How to Stop Shame and Blame to Empower Yourself - Andrea Liebross
How to Stop Shame and Blame - Empower Yourself and Take Control

How to Stop Shame and Blame to Empower Yourself

You can train your brain to have the best experience possible within the life that you were given.  We can train our brain to fully experience everything positive and negative and understand how we have power over any situation.

If you learn to train your brain so you can have optimum mental health, you’re training your brain to better face the challenges that are in front of you or even ahead of you. And really, the better trained we are, the easier these challenges are to face, the more amazing our lives are, the more success we experience, the less stress we have and the longer we’re able to maintain that level of success – both physically and mentally.

My goal in helping you learn to mentally train yourself is to help you become empowered and trust yourself so you can create the life you want personally and professionally.

Two Ends of the Spectrum

When it comes to training our brains, we first need to look inside ourselves.  There are usually two types of people: one who blames her circumstances, losses, and place in life on external factors and the other who internalizes her performance, feeling shame and guilt.

External Blame

This person blames everything on external factors.  In sports, if this person loses, she will blame the umpire, the weather, the opponent, the refs, even the fans on the outcome of the match or game.  This is the same person who blames her kids for causing her to yell at them or blames their clients for making them feel overworked and underpaid. This is one extreme and people on this end are thinking and feeling this way because they can’t quite understand why their business is not successful or why they are feeling so overwhelmed, so they are blaming external things.

Internal Shame

On the other end is the player who is so ashamed of the way she has played in the past, her performance, or her slow rate of improvement despite all the practicing she’s been doing. This person just gives up. She feels ashamed, guilty and asks, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I get my act together?” She asks things like:

  • “Why can’t I create a successful business?”
  • “Why can’t I get all the laundry put away?”
  • “Why do I feel like there is never enough time and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off?”

As you can see, this is really the other end of the spectrum of emotion. And as humans, we can go from one end to the other in a matter of seconds. Often we blame others for what’s happening in one area of our life, and feel ashamed or guilty in another area of our life.

At work, it sounds like “why can’t I get this done? What’s wrong with me? I have all the tools and resources at my disposal.” At home you could be saying “I just can’t keep this house clean because these kids are just all over the place all the time and no one cleans up after themselves.”

When we are on one end of the spectrum, we don’t have the awareness that being in the middle is even a possibility. We think the whole world, every decision is outside of our control. In external thinking, things are controlling our emotions and our day to day and are totally taking away all our power. It is disempowering. An example: Blaming COVID for not even doing any physical exercise. You may be aware that subconsciously you are even blaming COVID. In a work setting, when placing external blame, you say things like “if it hadn’t happened” or “if I had worked for a different company,” or “if I had more resources…” It could be more time, more clients, or different opportunities, any external factor that would make you feel better or have more success.  

Empowering Ourselves

I would counter with this: We create our own results. We create how we show up, we create our own lives by controlling how we think. And that is so empowering. This is life changing and it’s really why I love what I do. When a woman realizes this, she becomes aware that she has the freedom to live a life she wants to live because she is learning how to control her thoughts about all these external things.

On the other side of this, there are women who lack acceptance and feel guilty or shame around her own reality. This is really a lack of acceptance. They have not accepted that they are creating these feelings for themselves. And this is disempowering, too, because we start judging ourselves and we play the “compare and despair” game. We are disappointed in ourselves all the time.  We say things like, “I should know this” or “I should be farther along” or “I should be making more money.” They think that they should be able to handle things on their own. Or that they shouldn’t yell at their kids.  

Often, we don’t know how to stop thinking and feeling this way. And sometimes we just can’t feel any different than we do right then and there. We feel trapped or stuck.

 So, what we really want is to be in the middle.

We want to have complete awareness and total acceptance. We want to say to ourselves, “I feel frustrated because I am thinking this,” and be aware that it is the thought that is creating this feeling of overwhelm, not some external source.

The Middle

There is a middle.  When you are in the middle, you know that it’s just your thoughts that are causing all of these feelings.  It’s not your kids, your boss, COVID…it’s just your thoughts.

Why don’t we naturally just live in the middle?

On the lack of acceptance side, it’s because our brains think that the best way to create change is to change ourselves. We think we should recognize what’s wrong and notice how it could be better. Sometimes this is where people call on willpower. I pose this question: when you are overly critical of your own actions or the way you feel, does that really help you? Does that work? Does that change the way you’re doing things? This is when you say to yourself, wow, I know I’m doing this wrong and I know I have the potential to do it better.

Some may think that questioning yourself like that does help you. But I want you to question, does it help you in the long run? Does that kind of motivation last? Does it get you to where you want to ultimately land? It may help in the short term, but it never helps in the long term. 

Sometimes I ask my clients, “what if you decided to not beat yourself up, to not punish yourself, to not try to willpower it to the finish line?” Instead of saying I should be making more money because I have been at this for so long, I would challenge you to drop the part about you having “been at this for so long.”  Just say “I could be making more money.” 

And when it comes to your home, instead of I should be making more family dinners because that’s what good moms do, just say “I could be making more family dinners.” Can you see how that would change things and get you closer to the middle?

We’re getting closer to that midline where you can trust yourself to figure out how you can change things in a productive way. 

You can feel all the feelings out there. The growth is in recognizing why you were feeling this way and why you weren’t getting the results you want. It all starts with your thoughts. 

You are human.

There are days when we feel like we are killing it. 

There are days when we feel like we are failing. 

There are days when we think we truly are “mother of the year.”

There are days when we ask, “who signed me up to be a mother?”

We’re all human. We can embrace all these feelings and we can learn to be patient with ourselves. When we’re patient, it is so much better and easier to be the person we want to be or to have the business we want to have, trust me. 

Think about this as empowering. Don’t judge where you’re at. There is a difference between empowering and judging where you’re at, so the more you recognize where you are now, the easier it is to get where you want to go. 

You need to be compassionate and curious and patient with yourself. Just like GPS. Notice that your GPS is really patient because it allows you to go off track and it allows you to make wrong turns and then it calculates getting you back on the route. 

Recognize why you’re not in the middle, when you’re on one side of the spectrum or the other, why you’re in a place of lack of awareness or lack of acceptance, and then recognize it’s going to take some training of your brain to get back to that middle, calm, cool, collected, and confident. 

When you have a coach that can show you more of this in action, or that can expose you to coaching, it helps this process. The more you hear other people enlighten you as to where you are and what you are not aware of, the easier it becomes for you to do this yourself and take control of your thoughts, your feelings, and your success!

Guess what? I have a freebie guide for you that will help! Download How to TRAIN your BRAIN here:  Once you start this, let me know how it feels and what you’re thinking!

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I'm Andrea Liebross.

I am the big thinking expert for high-achieving women entrepreneurs. I help these bold, ambitious women make the shift from thinking small and feeling overwhelmed in business and life to getting the clarity, confidence and freedom they crave. I believe that the secret sauce to thinking big and creating big results (that you’re worthy and capable of) has just two ingredients – solid systems and the right (big) mindset. I am the author of best seller She Thinks Big: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Guide to Moving Past the Messy Middle and Into the Extraordinary and host of the Time to Level Up podcast.