I can help you live guilt and shame free!
The feelings that arise from guilt are quite like those that arise from shame, but there is a difference. Shame does not necessarily mean hurting others. Rather, it is the painful feeling arising from violating norms and values. Shame is about doing something improper or ridiculous, and the subjective feeling of being worthless because of who we feel we are. For the individual, the feelings that arise from guilt and shame feel like the difference between making a mistake and being a mistake.
Toxic shame can be very harmful psychologically and physiologically, becoming deeply internalised and having a damaging effect on the nervous system. Toxic shame can be self-punishing, often occurring when the harmful treatment someone has suffered, usually during childhood, is turned inward, forming a belief that they themselves are somehow responsible for the pain they are experiencing, and a deep-rooted belief that they are unworthy and unlovable.
Someone experiencing toxic shame may have a belief that their behaviour was wrong, but this is compounded by a sense that they are a bad person, contemptible, and undeserving of anything good in their lives. Feelings of ‘I’m a vile and horrible person’ or other pervasive thoughts will repeatedly go through this person's mind.
1. Shame would make you feel embarrassed because others saw what you did and probably thought badly of you. You also feel that your actions were wrong. You reflect on your personal values and priorities and tell yourself that you will be more careful and considerate in the future.
2. Guilt would come from imagining how the child must have felt. The empathy you feel would make you decide to stop if something like this happened in future, even if it means missing the bus and being late for a work meeting. In future you would stop to apologise and make sure the child is ok, asking what you could do to make things right.
3. Toxic Shame ignores the possibility of the other two reactions. Instead, toxic shame is not a realistic response to the event, it is an emotional overreaction, a deconstructive thought process rather than a constructive one. With toxic shame, the individual's thinking jumps straight to ‘I’m a despicable human being and I deserve to suffer and get pushed around by everyone forever because of what I’ve done.’
Many of my clients have found themselves unable to find happiness and move forward with their lives because of toxic shame and the deeply rooted feelings they held.
Likewise, someone may suffer from toxic shame simply because self-shaming has become their way of being and the foundation of their identity. As a result, they haven't learned to love and accept themselves. In this case, the toxic shame that developed makes them feel inadequate in many areas of their life.
A traumatic experience in adulthood, particularly in romantic relationships, can lead to someone doubting their worthiness. For someone involved in a co-dependent relationship, toxic shame might have formed the dynamic between them and their partner. In this scenario, they may have become subservient, require a partner’s approval for most things, and depending on them for affirmations of worthiness. This would inevitably lead to the feelings of toxic shame developing further.
Someone may also believe that something is wrong with them if they are a victim of narcissistic abuse. Research has revealed that toxic shame often forms because of someone being abused by a partner who has a narcissistic personality disorder.
Whatever the reason for toxic shame developing in someone, they are subsequently stuck in the belief that they are not worthy and undeserving of abundance, love, and happiness. They are convinced that, no matter how hard they try, they will never be enough. Fortunately, help is available. COACHD Rapid Transformational Therapy™(RTT™) and Hypnotherapy, treat the root cause of toxic shame, freeing my clients to live their best life and become the person they want to be.
Many people fall prey to abusive partners due to their feelings of toxic shame and become targets for easy manipulation. An abuser will notice the individual's need to be liked and their fear of feeling ashamed and they may skilfully suggest that they adore the person but would feel disenchanted if they found out that the person was in fact, not perfect. This opens the door for the abuse since the victim will now withstand anything to maintain that sense of ideology in the eyes of their abuser. Therefore, it is common to see people who are caught in abusive relationships sacrifice everything to prove that they are worthy, and as means of avoiding further feelings of shame, or as a form of self-punishment. Abusers will often use open insults and acts of violence while sighting the victim's unworthiness as the justification for their actions.
Similarly, toxic shame can give rise to anxiety. When someone feels there is a lot for them to feel ashamed of, it is quite normal for them to become anxious and apprehensive. Toxic shame may also trigger bouts of depression since internalised messages about the person's lack of self-worth make them believe they are undesirable or incapable.
That feeling of not being enough is an incredibly common issue. In fact, without any consultation, I can confidently tell my clients that there are only three things that can be wrong with them. The first is, I’m not enough. The second is, I’m different so I can’t connect. And the third is, I really want something, like a successful sporting career, but it isn’t available to me. A possible fourth belief is, even if there is help available to me, I don’t deserve it.
Ultimately what this feeling of not being enough comes down to is a lack of self-belief and the fear of failure, judgement, and rejection. From birth, we are hard-wired to find connection and avoid rejection. It’s the fear of rejection that is crippling and can cause many of the issues that I treat in my clinic. I teach my clients that the only person who could truly reject them is themselves, and that other people can only reject them if they choose to let the feeling in. ‘I am enough’ is a phrase I ask my clients to tell themselves repeatedly, because when they know they are enough and they truly believe it, everything becomes available to them.
So, if you’ve been routinely convincing yourself that you’re a bad and horrible person, your mind will do everything it can to make that your reality. Issues including Depression, Nerves, Anxiety and a lack of Confidence are good examples of this, they are your mind and body's response to the beliefs that you hold about yourself, beliefs that can give rise to an even more powerful ‘inner critic’. Your mind will keep you exactly where you tell it you want to be, as if acting on your instructions.
Although the mind resists change, it is also quite brilliant at changing through repetition. In other words, tell your mind something enough times and in the right way and it happily recodes itself to the new instruction. That’s an aspect of the mind that I take full advantage of when treating clients suffering from guild and shame.
I use this powerful therapy to help people get to the root cause of their emotional, physical, or cognitive issues. When I treat a client for guilt or shame, I believe it is crucial to help them change their way of thinking, and any unhelpful beliefs and patterns of behaviour. Concentrating on the causes rather than the symptoms vastly increases the chance of success and lasting change.
Click this link to watch my short video on Rapid Transformational Therapy™ (RTT™).
COACHD hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind, helping people deal with their past trauma and transforming any negative thoughts and beliefs into positive, empowering new ones. With COACHD Rapid Transformational Therapy™(RTT™) and Hypnotherapy, my clients learn how to free themselves from guilt and shame and become the people they want to be. I believe my therapy is the most powerful and effective treatment available for these conditions. Read more about Rapid Transformational Therapy™(RTT™).
RTT™ helps people get to the root cause of their emotional, physical, or cognitive issues. When treating a client for the issues that are causing feelings of guilt and shame, we believe it is crucial for us to help them change their way of thinking, and any unhelpful beliefs and behaviour, in order for them to increase their chances of success and achieve lasting change.
Our hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind, helping people deal with their past trauma and transforming any negative thoughts and beliefs into positive, empowering new ones. With COACHD Rapid Transformational Therapy™(RTT™) and Hypnotherapy, our clients can boost their self-belief and eliminate feelings of guilt and shame. We believe our therapy is the most powerful and effective treatment available for the damaging effects of guilt and shame. Read more about Rapid Transformational Therapy™(RTT™).