The greatest growth block for humans in my opinion is shame.
We are embarrassed about ourselves many times.
We said something stupid or something we regretted later.
Or things did not turn out the way we expected.
Or we failed in some form of a public context.
We did not meet expectations, we made mistakes or we performed poorly (shit happens).
Shame is a weird thing because it creates an invisible cage around us.
We feel isolated when we feel shame.
Nobody is here to comfort us, we are all alone in our little shame prison.
Our feeling of shame keeps us trapped.
Shame paralyzes us and we stay in an unhappy state and hope that distraction will come soon to lighten up our dark prison and get our focus off our perceived lonelyness.
As adults, we can clearly see, analyze and recognize these feelings.
For younger folks it is even more difficult to handle them, because they lack the element of self reflection.
They are still to learn the position of the observer.
They ARE what they FEEL.
This makes the feeling of shame even harder to process and it is even more entrapping.
Learning equals moving.
A trapped person can not move.
Shame is the biggest enemy in a learning environment.
The next time you see your student feeling ashamed, make their life easy.
Tell them, that’s ok, I make mistakes too!
When you say this, they don’t feel alone.
They don’t get into the invisible cage of isolation.
Feeling a true and honest human connection makes us strong and enables natural growing and learning.
And it is easy to provide! Just say that you know this feeling, you understand it and yes, you are not perfect yourself.
These are the magic words:
“No problem, just keep giving your best.”
When was the last time you felt shame?
How did you get over it?