Ultimately, your vision makes you feel weird now. 
Like someone who behaves in a bizarre manner. 
And who is not supposed to act that way.
Like a weirdo with strange wants.

You are afraid of not being normal. 
You stress about doing something wrong.
You worry about being the only weirdo in your environment.
And you feel embarrassed by who you truly are.

It seems grey clouds have moved in again and it has slowly gotten cold. The sun has become invisible and the joy for life has disappeared.

Breathe in. Breathe out.
And breathe in. And breathe out.
This feeling is unpleasant. I feel you. I’ve been there too.

What you are experiencing is shame.  
Simply, shame.

Shame is your built-in GPS of what you should de doing in a group, community or work team. 
It gives you a sign, a warning or a direction when you are doing something that will lead you towards somewhere wrong.

In a well functioning navigational system of shame, things like doing harm to others, hurting someone emotionally or physically, stealing items from others or killing an animal or a human being leaves you to feel ashamed. And that is ok.
You feel ashamed and you are guilty for doing something non compliant to law and values. 

In a non functioning navigational system of shame, things like doing what we truly desire for a living leaves you feeling ashamed. 
Harmless wants and beliefs are considered as harmful to your society and as non-compliant to the invisible rules of how to life a life.
That makes you feel ashamed for wanting to live life as who you are. 
In this case, you are not guilty. You are not breaking laws and values.

Experiencing shame makes you struggle to open up to your real desires and to fully live in alignment with your intuition.

Shame holds the risk of not following through on who you really are and instead internalizes your societies belief’s about who you should be. 

Coming to terms with who you authentically are and what you authentically want is a process. You don’t simply push the door to your authentic self open, walk in and adapt who you are with a flick of the finger.
Experiencing shame on the way towards living a work life as your true authentic self, is one chapter of the process.

Shame is, just like any other feeling, data. 
Data tells you what is important in life. 
Data doesn’t direct you on what to do.
Feelings are a signpost to explore how you feel and why.
Feelings are not meant to stop shut you down.

It’s your choice what do to with your shame.

Ideally feelings are meant to be fully experienced, but not to be lived.

It’s ok to feel ashamed when you are aware of your shame.
When you bring awareness to your conscious mind, you can reflect on your shame in a bigger context and decide what you want do with it.
For instance, hold on to your shame, when it supports you. 
Or let go of your shame, when it doesn’t support you.
You can also embrace your shame with love and thank it for testing your willpower and for providing some extra portions of confidence for your own authentic path of life!

Feelings are always for the good. They are the language of your inner guidance.
Just don’t forget, that a fulfilled life starts with feelings.

– This article was inspired by Susan David and Karla McLaren.

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Mareike Schönig

ICF certified Professional Coach
Heilpraktikerin for Psychotherapy

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