Want To Heal Your Shame? Change Your Perspective!

Recently I attended a talk from an inspiring healer. She described what I’ve experienced for a long time: healing is a process. A path. The same can be said about healing shame.

But why is perspective so significant when it comes to conquering shame? Why are changes of perspective a sign (or by-product) of healing?

I noticed that recently I kept jumping between two self concepts. On one hand, there was my old self: other-directed, weighed down. This part that feels small, insignificant, unworthy, incompetent and “not good enough”. When I fell back into this self image, one thing stood out: I lost my power and energy. My courage. I felt dis-empowered.

On the other hand, there was this new self image. The one that has grown over several years, with every new, positive experience. This self image feels powerful. Strong. Shiny. Grown up. Proud. In this mindset I meet the world fearlessly and with assertiveness. I don’t shy away from encounters because I am sure of my value.

Mind you, I am not talking about superelevation. We can believe we are superman or superwoman while actually covering our insecurities. When it comes to proof, however, we then bail out.

When we create from our authentic power, our actions are proof. We act from our core. In this mindset, we can (re)shape our environment.

Two Perspectives

Simply put, there are two perspectives we can take on. The positive (accepting) and the negative (rejecting). This corresponds to two of the earliest abilities of an infant. It either pulls things towards it or pushes them away. This early ability to distinguish is necessary for the survival of our species.

I know that our world is not black and white. Even more so, as there is also a “neutral” position.

We can adopt a million perspectives, and each one is “true” in their own right. Crucial for me was to understand that I always have a perspective. My perception is never “the” truth. In the best of cases, it is a tiny part of the truth. We are always subjective.

But this means we can question perspectives – both our own and that of others. And we can try and choose new ones.


The good news is: Our shame is subjective, too. And it stems from subjective judgement of others. That means we have learned our shame bias. What good news can we deduce from that?

If we have learned and taken on negative judgements about ourselves, we can also unlearn them. Gerald Hüther, a well-known German neurobiologist, points out that our brain remains flexible and adaptive our whole life. We are only condemned to eternity if we believe it to be so.

Beliefs And Thoughts

Shame mainly grows from our beliefs and thoughts. About ourselves and others.

What if we can learn to question our convictions and differentiate between those that empower us and those that tear us down?

One of my trainers once said, a therapeutic intervention means to create a difference. By asking questions, allowing new experiences and trying new behaviour, we can come to better, more empowering results. Or – just to bring up another therapeutic term – we can reframe* our experience.

I want to underline that it isn’t easy to overcome shame. Or better, I could say: I still believe it’s difficult. One day, I might find easier ways and let go of that thought.

Oh Captain, My Captain!

Healing is always a work in progress. Unlearning needs time and repetition. But that’s ok. Because the new shows itself more and more, and that feels exciting!

If you want, ask others what they like about you. You might be surprised about their perspective. Or put yourself onto a stool before you look into the mirror. You will certainly look different.

Yes, sometimes we need to grow into this new self.

But it is worth it!

Reframing: to bring a new context and meaning to a situation

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