Shame Shame Go Away

This is my seventh post about failure and I believe I've determined the root cause of failure gone wrong....drum roll please....It's Shame. You know the feeling. It's the moment when you screw up, but instead of moving forward you believe that YOU are screwed up. Shame is an age old motivational tool. As a pastor I have a high shame radar. It's used with a heavy hand within most Christian communities. 

In my own life shame has been crippling. You can see it's impacts in my post about white privilege.  So how do we fail well and also avoid shame?

Here are the three ingredients that work for me.

Be Open: Never underestimate the power knowing and disclosing your emotional state. By confronting and taking responsibility for our emotions (especially the negative emotions) we keep them from building bottled up resentment toward self and others. 

Be Resourceful: Shame tries to convince us there is no way forward. This of course is a myth. There will always be another way to do something. Resourceful is the ability to brainstorm and imagine without judgement. When we are resourceful without shame it means that every idea is a potential great one. 

Be Persistent: Holding your boundaries while mired in shame is nearly impossible. Shame will distort attempts to be persistent into self righteous attacks; or on the other end, distort persistence into weak suggestions. By naming our place in the world boldly and following through with our commitments we leave little room for shame. 

These three super powers will help you embrace see failure as potential for creative conflict instead of failure as a result of poor self worth. 


I have been sharing several post all under the category: Free to Fail. Failing is one of the fears I am struggling with while launching this website; so I figured I would head it off early by obsessively reading and writing about it. Here is what you can expect

  1. August 1: Fighting with Dragons.
  2. August 8: Success is My Biggest Failure
  3. August 16: White Male Failing
  4. August 23: 3 Real Life Super Embarrassing Failures
  5. August 30: Book Review: Rise by Sarah Lewis
  6. Sept. 6: Crushing the Second Attempt
  7. Sept. 13: Shame Shame Go Away, Come Again...Never
  8. Sept. 20: Never Too Late for Now
  9. Sept. 27: The Irregular Webinar; Free To Fail

Each post will show up on Wednesdays. On Friday the post will be followed by a Tune In Tip. These weekly tips will share a practice you can try in real life. Finally the whole series will end with a webinar where we can discuss the topic in real time.

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