This week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me and I’m sharing the highs and the lows with you. This is a story of shame and regret initially but feeds into some wonderful lessons on inspired self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. We can be our own harshest critic with the most clouded judgment… without questioning ourselves, we will never see the results we desire.
Join me in this episode and discover some amazing tools you can apply in your life and business when you’re not getting the results you expect. Instead of shame-spirals and internalizing your disappointment, I’m imparting some questions for you to answer, moving you from feeling gut-wrenching shame to exuding the passion that lies within.
Welcome to Empowered Wellness for Leaders, a podcast that teaches CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales leaders how to deal with the unique challenges of balancing a high-stress career, family, AND their own health. Here’s your host, Certified Executive Wellness Coach, Diana Murphy.
Well, I am so glad you’re here. I have had quite the journey through the emotions this week, right on the tail of all my powerful mindset episodes, right. And I think this is where real life hit some great concepts.
I want to share a little bit of something that happened for me. I set a big-ass goal for myself this month – pardon my language – and it ended up being a very quiet month in my business. You want to talk about crickets?
In terms of engaging clients, it was conversations, it was the amount of people that came to my webinars, everything. I mean, everything that happened was just, it was so quiet. And for me, it triggered a huge shame attack.
But what I want to tell you is it was a beautiful journey of me coming out of it, what I learned in it, and because I’m operating now in a very different emotional space that is the furthest thing from it – and this is just last Tuesday or Wednesday – I want to show you what happened in the moment and how to get out of these places.
So on today’s podcast, it’s maybe going to sound a little different. I’m typically very much a cheerleader when I teach and share new things, but today, I want to share with you kind of what took me out at the knees and to help you recognize when you’re in a bad spot and walk through it with you and showing you how to offer yourself more acceptance and compassion in that moment.
It’s like building a muscle. I want to show you how it really is the strongest most courageous then you can do, offering yourself self-compassion. So it’s what will make you strong, resilient and capable of doing great things in all areas of your life.
So I think so often, we are reticent at offering ourselves self-compassion, or being tender to ourselves, because we think it makes us weak. And what I want to show you today is it really makes you strong.
So as I realized that I was going to end my month drastically short of the revenue and engagement goals that I’d set out for myself in late April, I realized that I was feeling very embarrassed and ashamed of myself… Okay, a lot ashamed of myself. I had gone public with this goal early in the month in this new mastermind group I’m in and I was just going to be so proud of myself when I told them I hit this goal or when I’d come close.
Whoops, my bad, “Just kidding, I’m not as badass as I thought.” When I was sharing this experience with my coach – I’m so glad I had a call with her this week – she asked me such an amazing question and it began to turn everything around. And the results, my friend, were totally worth the one question that she offered to me during this session.
She said, “What is adorable about that goal, Diana?” I’m like, what? I just wanted to cry, right. My first reaction, even in that moment that she was asking me that, was to slink, slide away and just say, “Yeah, pretty adorable and stupid of myself.” How naïve could I be? Who was I to think that I could accelerate and grow that fast?
Then, as she kept prodding me with that type of question, she said, “Well maybe the right question isn’t how adorable are you, maybe it’s how courageous were you, you know, what is good about this?” And I realized how incredibly brave it was that I set myself towards a goal that was a big hairy goal.
And I want to tell you, my friends, when I started thinking that way, poof, shamed I busted. The ideas started flowing and literally in that moment with my coach, in my brain I felt like this curtain was drawn back. I started writing down and creating the plan to get to that goal.
I had the idea. I had what I wanted to do to get there. I could taste how possible it was and now I believe that that scary goal, that number that I put out there with my mastermind, was just a really great idea waiting to be born. And now, my energy is up, I’m not hiding, I’m not slinking around being ashamed; I’m taking action. Watch out, people. What a transformation.
Have you been there? You’ve set a big weight-loss goal, a sales goal, a fitness goal, anything that was really important to you and big, and then when you set the mark and missed it badly, it caused you some real emotional pain. I’ll be honest with you, these shame storms are inevitable if you’re growing and if you’re human. Good to know, right.
It’s a normal freak-out when we’re doing something that we haven’t done before. Let me repeat that; it is normal for our brain to freak out when we’re doing something we’ve never done before. And it’s also sometimes why we quit and why, in these moments, self-compassion is actually a sign of strength.
If you use it more and more towards yourself, I promise you, as you accept yourself for the awesome amazing person that you are right now, you will develop the strength that you need to actually hit that goal and grow in the process. Let me use some examples, just so you understand what I mean.
Have you never been able to lose weight past or below a certain number on the scale? And as you set out to hit that, you actually gained weight this month. Or, you’ve set a goal to run a 10K but you’re sucking wind doing even a five right now and the 10K is two weeks away. Or, you accepted the challenge of a certain sales goal for your division with your boss and this month it just sucked despite all the activity you took. Or, you’ve stepped into a new role at work and your confidence is waning now with all the mistakes you’ve made in that new space. You’re like, “Really, I thought I could do this.”
