Manage episode 286131344 series 2816873
Shame sucks. Shame sucks on so many levels because it doesn't end because you can feel ashamed for feeling ashamed for feeling ashamed, you get it… In this episode, I’ll share tips for dealing with shame. And along the way, I’ll reveal my dirty laundry, which should hopefully make you feel less alone in the world.
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I like calling shame the great negative emotion multiplier. By the way, I’m using myself as an example and share things that I could be ashamed of…
This week, I found myself on social media a lot. I have tried implementing a new social media strategy. I saw that I had about 200 followers on a platform (TIK TOK). I had 200 followers on TIK TOK GUYS. I busted my butt to get to 20,000 on Instagram and now I have to manage another platform, TIK TOK?! AND THEN…. there is Clubhouse. Yet, another social media platform to get busy with. On Clubhouse I have just about 150 followers; when will this ever end!? I mean what must a person do? Maybe I'll luck out and Angelina Jolie will decide to run around my yard naked and I can post that, and her naked pic will go viral! Twitter, Facebook, Insta, Tik Tok, Clubhouse, email marketing all of it is really enough to drive anyone bananas. In my overwhelmed state, I saw my comedy world colleagues had huge numbers of followers; 200K. 100K. I started feeling quite jealous actually. I mean damn, they have something I want! I started to feel like I was not good enough. I said to myself, “UGH what is wrong with me?” I felt inadequate and uncomfortable with that feeling.
Then comes the SHAME.
In my head, I hear:
What is wrong with you Aidan?
You should be happy for your colleagues.
You call yourself an empowerment coach?
They've been working at their platforms longer than you have, you have no right to feel this way.
Now I feel ashamed about: feeling inadequate
Then I got to thinking:
Well, I really should know better than to feel ashamed about this; I mean you are supposed to be an expert for goodness sake. Get it together and practice what you preach.
Now, I feel ashamed about my shame about me feeling inadequate. Very easily I could feel ashamed about my shame about my shame; about my feeling inadequate. The shame spiral could go on forever, like an onion that never ends. How to fix this is. Take whatever you feel ashamed about and tell someone about it. First, pick someone you trust. You’ll soon find out, you are not alone.
I get jealous of people who have more followers than me on social media, sometimes. Many people get jealous of people who have more followers on social media. It's just that no one talks about it, out loud. Nobody is generally posting things on social media that might paint them in a vulnerable light. I’m here to tell you. I’ve heard it from people with tons of followers.
You manage shame by coming to an understanding that you are not ALONE in your experience and that you are still lovable even if you feel somethings that might be "unlovable" by society’s standards.
I am a recovering addict. I had a relapse after my book was published. Yeah, a book about EMPOWERMENT and I relapse after the book’s release. I felt really bad about it actually. I had been working hard to stay on track because I have a history with addiction. For me to relapse felt really shameful. Luckily I have amazing friends. I told someone right away which got me back on track quickly. They reminded me, Aidan, you don't have to be perfect. No one is perfect. At least you are authentic about your imperfections and struggles and that is what makes your book relatable.
I broke down in tears. I was on the shame cycle. However, I find that the more I tell my story, the more power I take back.
It is such a lonely feeling when you suffer alone. When you feel you must hide a part of yourself to be acceptable. You feel ashamed for who you actually are and no matter how many accolades and devotions of love you get, you won't feel less lonely. You are holding something that is making you feel inadequate.
I actively work to be as open as possible. Luckily my line of work allows for that. I can tell you, I have a history with drugs. When I didn't feel like I was good enough in high school, I used to be a compulsive liar. I am HIV positive. I used to be a prostitute. I've tried to present myself as very important and came across pompous. I still occasionally have temper tantrums and breakdowns.
I am not perfect. But I am working to the best of my ability. By sharing that which I have been ashamed of with others I know I am not alone in my experience. I was never abandoned or put aside by any of the things I was ashamed of. I am a much less lonely person every time I choose to take this step.
If you are starting this journey, start with someone you really trust. Call a hotline even. Go on reddit and post about it. Whatever it takes
to let someone in. See how less alone you feel in the world. See how much power you get back.
Love you guys.