If you find yourself in self-judgement and shame, such as thinking “I’m not good enough,” you’re not alone. It’s a Universal experience.

Did you know that when you judge yourself, when you shame yourself, you shut down the Learning Center in your brain? The result is that you stop learning new ideas and seeing possibilities. You become stuck.

Self-love and kind attention are the antidote. I get it, self-love brings up a variety of responses in people from a welcomed relief, and a reminder to there’s no such thing, and it’s just selfish thinking. Studies have shown that self-criticism, shaming, and blaming is experienced as anxiety and can bring on depression.

I’ve discovered that the way to help people change their behaviour to overcome depression or anxiety is not through better self-judgment, common sense, blaming, and shaming themselves. The better way is saying, “Oh [insert your name], I see you’re afraid.” By naming the emotion of fear with kind attention and compassion, you calm it and turn on that Learning Center for curiosity, which gives you the resources you need.

When I’m shut down in fear, self-hatred, or shock I’m walking around with blinders on and can only see what I need to defend against. With those fearful blinders on I’m missing the people and situations that are there to help me.

If you take away one thing from this, I hope it is that guilt and shame don’t work.  They don’t help you or support you in achieving your goals and dreams.

What you practice and focus on grows, so recognize and practice kind attention to yourself and your thoughts about yourself. Take 20 seconds to sit in that experience of kind attention to encode it into your long-term body memory. Let that experience become your go-to response.