Let’s talk about the shame slide.⁣

(Did anyone else just imagine the old board game Chutes and Ladders?) ⁣

I’ve been noticing something in myself and my clients recently: There’s a big difference between feeling shame and acting from shame.⁣

Feeling shame means noticing and naming it (“This is shame”), processing it in our bodies, and watching our thoughts, without beating ourselves up. ⁣

Acting from shame usually means hiding, avoiding, numbing, isolating, and beating ourselves up. ⁣

Thanks to the wisdom of one of my clients, I’ve been thinking about the difference like this: Feeling shame is like standing at the little platform at the top of a slide and observing.

Acting from shame is like hopping on the slide and spiraling down into full-on shame land. ⁣

It often happens so fast that we’re not even aware that we’re moving from feeling into acting. ⁣

So next time you feel shame, give yourself a few seconds to stand at the top of the slide and decide if you really want to whoosh on down. I highly recommend hanging out on the platform instead, at least for a little bit. ⁣