The Thing that is Stopping You from Living your Life

Do you ever get a rush of panic or shame come up inside of you when you think you might have done something wrong and/or upset someone?

I think it’s a learned response to the arbitrary, unpredictable, and intense shame put on kids by adults if and when an adult decides that this child has done something wrong.

It has people growing up hypervigilant and fearful of making mistakes and doing the “wrong thing”.

And because it was a completely unpredictable occurrence, it can be experienced in adulthood as somehow always lurking and ever present.

“Moral perfectionism” can be paralyzing. It can absolutely stop people from living fully expressed and enjoyable lives.

Being so afraid of doing the wrong thing makes it so you take far fewer changes to do things that might be really good for you, transformational even.

Here is the way out of it. Realize this:


Sure we will make mistakes. Kids will. Adults will. Mistakes are part of life. What you don’t deserve is someone raking you over the coals for it.

You are free to live without fear of a reaction that will disqualify you from being a good person.

You don’t need to hold space for anyone’s shaming of you. Ever.

Once you realize what is happening, you can stop it. Once you pick up on the tone and the direction of the communication, stop it. Become unavailable for that anymore.

People who are emotionally mature, loving, and respectful don’t do that anyway.

So, if someone is trying to make you wrong, disqualify or condemn you… that is their problem. They are hurting and don’t know how to communicate properly.

Yes, you can understand and own the impact of your behavior You could even choose to hold space for someone’s anger and upset.

But that is something different.

That is an experience of an empowered person who know he/she does not deserve to be belittled, who has high self worth, good boundaries, and who has the capacity and desire to be there for someone else.

Teach people how to treat you. With respect.


Be careful with your corrections of your children, both the intensity and frequency.

Start looking at yourself and the way you interact with your kids.

Become aware of your own triggers that might make you act in shaming/blaming way of your children. Own your own behavior and hold yourself to a high standard.

Learn new skills. Get help.

If you are going to correct your kids, think about how you would like to be spoken to.

Guiding and teaching doesn’t require making someone feel unloved, bad about who they are, or that they are less than.


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