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I am not ashamed

Helping clients release shame is a crucial part of my work as a coach. Human beings judge. That’s an unfortunate fact. 

If you’re pulling back, staying quiet, or hiding to avoid shame, the only person that hurts is you.  

You can’t control how other people feel about you, think of you, and experience you. People are always going to judge you. Count on it. 

What you can do is rise above the fear of judgment and live in a way that protects yourself without shrinking, hiding, or cropping yourself out of life.  

Shame comes in many forms. 

Just this week, someone slid into my DMs, asking for a donation. I’m happy to donate to causes that align with my values. And I do, regularly. I don’t mind these requests, but due to the volume, we don’t have enough time to reply thoughtfully to every DM or email.

This person decided to try to publicly shame me for not donating to their personal Go Fund Me account. 

Not donating doesn’t make me a bad ally. Not donating doesn’t make me uncaring. Not donating means that I didn’t donate to your chosen cause. That day.

Another place shame shows up, especially for women?

Our bodies. Especially when we dare to show it off. 

Once, I told a family member about an exciting business opportunity, but they couldn’t find a way to be happy for me. All they could focus on was that I posted a photo on social media… wearing a bikini. 

“It just doesn’t seem appropriate,” she sighed with disapproval. “A professional woman, like you. I just don’t understand why you feel a need to show off your body on the Internet.”

This family member is not alone in her thinking. My comments and DMs are often flooded with body-shaming comments, horrified at my cleavage or the fact that I’d dare to shake my ass as a middle-aged woman. 

People gossip about me at the gym or out in public, commenting on my outfits and overall appearance. 

A woman even stopped me on vacation, floored that I would dare to eat a hamburger wearing a bikini. 

What is it about the female body that is so threatening?

What is it about our appearance that elicits such harsh reactions? 

Patriarchy and diet culture reinforce the idea that being a woman is not something to be celebrated but rather something to be deeply ashamed of. 

A man can post a picture wearing swim trunks, and nobody bats an eye, while a woman is told to cover up. 

A man can be unapologetically ambitious and flaunt wealth, while a woman is called “greedy,” “power hungry,” or a “gold digger.”

A man can field tons of queries for donations or other “asks,” but rarely do you see men getting called out when they can’t reply to every inquiry. “They’re so important and must be so busy,” people think. Meanwhile, it’s expected that the woman is never too busy to handle every single task. 

It’s a cruel double standard, and we can stop it when we refuse the shame.  

Keep showing up, whatever that looks like for you. 

And if someone tries to shame you for existing, double down. Show up more. Bigger. Bolder. In their face. 

Because you… you will not be shamed.

xoxo, Susan

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