Moments of Shame and Triumph

When I’m stressed, lonely, sad, my inner saboteur throws a wild party, dancing around in circles inside my reasoning mind. While my defenses are down, doubt creeps in. My head gets stuck playing back, distorted, dark and unhealthily twisted, the moments in my life that made me feel the smallest. These are the most shame-filled moments I’ve known and the reliving tears at my peace of mind.

But then my reason and intelligence return. I get a grip on myself and start thinking it through. It doesn’t do me or anyone any favors to simply dismiss these thoughts, feelings, memories without examining why they’re still there, or at least acknowledging that I still feel them and need to deal with them.

So here’s an exercise I’ve learned to do as these insecurities threaten to choke my happiness: acknowledge the dark thought and balance it with light.

Believe me, I’m still a work in progress. But actively answering back to my demons helps me overcome them when I’m at my lowest. I hope you find some value in this, as well.


Moments of -Shame and >Triumph

-Be a good girl: Stop rocking the boat

>You are good and kind and sweet; Your questioning is healthy.

-Stand in my shadow; Listen, don’t speak

>Let your light shine! Speak your mind, your opinion has value.

-Keep trying, do it over again; You still don’t know enough

>Practice, refine, but keep on going. You know what you know and are a life-long learner. Enough is a myth.

-Be smart, since you’ll never be pretty

>You are smart. That’s not a consolation prize.

-Work hard, since you’ll never be brilliant

>Hard work and intelligence aren’t mutually exclusive.

-Get help from someone better, since you’ll never be enough

>Smart people ask for help, especially from experts; that doesn’t equate to failure.

-Keep small, don’t stand out: You’re big and loud and far too much

>It’s ok to be yourself, even if that means you’re different and stand out from the crowd.

-Fade into the crowd; Your individuality isn’t wanted

>You are a unique individual and have value in your own right.

-Bad, wrong, ugly, fat; You’ll never fit their mold

>No matter your scars or shortcomings, you are good and more than the sum of your mistakes.

-Listen to me; You can’t trust yourself

>Listen to all input, evaluate it carefully, then make your own choice. You are your own woman.

-Do as I say or else you’ll fail

>Failure is possible, but if you make your own decisions, your failure is your own and not a gnawing doubt forever.

-You might as well quit; You cannot win

>I agree with Churchill: “Never, never, never give up.”
>You are many things, but a quitter isn’t one of them.

-Wrong color, wrong ethnic origins; You don’t belong

>Be proud of your heritage, but stand on your achievements; don’t measure your value solely by your ethnicity, genetics or the accomplishments of your ancestors.

-Go away, you aren’t wanted

>Be whole in yourself and you are never alone or unwanted.

-Here, I’ll do that instead; Your best is never good enough

>Don’t quit because someone is better at it than you are. Do the work to get better, then continue to excel.

-Hide your face, look away; Only the pretty deserve attention

>Your worth is not in your appearance.

-Why do you even try; Nothing you do will be enough

>Self-elimination out of fear of failure is itself the failure.

-Don’t look in the mirror; You are hideous

>There will always be someone better looking. Be the best person you can be and the beauty of your spirit will shine through, regardless of the outside wrapper.

-Straighten up and act right; You’re an embarrassment

>Behave as your personal integrity requires. Never compromise that, regardless of others’ discomfort.

-I’ll take what I want from you; You have no power to stop me

>You have the power of self-direction. You are not powerless, even if someone is stronger. A stone from a sling slew a giant with a sword. You can take your power back.

-You can’t do that; You’re just a girl

>You can! You are a powerful, intelligent woman with the ability to do anything you set your mind to do.

-You have no right to be happy; You haven’t earned it

>You have as much right as any other person to seek happiness. You don’t have to earn happiness–make it, seek it, find it in yourself and then share it with the ones you love.

5 comments so far

  1. Femmi on

    You are one of the most brilliant, intelligent, kind, caring, genuine, beautiful, handsome (yes handsome and I’ll repeat it a hundred times if that is what it takes to get you to believe it), generous, gentle, hard working, dedicated, charming and wonderful people I have ever met.

    That isn’t lip service… it is observation.

    Also you are so very easy to love, easy to talk to, and easy to be around.

    You have so very much to offer, and I for one am glad that you are in the world.

    Well done for finding constructive ways to deal with you negative internal dialogue. It is a talent and a strength to be able to actively work at self improvement.

    Love, always
    ~ Femmi

    • Searching4Self2013 on

      Wow. Just…wow. You honor me. I’m extremely glad you are in the world, too. Thank you, my dear friend. Your encouragement is a gift beyond price.

  2. FemOutLoud on

    Awesome post!

    First thought: “When I’m stressed, lonely, sad, my inner saboteur throws a wild party, dancing around in circles inside my reasoning mind.” Now *that* is a brilliant bit of writing. I’m saving that sentence. 🙂

    Second thought: Wonderful, insightful list, and I love that you have found a way to answer those negative inner voices. I sometimes think so many of the same things you mention…maybe I hide it well, or maybe I don’t, but those thoughts are still there.

    Thank you for yet another positive contribution, friend.

    • Searching4Self2013 on

      Thanks, friend! How flattering that you’ll save my sentence–my first quote (outside the legal context, anyway)! WOOT!

      It’s a sad truth that even the most intelligent, accomplished, beautiful and blessed among us suffer from insecurities of one shape or another. I have not a single doubt that you have as many, perhaps more, insightful ways to deal with the inner critic. If I’ve learned anything from your writing & Tweeting, it’s that you are a resourceful #fiercefemme!

      Thanks for the continued support! 🙂

  3. LillianC on

    Wow. That’s an impressive transcript of what my therapist calls “racing thoughts.” Don’t you hate it when different parts of your mind argue with each other while you’re trying to focus on something productive?

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