When you’re in that want to hide in the corner moment, there is a beautiful way to bust it. And it really requires some courage, maybe some new questions and slowing down a little bit in these moments instead of – what we really want to do is go in the corner and hide or go have a really big glass of wine.
Alright, let me show you how I’m going to continue to show my example of what happened this last week because it’s really beautiful and I’m proud of it and the only thing I had to do – the only thing I had to do – was to be really compassionate and just really be tender towards myself in a few moments.
Alright, so what are the steps to do this yourself? I’m going to coach you through it. First, it’s notice and identify the shame. I’m going to give you some really clear ways to notice when it might be happening. Next, bust it with great questions and flowing through that, giving yourself space and some self-care. I call it self-care yourself out of it.
I think there’s really some cool ways you can do it. And next, go. Like with all the new insight you’re going to get in these moments, you’re going to know what to do next.
Okay, how do we identify when we’re in that shame moment? It might be when we’re in that imposter syndrome, like when we start saying things to ourselves like, “Who are you to think you could do that? See, you failed again. You can’t do anything right.” These come from marrow beliefs, statements that explained those fail moments when we were young.
And even if you were raised with really encouraging parents, truly, it happens very commonly for people that had very critical parents, but believe me, you can have really healthy young environments in your life and still have these marrow beliefs.
Our brain used them to explain and kind of protect us from harm when we had fail moments. And I don’t know why they’re laid down in this way. I don’t know why they’re triggered. It’s just our brain on repeat of some very, what I call, marrow beliefs because they’re so deep and they’re just tricky. They’re shame-filled, they’re critical, they’re the mean girl, they’re the mean guy, they’re the drill sergeant, whatever you call them. But noticing when they come up is so important because they’re not helpful.
So notice them for what they are. You may notice it in your behavior. I know I do. Hiding for me looks like wanting wine at one o’clock in the afternoon. I don’t ever do that really, but that doesn’t matter; I really still want it at one o’clock. I eat fluffier foods.
On one of those really bad days, I may just want Mexican. And this means, like, I want the whole bowl of chips and the cheese enchilada and anything fluffy. Oh, and give me the desert, right; that’s what shame-dives look like for me.
And it’s hiding – I noticed – and I’ll share that with you a little bit, but we’re hiding from others. We don’t want to talk about business anymore. Like, a week ago, we might have been so excited and now we don’t – it’s like, please don’t ask me how things are going.
So that’s like, notice the hiding, notice that gut punch. It really is a sucker punch many times for us. So that’s how we notice and identify the shame trigger or that moment where you might need some great compassion. So when you notice it – and I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling it again right now – so bust it with some great questions.
I’m going to offer you some choices and grab the question that resonates with you. We all use different adjectives that kind of trigger great turnarounds. So, what is amazing? What is badass about this? What is courageous about the goal you set? What is beautiful about this? What is good about this? Pick your adjective.
Even use these as a list. I’ll have these questions in the show notes. What is it for you? Choose your question for next time. Remember it. And for me, what is good about this starts me in a really good zone and I like asking where I was courageous because a lot of times, these shame triggers come up when we are being really brave.
So now, at that moment, give yourself some space to start processing how you’re answering those questions. Slow down here and in this moment, come up with the truth. Your first reaction will not be the truth. That’s when I wanted to hide. I wanted to convince my coach that I was just so naïve for setting that goal. This will be when those ugly thoughts come up for you.
Let yourself process; keep asking the question. In light of the fact that you’re an amazing human and a brave, brave human being, what is awesome about you setting that goal or trying whatever it was that felt like a fail? What is awesome about you going for that promotion and maybe not getting it? What is awesome about you just even trying something new?
Note what comes up. The way that you begin to describe yourself with these better questions is the truth. Next, as we notice the truth, we really start seeing that shame bubble. For me, it pops it and it starts allowing for more inquiry and more insight on what was going on for me. But I love the next step, and this is a powerful way to pull yourself out of it as well.
Take care of yourself after you’ve had a shame-dive. This is when inspired self-care works. I’m not talking about more hiding, sitting in bed eating buckets of ice cream and watching Netflix for three days. Think Legally Blonde after her boyfriend did not propose and broke up with her, right. I hope some of you watched that movie.
It’s not that. that’s not self-care, right. I’m talking about a couple of steps to ease yourself out of that yucky emotional space. A massage, a sweaty workout, a quiet meditation if you’ve just got a few minutes of quiet led meditation, some yoga, and then ask, what do I need right now?
For me, I need some human support. I was glad this kind of was processed during a coach call, but sometimes I’ll talk to good friends of mine. So get support. Not the poor me kind, go to friends that are going to be honest with you and maybe help you gather some new ideas about how to step forward.
This is sharing with trusted partners or family members and then also taking care of your physical body. There’s something that I notice when I have these shame moments or these fails and my body still kind of carries some of that shame; that residual emotion. And although I’ve allowed it and I’m turning around, there is something in me that loves to work it out.
And I’m telling you, sweat and a massage really works for me. It’s a really beautiful turnaround for me. I love doing the thought work first, sometimes though, it happens while I’m on the mat, while I’m in the workout or while I’m in the massage. Like, I’ll start thinking these better thoughts or get more creative and it kind of pulls me out of it.
