There are 4 core wounds that are a common thread among women that cause them to under estimate and under value themselves in both the workplace and at home. Societal conditioning and messaging perpetuates the wounding and actually sets women and girls up to feel inadequate. For women to fully own their innate value these wounds must be recognized as the emotional cancers that they are and addressed with the same urgency.
In a recent article I wrote about the first core wound being guilt. The second wound is a close relative of guilt, it’s shame. Whereas guilt says “I did something bad”, shame is even more painful as it says, “I am bad”.
Conscious or unconscious shame is often an illusive emotion as it’s so painful, I find that many women have repressed it so deeply that they don’t even realize that it’s at the core of their decision-making process.
Harboring shame contributes to feelings of unworthiness. Makes sense that if you believe that you are a bad person that you would naturally be unworthy of your desires and dreams.
Shame leads to an inability to trust yourself. Again, this makes perfect sense. If you believe yourself to be a bad person how would you trust yourself.
This wound perpetuates the under estimating and under-valuing of your capabilities and your worth. When you are ashamed you will naturally avoid being seen. Hiding, for fear that your innate badness will be discovered, and you will be rejected and/or abandoned. This leads to over-doing, people pleasing and self-sacrificing behaviors in order to make up for your perceived inadequacies.
Where does this shame come from?
In our society shame is perpetuated in the common experience of victim blaming. Consider that in the case of sexual assault that often the first question asked is how is she at fault? And when as the victim, you can’t pin point what you consciously did, the next “logical” answer is that there is something within you that attracts bad things to happen to you. If you attract it you must at some level deserve it.
Victim blaming is a tool that we all turn to, to feel safe. If we can explain that bad things happen for reasons that we can prevent we can feel safe, unfortunately the victim become the responsible party rather than the actual responsible party.
Although I use sexual assault as an example and 1 our of 4 girls will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18 years old, it is not the only reason why women and girls may feel ashamed.
Shame is often used as a tool by society as a whole to control individuals. It’s definitely a tool used by parents to manipulate children to do as they’re told. Consider how many tijmes you may have heard or even used the phrase “shame on you”, or you were called a ‘bad girl’ for misbehaving. Shame is an implication of being punished, more often than not our parents didn’t make the distinction between doing something bad and being bad when they were doling out the punishment.
When you harbor shame, you are less likely to speak your truth, ask for what you want, or to ask for what you really deserve because your concept of what you deserve is misaligned from the truth.
The four core wounds are why smart, powerful and capable women make far less than they should, find themselves in abusive relationships, self-medicate with food, alcohol and/or shopping.
You can break free from these core wounds by discovering how you are being re-wounded by media messaging and heal the wounds of the past. You can truly value yourself and create the life you want.