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Break the “shame, shame, boomerang” cycle by celebrating the catch

Break the "shame, shame, boomerang" cycle by celebrating the catch

There’s no question about it:

Identifying thoughts or behaviors that are different from how we want to show up is hard work.

It’s easy to fall into a shame spiral and self-flagellate.

Even worse, we may fall into what I call “shame, shame, boomerang.”

We correctly catch the shame spiral we’re about to slip into.

But then, we shame ourselves for shaming in the first place.

The shame bounces between those two tight walls (like a game of Ping-Pong).

It’s a painful cycle to break.

The mantra I hold on to in response is simple and powerful: Celebrate the catch.

If we catch ourselves behaving in a way that is different from how we want to show up:

We should celebrate the moment.

After all, that’s the moment you get to make a choice.

Every time you catch yourself saying, “I’m not good enough,” I want you to say, “Oh, I caught it!”

By calling it out, you’re building a muscle of awareness.

And that will set you up to catch these moments sooner in the future.

The more you practice, the more quickly you’ll be able to make the catch.

And that means you’ll shorten the window of time available to employ destructive behavior.

So, the next time you make a catch, don’t get stuck in shame, shame, boomerang.

Making the catch in the first place deserves a pat on the back.



Want even more tools to help you break your shame cycle? Pick up your copy of Don’t Feed the Elephants! on Amazon today.

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Sarah Noll Wilson is on a mission to help leaders build and rebuild teams. She aims to empower leaders to understand and honor the beautiful complexity of the humans they serve. Through her work as an Executive Coach, an in-demand Keynote Speaker, Researcher, Contributor to Harvard Business Review, and Bestselling Author of “Don’t Feed the Elephants”, Sarah helps leaders close the gap between what they intend to do and the actual impact they make. She hosts the podcast “Conversations on Conversations”, is certified in Co-Active Coaching and Conversational Intelligence, and is a frequent guest lecturer at universities. In addition to her work with organizations, Sarah is a passionate advocate for mental health.

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