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What is Shame Resilience and Why is it Important?

I thought I’d continue on from last weeks blog ‘The Difference between Shame and Guilt and Why it Matters’ with a further focus on shame and why we need shame resilience…

Shame: we’ve all looked in the mirror and seen it staring back at us. Though its power and theme often differ among people, it’s a fundamental human emotion. We’re all on the same road even if we’re driving different cars.

While shame has existed since the beginning of time – after all, the T-rex was probably ashamed of its tiny hands – it’s been in the spotlight most recently. Much of this has to do with Brene Brown, PHD. She defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance, connection, or belonging.”

Shame is an issue worthy of dissection – it can lead to a slug of problems, from eating disorders to suicide if it’s allowed to run wild. It can also make relationships challenging, particularly the relationship with oneself.

But it’s not just about learning what makes shame tick; it’s also about resisting what shame is telling us and overcoming it. In other words, shame resilience is something that benefits everyone.

So, what is this exactly? Brown defines it as:

  • The ability to recognise, name, and understand what triggers our shame.
  • Developing a critical awareness about our shame (as well as its triggers).
  • A willingness to reach out to others instead of falling into isolation.
  • Speaking to others about our shame.

Shame that goes unchecked – a shame we don’t resist at all – can lead to other dangerous emotions including rage, despair, and fear. Each of these emotions can be destructive to our lives, our careers, and even the lives of those who love us.

Shame resilience, on the other hand, allows us to be connected and compassionate. It also gives us the necessary tools to practice empathy. Perhaps most importantly, by asking us to name our shame and speak to others about it, we’re able to be authentic and love ourselves for the best reason possible: because of who we are.


Hiya, I’m Karen, energy therapist and mind body expert for dynamic and ambitious women who are struggling with anxiety. I help them to get to the root cause of their anxiety so they can take back control other thoughts and be the calm and confident woman they want to be.
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