Shame: The Biggest Goal Killer

I really enjoy working with people. Whether it is at my church, helping people work through finances, or just my day-to-day activities at work, I just love being around people and trying to build them up.

One thing that I have seen repeatedly kill someone’s drive and motivation is shame. Shame is brought about when someone brings up another person’s past in a negative way. Almost as if they are using it against them. If I were to give a financial example, it would be someone saying “I can’t believe that you took out $60,000 in student loans, what good did that do you?”

Sounds harsh, right? Unfortunately it is all too common, especially in our current society. We are far too quick to jab and dig at people for their missteps rather than helping them recover and press forward with immeasurable drive. The biggest part to meeting any goal is believing in yourself. That can be really hard to do if you keep getting reminded of your missteps in a not-so-positive way.

Now some folks have taken on a “forget the haters” attitude, but to be honest, that is hard to sustain. We weren’t meant to walk through life alone, which is why relationships are vital. Having people by your side to keep you accountable is extremely important and we shouldn’t take on a lone wolf persona just because it may seem easier (trust me, it’s not).

Shame, negativity, and doubt cause people to spin their wheels, lose traction, and lose focus. What’s important here is for you to understand that I am not talking about having a rainbow and dandelion outlook on everything. Life happens and we have to deal with the things we’ve made a mess of. But just because you’ve gotten knocked down, doesn’t mean you can’t get back up.

If you are doing really well with your financial plan and you have a set back or make an impulse purchase, don’t worry. Just reset, write down what made you do that, and think about how you can avoid doing that in the future. No one bats 1.000, something always comes up and that is what teaches us. Without defeat, we can’t appreciate victory.

Even more than that though, defeat and setbacks are how we learn. Of course, we don’t cry out for them to happen but we should rejoice when they do happen, learn from them, and keep moving. Don’t let someone shame you about the bad decisions you’ve made. If you are working a plan to better your mistakes you are in a good position. Plus, when people try to shame others, they are more than likely projecting a part of themselves on you that they don’t like. They need work too, so instead of lashing in justified anger or giving a stern rebuke, offer to help them. Talk about your story, your walk, and what you’ve learned. Maybe you could help them.

Shame doesn’t help anyone, it just keeps perpetuating an unwanted cycle.