Self-confidence and shame are inherently linked. Ready to start feeling better about yourself? The time to start is now! Today turns into tomorrow. So let’s do this. Here are 3 healing shame therapy worksheets to start freeing you today.
Where Does Shame Come From?
Shame is a belief. A belief is something that we believe to be true. You may be wondering how to change your beliefs? It all begins with a thought.
Our thoughts give us emotions. For instance, if you are thinking “What is the point of getting dressed today, I’m only ever in the house.” your not going to feel very valued or good about yourself. Conversely, another person may think “Now that I am at home full time, I have ample time to look after my physical and emotional needs.” This person is more likely to feel good about themselves and embody a healthy level of self-worth.
What are you thinking about yourself?
Time needed: 20 minutes.
How to uncover what you truly think about yourself.
- Pick one area of your life to test your thoughts and beliefs.
It could be career, family or relationships just to name a few.
- Ask yourself what do I believe about (topic you chose)?
Let’s use your career as an example. Do you feel worthy of your job? Do you feel respected by your peers? Are you experiencing security or are you worrying that you may get let go?
- Write down your beliefs.
Be raw and honest. You are here doing the work to help yourself. Your beliefs could be: I am going to get fired, it’s been six months I always get fired at six months or I know he is going to leave me, I need to message him to make sure that we are ok. They never last long, they always leave.
How to Change Your Beliefs
The good news is a belief is made up of a series of thoughts and emotions. We can change our emotions by changing our thoughts.
Our belief system is based around our thoughts that we have had during a reaction to an event. For instance, John was fired from his first job after his six-month probation. John experiences instability and hardship over losing his job. He scrambles to find a new one. When he finally gets into his new role he begins to feel uneasy when he is receiving constructive criticism. He begins to think that it is all happening again and that he is going to get fired once his probation is over.
This thought process continues and John begins to be jumpy at work. Perhaps he works longer hours to show how valuable he is and ends up burning out. The next simple task could simply be the straw that broke the camels back and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. He thinks to himself I knew it. I knew I was only going to last six months.
Now his belief system is further inforced.
Just remember where ever you go you take yourself with you. If you want to truly fresh start you need to wipe away the negative thoughts and do some internal maintenance.
Challenging your beliefs
Time needed: 20 minutes.
How To Challenge Your Belief System
- Write down your belief you want to work on.
Example: Jeff: “I can’t do anything right”
- What evidence do you have to prove this theory?
Example continued “Well, my wife always yells at me and no matter what I do it’s never right.”
- What evidence do you have to disprove this theory?
Example continued: “Well in my job as an electrition I have to work out the problem and then execute a solution. So I guess I do get things right at work.”
- Time for the verdict!
With all the evidence can you say that the statement (insert your statement from step 1) is 100% correct? In this instance, the answer is no. We can see that there is competence in the area of work. I bet if you looked into other areas of Jeffs life he would find further competencies too. He runs and plays basketball there for rendering him competent in his sports.
If you do this exercise honestly and dig deep you will generally find that the answer is always no. It once was a scientific fact that the world was flat but now we know that is no longer true. I bet the negative thoughts you are thinking about yourself is not true too.
Changing your beliefs
Time needed: 20 minutes.
Reprograming for a healthy belief system.
- Take one of the negative beliefs you have been having about yourself.
Example: “He is going to leave me. They always leave”
- Look at the verdict from the previous exercise.
Cleo saw that many people stay in her life. Not everyone leaves.
- Introduce a new thought.
Now it’s time to start reprogramming. Brainstorm a series of thoughts that you could replace the old negative thought with. Here are a few examples for the previous example.
1. I am good at relationships.
2. My friends appreciate me.
3. I have several long term relationships.
While those affirmations are not for everyone I have made a list of a few you may find useful:
- I am enough
- I am well-liked
- I am worthy
- I am who I am
- I am confident
- I am capable
- I am unique
- I am valuable
- I am a conquerer
- I am interesting
- I am acceptable
- I am resourceful
- I am accomplished
- I am patient
- I am honest with myself
- I am beautiful inside out
I hope you found these three techniques helpful. Challenging your thoughts and rebuilding healthy new ones is a great way to start rebuilding your self-esteem.
How to Deal With Shame
Which of my 3 shame therapy worksheets did you find most helpful?