Shift shame and self doubt now

Personal Growth

Written by Tracey Burns

February 6, 2021

Several years ago I hired someone who took all my old family home movies (VHS) and converted them to an easy to view digital format. I wanted to preserve the videos but was also going through a period of self doubt and shame. I wondered if watching those videos would bring some comfort.

My recall was so inaccurate that when I began to review the videos, I was surprised to see just how much time and interpretation had grotesquely twisted my memories to fuel the shame and self doubt I was experiencing. 

I want to drag knives over my skin, just to feel something other than shame, but I’m not even brave enough for that. ~ Paula Hawkins

Watching the videos was both heartwarming and soothing to the shame and self doubt I was feeling. Had I done enough for my kids? Could I have made better choices? Isn’t life easy in hindsight?!

Got some things you’re hanging on to that fuels your own shame and self doubt?

There was so much celebration and forgiveness available in watching this very young version of myself navigating motherhood, illness and self employment. I was struck by just how young I was and all the responsibility that fell on my shoulders. 

Self doubt can creep up when we are growing and uncomfortable because we are in unfamiliar territory. Although the sensation isn’t pleasant, know that it can signify that something great is on the horizon.

Give yourself permission to question your thoughts, opinions and judgment, but do it from a stance or frame of mind that is love based and useful.  Forgive yourself. There’s a reason the old saying “hindsight is 20/20” is still used today, of course we’d make different choices if we could see into the future and know with certainty that decisions we made would turn out well for everyone.

Take comfort in knowing that this time of your life will pass if you’re willing to lean into what lies ahead for you with trust and unconditional love for yourself exactly where you are.

Trust the journey that you are on and if you are going through a particularly rough period of self doubt and judgment these four suggestions will bring you comfort.

1.     Pull out photographs and/or videos from your younger years and look at them with compassion.

2.     As you look, reflect kindly, with unconditional love for the version of yourself you see.

3.     Remember, time and interpretation have a strange way of skewing the facts.

4.     Make a list of all the things you have done well in your life. Things you are proud of, accomplishments, people who you’ve cared for or made an impact on.

Remember that you wouldn’t be the version of yourself today without the past that you’ve just lived through. Life happens. I love the quote by Stephen Richards, “When you forgive, you immerse yourself in healing waters.”

Forgiving yourself often frees you up to take bolder risks and restores your health and vitality.  

Go with grace and love.

 

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