What is shame?
Have you ever thought about what your shame is? We all carry shame in some way, for example, feeling embarrassed and guilty about something. Your belief system of not feeling good enough or others are better than you is not a nice feeling. As a coach, you need to be aware when your client sat in front of you the shame they may carry.
Shame is a horrible feeling, when you feel it, you feel bad and have some regret. Ask yourself how often do you feel this and what does this feel like.
Another question is, how often do you shame others? Do you notice yourself doing this, and what does this mean? Shame leads to depression and self-esteem and can be very lonely. Shame is a topic worth exploring in detail with your clients and yourself as a coach. Knowing your own shame helps you understand sitting in the client's shoes.
A good exercise is to ask yourself what your shame is then follow through with a journal. Really think about how you feel when you notice any feeling, and what feelings and thoughts trigger. it will be very uncomfortable but great learning if you write for five mins a day. As a coach, you will be used to reflecting your clients won't be.
Where does shame come from? It can come from various sources culture is one of them. Imagine the eighties where homosexuals and lesbians were made to feel ashamed because of their preferences. Think about what that must have felt like just because it was different. The feelings must have been huge. What did it do to those people, and some will still carry some shame. This will of course affect your self-esteem and the self-worth you place on yourself.
Finally, think about people from authority from your childhood like teachers and parents. A simple comment from them will play on your mind and lead to other factors in later life. Something like University is not for people like this…. Think about what that creates through life, that voice in your head.
Some people hide their shame, feel ashamed to show their shame. Think about if you hide it under something like anger. Serious shame leads to depression and self-harm.
What is your shame? Great reflection as a coach to recognise this to help your clients.
Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training, and you can read more about her here. She delivers training on all personal development, coaching and numerous training the trainer courses.