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Shame is such a destructive emotion. Every single one of us has experienced shame or embarrassment at some point in our lives. In some cases the shame will have been for something minor, like leaving the bathroom with your skirt tucked in your underwear (girls – we’ve all been there), but sometimes the shame is longer lasting and more damaging. Those instances occur when we feel shame for not getting the results our parents expected, or not performing as we hoped to in the sports team, or not feeling as “beautiful” or “handsome” as our friends. These cases can cause shame which sticks around, and we just can’t seem to shake.

It’s vitally important that you realise that the expectations placed on you by “society” are totally unrealistic. Nobody can get straight As, be perfectly turned out, win every sports match, be the best friend…Nobody. Not even you. Society and the media are the enemies in this. They show us perfection, which makes us believe it is attainable. It isn’t. They show perfect models playing sport, studying, hanging out with friends, getting the hottest boyfriend etc and we feel the need to attain those #lifegoals. This is not possible. You are enough. You are doing your best. Remember that life is about growth. We build towards goals, and we try to improve every single day, but improvement is not the same as perfection. Perfection is not real. It cannot be achieved. Improvement is a valid #lifegoal. Perfection is not.

So the next time you feel ashamed, stop and think whether the expectations you are placing on yourself are really your own, or are they expectations placed upon you by outside forces and outside people. If they are the latter, forget them. Strive to improve, not to be perfect. Shame doesn’t help anyone.

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