Shame can be incredibly damaging to our confidence and self-esteem, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Below are 17 effective ways to let go of shame:
Why You Should Learn to Let Go of Shame
Shame is an emotion that we all feel at some point or another. It’s normal to feel ashamed of ourselves when we make a mistake or do something that we’re not proud of.
However, for some people, shame can be a crippling emotion that prevents them from moving on with their lives. If you find yourself dwelling on your past mistakes or feeling unworthy of good things happening to you, then it’s time to learn how to let go of shame.
By letting go of your shame, you can feel more at peace with yourself and be happier with who you are as a person. It takes practice and patience, but it’s an important step towards having more confidence in yourself, your actions, and your life choices.
17 Ways to Let Go of Shame
1) Try a Different Perspective
Try looking at your own actions and motivations from another person’s perspective. How does your behavior affect them? How would you feel if someone else was acting that way toward you? If a friend or colleague came to you with a problem, how would you respond?
Try applying what you’ve learned from other people’s responses when responding to yourself. Accepting yourself is an essential part of letting go of shame.
2) Forgive Yourself
One of the most powerful things you can do is forgive yourself. Holding onto shame is like holding onto a heavy rock—it prevents you from moving forward. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes, acknowledge that there’s nothing wrong with you, and focus on building new, healthy habits.
It’s okay to make mistakes; it’s not okay to let them hold you back.
3) Acknowledge Your Feelings
Acknowledge your feelings without judgment. Shame is a powerful emotion, and it’s okay to feel it.
Don’t try to bottle it up or push it away; let yourself feel the full force of the emotion. Once you’ve acknowledged your shame, you can start to let it go.
4) Understand What Caused The Shame
Before you can let go of shame, you have to understand what caused it. Ask yourself: What circumstances or behaviors led me to feel ashamed? Look for patterns.
Are there certain situations that trigger your shame? If so, what can you do to avoid those situations or better deal with them when they arise?
5) Talk About It
If you’re struggling to let go of shame on your own, talking to someone else can be incredibly helpful. Find a trusted friend or family member and tell them what you’re going through. It can be difficult to open up, but it’s worth it to get the support you need.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, there are plenty of hotlines and online resources available.
6) Write About It
Writing about your shame can help you process your emotions and start to let go of the hold they have on you.
Write about what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling it, and how it’s impacting your life. Once you get everything down on paper, you may find it easier to let go of the shame and move on.
7) Seek Professional Help
If your shame is impacting your day-to-day life, it may be time to seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand and work through your emotions. If you’re struggling with addiction, there are many resources available to help you recover.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.
8) Practice Self-Compassion
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to practice self-compassion. Be kind and understanding with yourself, especially when you make mistakes. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend.
Self-compassion is an important step in letting go of shame.
9) Take Small Steps
Trying to let go of shame all at once can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on taking small steps each day. Make a list of things you can do to let go of shame and commit to doing one thing each day.
These small actions will add up over time and help you make progress in letting go of shame.
10) Focus on the Present
It can be easy to get caught up in thoughts about the past or worries about the future. When you’re trying to let go of shame, it’s important to focus on the present moment.
Try to live in the here and now as much as possible. This will help you let go of shame and move on with your life.
11) Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
The journey to letting go of shame is not an easy one. There will be setbacks and difficult days. Don’t be hard on yourself when this happens. Just keep moving forward, one day at a time.
12) Embrace Acceptance
If you’re struggling with shame, you may have trouble accepting who you are. But embracing your true self will allow for more authentic experiences in life—and a happier existence overall.
Finding a way to accept yourself as is, even if you don’t like what you see in the mirror at times.
13) Let Go of Perfectionism
One major reason why shame persists is our pursuit of perfection. If we make a mistake, we beat ourselves up because we think we should be perfect. But the truth is that nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes.
Forgiving yourself for your imperfections is an important step in letting go of shame.
14) Learn to Forgive and Forget
If you want to let go of shame, you have to learn to forgive yourself—and others.
Forgiving those who have wronged you will help you release the anger and resentment you’re holding onto. It will also free up space in your life for more positive emotions.
15) Create a Support System
When you’re trying to let go of shame, it’s important to surround yourself with people who support and accept you. These people can provide a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or helpful advice.
Look for friends, family members, or even professional counselors who can help you through this difficult time.
16) Believe in Yourself
One of the most important things you can do when trying to let go of shame is to believe in yourself. No matter what you’ve done in the past, you are worthy of love and respect.
Believing in yourself is the first step to letting go of shame and starting to live a life free from its negative effects.
17) Be Patient with Yourself
The process of letting go of shame can take time. Be patient with yourself and don’t expect overnight results. Allow yourself to move through the emotions at your own pace.
What Happens When You Learn to Let Go of Shame
When you let go of shame, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities. You no longer have to feel guilty or ashamed of your past. You can start living life more fully and authentically.
Your relationships will improve because you’ll be more open and honest with others. Letting go of shame is a courageous act that will lead to a more fulfilling life.
Shame is a heavy emotion that can weigh you down and prevent you from living your best life. If you’re struggling with shame, know that you’re not alone.
There are many people who have gone through the same thing and come out the other side. Use the tips above to start letting go of shame and begin the journey to a better life.