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Well since I’m on a roll of discussing topics in business that rarely get addressed… I thought it was timely to discuss another one and that’s the emotion of SHAME… 

There is not only shame in the workplace and business, but it’s a part of our everyday life.

What is shame?

Shame is an emotion experienced when we feel that we are inadequate.

It is the opposite of pride. Where pride is a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from achievements, qualities, or possessions.

As a noun SHAME is “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.”

As a VERB it’s when (a person, action, or situation) make (someone) feel ashamed.

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Business Example for Shame

An example would be when someone tries to shame you into giving something away for free or at your wholesale discount.

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time… you know what I’m talking about. These people make you feel ashamed for selling them something at full price. They make you think it’s wrong that your sister’s friend shouldn’t get a deep discount just because she’s bff’s with your sister.

Or this just happened recently to a student of mine… where a lady poured her hour-long “I have little money” story onto my friend to get her to hand over a $300 course for free.

Shame is very similar to guilt, in that both involve negative self-judgment.

It makes you think that YOU have an ugly heart if you don’t give them a discount or a freebie.

And we’ve all gone through this… whether feeling shame for our actions, health, weight, food choices, the way we raise our kids, our education level, business knowledge, the list goes on.

Difference between shame and guilt

So what’s the difference between GUILT and SHAME?

Guilt occurs when we feel bad about what we have (or have not) done, whereas shame occurs when we feel bad about ourselves as a person.

Guilt is saying to yourself: “I feel guilty I didn’t choose the salad over the cheeseburger.” (You feel bad about what you have (or have not) done) – Guilt is when you feel remorse.

Shame is when an online coach or health advocate tells you are ruining your life by eating a cheeseburger and not a salad. (You are made to feel bad about yourself as a person)

And what happens when we start to feel ashamed is immediately feel embarrassed, and lose motivation and self-esteem. Anxiety kicks in, negative self-talk starts and we start sweating it out.

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when shame is felt

This feeling of SHAME can also happen when we are embarrassed or humiliated in front of other people. Maybe on a live video call, during a live presentation, or when talking to other colleagues.

But most often for me, it’s an internal feeling when no one else is physically around. It’s when I allow other people to post quotes, or captions or videos that make me feel I’m a bad person for not doing this, saying this, eating that, or knowing those things already.

THAT’s the shit I have a major problem with.

But again… “I said it’s when I allow other people to post.” We do control what and who we listen to. Keep that in mind. If someone makes you feel less than … HIDE THEM or DELETE THEM.

shame is unhealthy. Eliminating Shame In The Workplace And Beyond
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it must be true

When we are driven to feel SHAME it’s giving us a perception that we are somehow inadequate, incapable, or incompetent.

And HELLO? …When we hear it over and over again we believe it must be true.

  • I must be unhealthy because she said I shouldn’t eat that non-organic cheeseburger.
  • I must be a bad mom because she said by not breastfeeding I am not giving my baby the best nutrition.
  • I must be a bad business owner because she said I need 10k followers or my business will never grow.
  • And the latest one – I must be racist and part of the problem because I’m not posting to social media about black lives matter.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong and WRONG!

Shame is unhealthy and can be extremely destructive.

My thoughts on this

Here’s my thoughts on this… If you find ways that you could have done better, then allow yourself to feel remorse, regret, and if needed an even deeper sense of grief.

This is totally normal and healthy for growth. By doing so we can find the strength needed to progress and do more in a wholesome way, that doesn’t hurt us or others.

But by attacking a person’s character by telling them “You are a bad person because you didn’t take xyz action.” … is completely unnecessary in my opinion.

I believe educating ourselves on topics can indeed wake up our hearts and minds but having others SHAME us into believing something is just plain wrong.

We all make mistakes

Of course, we as humans make mistakes… we make mistakes in values, approach, feelings, judgment, and so on. When we understand we can do better… We then can start to feel remorse for how we’ve acted. We commit to learn, educate, and grow so we can behave differently moving forward.


One shouldn’t be shamed into educating themselves on health, weight loss, business, how to be anti-racist…  but you can consciously make a decision to learn more about a topic and then decide how you could act differently. 

In the end

So as I close out this episode and you’re feeling shame right now and it doesn’t feel healthy. Know that you are right… feeling shame isn’t healthy. Don’t embrace it as such.

Shame is toxic.

Let’s share our stories and what we are doing and why we are doing it… What if we shared our beliefs instead of PUSHED shame onto others?

The decision to change should come from a conscious effort to learn… not by attacking another’s character.

Shame is toxic. Eliminating Shame In The Workplace And Beyond
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Other episodes you may enjoy is “EP 3: 6 REASONS WHY PERSONAL BRANDING IS A NON-NEGOTIABLE



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