I know something wonderful about you: you value growth.
In fact, you're self-aware and thoughtful, you care about how your actions impact others, and you see the importance of doing personal development work.
But I have to ask you: what drives your growth?
Is it curiosity? Conscientiousness? Passion? Excitement?
I hope so!
But if you're like I was, I wonder if you're also sometimes driven by shame and internal pressure?
There was a time when 90% of my personal growth was fueled by shame.
I strove to be a healthier person so that:
It was like having a critical parent running my life.
Instead of lovingly drawing me towards wholeness, this inner critic shoved me harshly towards how it thought I should be.
It won't surprise you to hear that this didn't work well. Instead of flourishing, I was crippled by anxiety, shame and self-doubt.
If you're not sure whether your personal growth is fueled by shame or love, here are some of the sneaky ways that shame shows up:
If, looking at that list, you realize that some of your striving is fueled by fear and doubt, you're not alone. In fact, it's more common than you realize.
But it doesn't have to stay that way.
These days my self-criticism and perfectionism have taken a back seat to acceptance and self-love.
Operating from a place of self-support instead of rejection changed everything:
If you'd like to move in the direction I did, start with these simple steps:
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT has dedicated over 10,000 hours to supporting Highly Sensitive People as a psychotherapist and global HSP consultant. She practices psychotherapy in Boulder, CO and specializes in working with sensitivity and healing of trauma (EMDR). She's also the founder of Intuitive Warrior, an online platform offering resources and support to Highly Sensitive People worldwide. An HSP herself, Brooke went years feeling overwhelmed and anxious before learning how to support her nervous system. She considers it an honor to get to share that knowledge with fellow HSPs.
You are a gift to the world. You aren't alone. We need you here.