LY 46: Shame & Guilt after Sharing Boundaries

*Click here to listen on iTunes.

Setting boundaries can be scary, and although it gets easier with practice, it can still be scary. I still deal with this today. And even though it feels like you’re totally alone, you never truly are. If you are going through a tough time, please reach out for help. Email me at jessica@jessicamaytang.com if you’d like. I’m here for you! 

Today’s episode is all about moving through the emotions that can come hand in hand with setting boundaries: shame and guilt.

These two emotions are actually the work of the ego - it’s trying its best to keep you where you’re at. As long as you’re feeling shame or guilt around something you’ve done out of love for yourself, expansive growth towards your inner/future self will be stunted. (Insert the corniest joke here about how I don’t mean “stuntin” 😅 - it was a bad joke!)

How many times have you felt ashamed or guilty after sharing your boundaries? 

Guilt versus Shame: How to Move Through Each

Guilt is when we feel like we did something bad. 

When we feel guilt, the inner thought goes, “I did something bad.” 

For most of us when we were children, we were taught something called manners. For example, we were taught to apologize if we accidentally hurt someone else.

And unfortunately, I’ve heard so many examples of this in my RTT sessions with clients, many of us internalize these experiences (of accidentally hurting someone and being made to apologize for it) to mean that we are responsible for other people’s feelings.

We internalize that we should be feeling bad for hurting someone else, even if we did not mean to. Many of us end up beating ourselves up for making such a horrible mistake. That’s guilt. 

But in reality, we are not responsible for anyone else’s emotions.

We don’t need to beat ourselves up for “not knowing better.”

We can detach from the situation as if we were gathering data (and this is where ego likes to pipe up and say that we “should” take more responsibility because that’s what it means to be a decent human being!).

The only thing we are responsible for are our own emotions, thoughts, and actions. We are only responsible for being conscious of whether we are choosing to move into alignment or out of alignment with inner self.

If you are moving in alignment with inner self and someone ends up feeling hurt by that, you can detach from the situation, acknowledge yourself for moving in alignment with inner self, and decide what action you’d like to take from there.

You can take responsibility for your actions, apologize from a place of love towards the other person AND yourself, and then decide what to do from there. 

You did not cause someone else’s emotions

How many times have you heard, “You made me (feel ___)”? 

Or in psychophhtth, “When you did this, I felt this.” But when we hear it in our heads, we hear, “When I did that, I hurt them. I made a horrible mistake, and I feel really bad.” 

IRL, their emotions of hurt or pain are NOT caused by you. Because their emotions are caused by….their OWN thoughts, which are created through their OWN past emotions, stories, experiences, beliefs, etc. 

So on the same note, they are also not the ones “making you feel guilty.” Who is actually “making you feel guilty”? 

Continuing to beat yourself up about doing something that felt right for you but didn’t feel good for someone else you care about is how most of us end up becoming people pleasers.

We take on the responsibility of other people’s emotions.

We were taught that we had to be more careful about how our actions affect other people, and it’s very unpleasant to see someone be unhappy with us. 

We felt like it was our personal responsibility to make sure the people we love are always happy and if they are not, it means we did something wrong. 

If you’re at a point where you’d like to let go of people pleasing so you can finally take ownership of YOU, guilt is something you will want to look at, acknowledge, and release. 

How to release guilt 

Detachment is the key word. You can detach yourself from the belief that you may have caused their pain, and just notice the thought go through your mind. Notice the feeling of guilt that piggybacks on that thought. And instead of attachment yourself to that belief and emotion of guilt, watch it go by. And decide to believe something else instead. What would the new belief be? (You can scroll down to see one possible answer. 🙂 ) 

Your voice is powerful 

Always remember that your voice is powerful and can positively impact millions when you speak from love. I talked about this more in Episode 43: Setting Boundaries with Love.

When you allow yourself to use your voice with love, you’re opening up the space for others to look at their own boundaries, beliefs, and stories and see if there are any that they’d like to change. 

When you don’t share your voice and your truth, you’re enabling other people to continue crossing yours (and others’) boundaries. 

In speaking up for yourself, you’re also speaking up for others out there who many not have the courage yet to speak up for themselves. You’re their gateway drug. 🙂 

Shame is when we feel like WE are bad.

On the flip side, when we feel shame, the inner thought goes, “I AM bad” or “I AM a bad person.” Shame is one of the lowest vibrations we can ever choose to operate in. When we are operating from a place of shame, we are actually attracting to us more situations that continue to trigger more shame thoughts, emotions, action patterns in you. 

You have to be the first one to believe something different about yourself

Even though you may have been told your whole life that you are a bad person, you can choose to NO LONGER BELIEVE IT.

It’s not other people who need to change their opinion of you first - YOU have to be the first one to change that belief so you can start attracting to you situations that help trigger new thoughts that you ARE a good person. 

Remind yourself how much you deserve to be who you are. Day in and day out. Saying the words, “I am a good person” is a great first step. To make this even more powerful, you want to create the feelings inside that feel “I am a good person.”

Tap into your inner self, who always knows that you are more than enough, that you are a good person, that your true core is nothing but love, and feel those emotions of love and inner peace, even if it’s just for a few milliseconds at a time. 

Subconscious Methods of Releasing Guilt and Shame

These are the more conscious methods of releasing guilt and shame so you can make space to become your inner self. One of the most effective SUB-conscious methods that I’ve tried is Rapid Transformational Therapy.

It was so incredible for me that I got trained and certified in it myself and I’m so happy that I get to use it now to help other people finally move away from being people-pleasers to becoming someone who feels confident, strong, and peaceful at the same time.

If this is something that you are interested in exploring further, I invite you to learn more about RTT here.

And if you’re ready to consider working with me specifically, please click here to schedule a quick call with me. 

I hope you enjoy this episode! 

EDIT: Of course, as life would have it (thank, you, Universe), I needed to hear this episode, too. From the emails I’ve been sending out, you know that I’ve been moving through my own guilt and shame over a dissolving friendship. So again, know that you’re not alone and together, we can help each other move through what we need to move through and continue on our path to co-creating the life we most desire to live.

Side note:

In the beginning of the episode, I mentioned that my boyfriend, Melo, had finished his board exam, and at the time of publishing this episode, he did indeed pass so he’s a licensed and registered physical therapist now in the state of California. 🙂

Another side note (last one, I swear):

Today’s episode was about me choosing my language very carefully because I care about the energy behind the words I use and the energy I expand forth with my podcast.

This is a process that I talk about a lot with my own clients, and we do this work together when we have coaching calls and also in our emails back and forth.

I think words are so very powerful, and the hard part is that every single person actually has a slightly different definition and understanding of each one.

So the best that I can do is to choose words that mean what I want to mean and clarify the ones that most likely mean something slightly different to most people. 

 

 

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