But use self-care inspired – I call it inspired self-care – in those moments to take care of what has happened to your physical body, because it might have been a week’s worth of this. And I know for me, it was probably about 10 days.
Alright, that is really fascinating to me that I had this coach call and I also was about to walk into a two-day planning retreat for me. I planned every 90 days, no matter what, a planning retreat for the next 90 days in my business. And fascinating, I had this shame dive and because of the time with my mom in Florida, I didn’t get that planning day.
And I actually think this might help me in more of my goal setting, so I highly recommend doing this in your business. If you want to know more, send me an email. I’ve got a great plan laid out if you need a two-day retreat for your business.
Alright, getting back to my example, I was so thankful that I kind of was starting to make this turnaround before I checked into the hotel. So before I did that, I got honest with myself and I thought, those girls that heard my big hairy goal think I’m just marching right on to it. I need to be honest.
So in that mastermind, I outed myself and just shared with them what was going on. And again, that gathered really healthy support. I also shared it with my husband. I’m learning to be more vulnerable with him and not only tell him the good news in my business. And that was really helpful to me.
It’s something fascinating here that bringing light to the fail busts the same. Shame cannot live in the light. It can’t live in the truth; the truth about who you are. And it cannot live in the light of honesty and just saying out loud. So remember that, even if you’re the only one in the room and saying it out loud is like, “Dang, I failed, but aren’t I brave to do this.” I think it can really be helpful.
So as I walked in the hotel, I really wasn’t giving myself permission to have a massage, spend money in that way. I was going to do takeout, not eat in the room, you know, expensive room service. And I realize, as I started planning my afternoon, I really wanted that massage, so I booked it. And I had an amazing experience.
If you live in Atlanta, I have her name. She is amazing. I did a stone massage and realized that that was a beautiful way – I just felt so much better. It just stopped the whole process of that shame spiral.
So notice when you’re feeling down on yourself instead of continuing that beat-up mode, interrupt it with those shame-busting questions and then give yourself some space and time to process, bring some light to it and then start doing some planning.
Really, the results of that two days would not have been the same if I’d not done that work. Alright, if you’d love to dig a little deeper into this, Brené Brown studied shame. I can’t imagine that process and the work you’d have to do being the researcher in it, right. And she – if you’ve never heard of her, she has a TED Talk.
So search her TED Talk, start there and there’s two books I highly recommend to you. For you perfectionists, like myself, out there, I’m the type A, I have to have straight A, student all the time. That is just something that operates pretty fully in me and the book that’s really helpful there is The Gifts of Imperfection.
And the other that got my attention as I was building my business is Daring Greatly. I think I might need to revisit it. It’s a really good way to walk through this. Brené Brown offers great work. Even search her in Soul Sunday. She’s been interviewed by Oprah. She’s got two new books since those two that are really awesome as well.
It’s just a beautiful way to shame-bust when things are going on that way for yourself. If I had not learned from my coaches and other successful business owners how to do this, I know that those two days in the hotel might have been a continuation. And this is what really happened; I met Junie, who is the best massage therapist I’ve ever met and had the best stone massage ever.
I crunched numbers that afternoon and realized that I had not only grown this year, I doubled my business this year compared to last. What? Yeah, I had a quiet May; good. I doubled my revenue this year. So I started celebrating my four-year anniversary of my practice. I realized – I didn’t even remember this as I’m planning the retreat and I’m all about celebration – that shame-dive was preventing me from seeing what was really awesome.
So I started celebrating the anniversary of my practice. The second night I was in this hotel and retreat, by that time, I had created a new program, I was already marching out my calendar and I’ve got two webinars planned, two amazing challenge weeks for you guys and just amazing work and I was just so excited. It is just so much more fun that beating myself up about what I wasn’t doing because processing this shame and really enjoying the turnaround of it, I was able to be really, really creative.
I would have missed it. If I hadn’t cleared up that BS that was going on in my mind, I would have missed the opportunity to create something alive and powerful in my practice. So, I hope this example has helped you.
I know that these tools, I need to remind myself all the time that self-compassion is the power; being kind and taking really good care of myself when I’ve had a failure moment. I just hope that even in this moment, you will ignore the inner critic, see it for what it is and march on and hit that dang goal that is so important to you.
Alright, I’ll see you next week. I am going to share with you how to pack and prepare for your summer vacations. And then, part two, the next week is going to be what to bring home from your vacations. So I’ve got two episodes that you can lean on all summer. So if you’re not vacationing yet, you can come back to them in the next weeks. But I really encourage you to listen to the first one. It really is all about setting intention. So I’ll be recording that for you this week and I just can’t wait.
Thank you so much for listening. This was a little different podcast for me today, getting really real with you on what is going on for me and I hope it’s been helpful. Have a great day and thanks so much for listening.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Empowered Wellness for Leaders! If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more, download our Free Video Series: Empowered Wellness Now. Visit dianamurphycoaching.com to sign up today!