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Zdjęcie główne artykułu Unmasking Shame: The Silent Saboteur of Self-Esteem

Unmasking Shame: The Silent Saboteur of Self-Esteem

Text from the series “Holistic Healing Chronicles: Nourishing Your Body, Mind, and Soul for Lasting Wellness” by Nisarga Eryk Dobosz.

Greetings to all fellow seekers of healing and self-discovery!

Let’s put it simply, shame is that cringe-worthy, icky feeling we get when we’ve done something we’re not proud of. It’s the kind of thing that makes us want to hide under a rock because it’s just so darn uncomfortable. And not only is it uncomfortable, but it also brings along its friends: fear, anger, and sadness. Shame’s like this big disconnect button; it freezes us up and makes us want to vanish into thin air. It’s like being trapped in a tiny, invisible box.

Shame is like a nagging voice inside us, constantly whispering, “You’re not good enough,” or “There’s something wrong with you.” It’s a heavy burden that chips away at our self-esteem, our sense of worth, and our confidence. We end up feeling lousy about ourselves, our actions, and just about everything in our lives.

This feeling of shame often leads us to build unhealthy self-esteem based on three main patterns:

1.Attribute-based: We start measuring our worth by external factors like money, status, education, beauty, or the quality of our relationships.

2.Performance-based: Our self-worth becomes tied to how well we perform in various areas of our lives, whether it’s at work, in sports, or through sheer productivity. This can lead to workaholism and pushing ourselves to extremes just to feel worthy.

3.Others-based: We seek validation from others to feel good about ourselves, whether it’s through likes on social media or acknowledgment from friends and family.

These patterns of building self-esteem are like shaky foundations that can crumble under the weight of shame. But recognizing these patterns is the first step towards breaking free from the grip of shame spirals, and rebuilding our self-worth on healthier, more stable ground.

To kick shame to the curb, we gotta bring out our inner adult. According to something called Internal Family Systems, our minds are like this three-part harmony: there’s the wounded child, the adaptive child, and the functional adult. When shame takes over, it’s usually the adaptive child calling the shots. This part of us might make us do all sorts of funky stuff, like deny, attack ourselves or others, withdraw, or even go all self-destructive. But guess what? We’ve got the power to break free.

Stepping into the shoes of the functional adult means seeing things for what they really are, feeling our feelings without getting swept away, and practicing mindfulness. Stuff like meditation or grounding exercises can help us get there. When we can watch our shame without getting sucked into it, we’re free to shake off those toxic feelings and strut our stuff with dignity. And from this place of clarity, we can choose new ways to deal with life’s curveballs, rewiring our brains for intimacy, safety, and joy.

But hold up, there’s another character lurking in the shadows: our inner critic. This little troublemaker pops up to tell us we’re not good enough, too much, or just plain wrong. It’s like having a cranky roommate we can’t get rid of. But instead of fighting it, we can make friends with it.

Approaching our inner critic with compassion and understanding changes the game. Suddenly, those harsh voices become a source of insight and guidance. Instead of beating ourselves up, we can have honest conversations, finding playful ways to move forward. Like, when my inner critic started ragging on me for gaining a few pounds, I decided to listen instead of shutting it out. Together, we came up with a plan to eat healthier, exercise more, and now, we’re like a dynamic duo.

So, the next time shame or your inner critic come knocking, remember: you’re the adult here. Embrace them, listen to what they have to say, and then gently guide them toward a more positive path. Who knows? You might just end up making some surprising discoveries about yourself along the way.



With heartfelt compassion and dedication,

Nisarga Eryk Dobosz


Follow Nisarga’s Facebook page – here

Nisarga Eryk Dobosz – founder of the Integral Body Institute. He has been practicing bodywork, breathwork, meditation and tantra for over 20 years. He is a bodywork and breathwork therapist, specialising in Myofascial Energetic Release, Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release and deep tissue work. An experienced teacher of Lomi Lomi Nui massage and Tantra.

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