Curb your shame! Don’t let shame mess with your style!

I’m worse than others. I don’t deserve happiness and love. I’ll never find a real friend. I’m hopeless. I’m ugly. I can’t do anything right. I’m a bad mother. I’m a terrible partner. Nobody likes me. I won’t get anywhere better in my life.

Strong, right? These are not just empty words out of thin air. These are thoughts that terrorize and clip the wings… These thoughts are nothing more than a toxic SHAME, which blocks and stops you from taking action. Everyday reality, which concerns women all over the world. And we still don’t talk about it enough.

The feeling of shame is and will be present in your life. It is a universal emotion that can bring a lot of good to your life. Positive shame will help you better understand yourself and avoid dangerous situations. It appears in situations where you try to set limits. Toxic shame can destroy your self-esteem. It appears in situations where you’re criticized and you take it very personally.

If you hear from the very beginning – “You’re so stupid!”, “Aren’t you ashamed?”, “You’re so bad!” etc. you build a low level of self-worth. You identify with criticism and receive it very personally – I’m stupid! I’m not good! I’m shameless! Erroneously formulated critics, instead of referring to a specific situation, referred to you and made you feel not good enough.

The most common reasons for the appearance of a feeling of shame are:

  1. External causes:
  • your weight
  • your size
  • your height
  • your body: figure, hair, teeth, acne
  • the way you dress.

2. Internal causes:

  • insufficient historical, geographical, political knowledge, etc.
  • your job
  • your passions and hobbies
  • your social life
  • your character traits
  • your earnings
  • your living standards
  • your need to belong
  • family/relatives.

Shame comes at the moment when you think that you are not part of certain standards (which in your opinion are the accepted standard). When you compare yourself with others and find differences that make you feel worse. Toxic shame blocks your style and makes you lose the courage to explore and discover yourself.

Imagine a situation in which most of your friends wear designer clothes and you can afford Fast Fashion clothes only. You feel worse every time you meet because you think you don’t look as good as them. You feel worse because you can’t match their level of life. You feel worse, but ARE YOU WORSE?

SHAME dominated my life. As a teenager and young woman, I was ashamed of my body. I tried to adapt instead of stepping out the line. I was ashamed of quitting studies and not having a college degree. I felt less valuable on the job market. I was ashamed of not traveling enough. I thought that if I haven’t seen the world, I’m not a good company to talk to.

I was ashamed of not being able to build a strong relationship with a man. I felt that something wasn’t right with me. I was ashamed of the number of removals I survived because I lost the track of where and how long I lived. I love singing and I was afraid of getting any sound out! To this day I remember this evening, where my partner played the guitar and I kept on staring at him… I didn’t allow myself to have fun and relax. And we were alone! Can you believe that?!?!

Did I like myself at that time? NO! I felt not good enough, stupid, and ugly.

Did I look like a woman who wants to change the world? Hell NO! Did I have my authentic style? Well, I had style but it was more accidental than planned. Instead of using my potential, creativity, and empathy, I was going back and forth feeling hopeless and unworthy. I was hiding my great ideas from myself and the world.

“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”

Brene Brown

This woman – Brene Brown turned out to be a real breakthrough in my life. She made me realize that it is only the exclusion of the way I treat myself. I considered myself not good enough. I didn’t show respect, understanding or love to myself. It was ME, who thought I’m unworthy. This woman really shook me and woke up forbearance for myself.

Thanks to her speach, I was able to catch and analyze the moments in which I started to criticize myself dangerously. If I could do it, you can do it too! If you only understand that the feeling of shame that is directing you has nothing to do with what you are.

What is waiting for you on the other side, when you stop worrying about negatives and concentrate on positives? Freedom! You’ll feel free and safe from evaluation and criticism. You’ll be ready to experiment. Uou’ll be open to your body. You’ll see yourself differently. Let me use the same exapmle as previously:

Your friends are wearing designer clothes while you can afford Fast Fashion only. What’s the change? Well, you don’t feel worse anymore. You focus on yourself and you find statement pieces that are flattering your figure and are affordable for you. It’s more challenging, sure. But you know that style has nothing to do with price. You build your style with confidence with the lowest budget. You’re not ashamed to look stunning in a dress from Zara for 50 euro. Shame is replaced by empathy. You’re a presence in your friend’s life. You’re a partner not only for yourself but also for them.

Authentic style = good relationship with yourself.

You live for yourself, not for others. You dress for yourself, not for others. You’re beautiful because you feel beautiful. And yes, you will experience feelings of shame. Positive shame is something you need! Set your own boundaries when something is too intimate and personal for you, or when you’ll face a situation for the first time in your life.

I think the subject of shame will come back here more than once. I read and I listen to how we live separated from our own emotions. How big compromise we make in the name of family and the common good. How do we give up our dreams because we don’t believe in ourselves. How we give up on our look because we think we’re not good enough. And I say NO. I disagree. I’ll do everything for us to talk openly and share experiences. I don’t want toxic emotions in my and your life.

It’s time for me to leave you with our thoughts. Watch this short video again and again if you need to. Believe that you can influence how you look, how others perceive you, what work you do, how much you earn, and how your family treats you. Trust the timing. You’re here for a reason 🙂

We got the power!

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Magda Netkowska
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