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3 simple steps to beat the shame spiral

When you're about to go into a shame spiral, do these 3 super simple things to kick it's a**.

You know what I'm talking about -

That feeling that comes super quickly.

Embarrassment from something you did.

Maybe something SUPER small - like missing an appointment.

Or turning in work that had an error.

Or saying something you wish you hadn't.

And the emotions start to spiral -

Fear. Unworthiness.


Here's a really good primer on Shame Spiraling

Their tips are good, especially if you're new to recognizing them.

Once you know how to recognize a shame spiral - my simple strategy is this:

Treat them like hostages

don't negotiate with them.

This isn't the time to unpack all the feelings.

It's time to ground.

To breathe.

To own your space in the here and now.

Take these 3 super simple actions to feel more free

in the midst of a shame spiral

1. Ditch any sentence that starts with "I am".

When the shame spiral starts, it's so easy to start a sentence with something like

"I'm such a mess."

"I'm incompetent"

"I'm not capable"

Don't reinforce that you are ANY of those things.

Just don't engage in the debate.

You are whole and holy.


Don't entertain the thought you are anything less.

2. State the facts

Try stating something factual and non-threatening about what happened. Examples include:

"I missed a meeting."

"My document had a typo."

"I said something unkind."

Just stating the facts can bring us out of the emotional spiraling. Let me be clear, emotions aren't bad. They don't need to be avoided. In a shame spiral, however, simply bringing yourself to the facts and out of the emotions can be so helpful in feeling in more control and more free.

Most importantly, choose a fact that doesn't feel threatening or more anxiety producing. If something related to the event feels too much, try stating facts unrelated to the event - like "I'm having dinner tonight at home" or "Right now, I can see four objects that are the color blue". You'll know what works for you. Trust it.

3. Reconnect

One of the most powerful antidotes of the shame spiral is connection. By virtue of your reading this, you ARE connected. In addition try one of these:

  • join an online meditation session

  • take a 30-second breathe break with a friend (virtually or in person). Breathe together for 30 seconds.

  • do something kind - smile at a passerby, pick up a piece of trash, ask a friend if they need anything.

I know without a doubt, you are whole and holy. Deep within there is a wellspring of divine goodness that can never be extinguished. Sometimes it's hard to see it. May these 3 super simple strategies help you when you're in the midst of one!

You got this. I promise.

All my love for you,


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