7 Steps to Move through Shame, Fear, and Regret

Posted on 15 September 2011

“If you are never scared, embarrassed, or hurt, it means you never take chances.” ~Julia Soul

The moment comes when you are on your knees.

You are filled with a knowing that there is something better. There is a life for you that you are not living and you are ready to live it.

I call this the moment of awakening—the moment when you hear your soul’s cry for the next step in its evolution. You are ready to live your fullest expression.

Anais Nin said it best, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

For me this looked like a crazy dysfunctional relationship with food and the feeling that I was spiraling out of control. I was literally stuffing down my truest, most authentic self, and I felt lost and off my path. I was filled with a pain that I didn’t understand, that I realized came from the void of not living my purpose.

A whisper that I had been ignoring for far too long finally spoke a little louder and said, “You are here for more than this.” It came as a feeling and awareness all throughout my body.

For you, it may feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle, one that keeps you from feeling whole and fulfilled. It’s a sense that something is missing, and you are ready to break free. You realize that your deepest desire is to improve your life and fill that greater vision for yourself.

Often this feeling comes with a sense of determination, which can quickly turn into paralysis and feelings of:

  • Fear of the unknown and of judgment
  • Shame for where you’re at and for needing help
  • Regret of your past choices

These feelings are natural and normal, and there is absolutely no reason to let them stop you.

The following are seven steps to move you through fear, shame, and regret so you can take the leap of faith into your highest self:

1. Ground yourself in the present.

In other words, start where you are. Until you fully accept where you are, you can’t move forward. Get real with yourself and shine a light onto all of those things that are not serving you.

This is the time to fully sit with the reality of the present moment and allow yourself to feel any and all of the feelings that come up for you. Often, our “stuckness” happens because we are trying to avoid these feelings, so it’s important to just let yourself feel them. Remember, they are not wrong. They just are what they are.

When you feel them, you can get them up and out, which leaves you with a greater sense of determination and clarity.

2. Create a vision.

Get super clear on the vision you see for yourself. You’ve sensed there is something better, but what does it look like?

I recommend doing this while meditating so your thoughts are quiet. This lets your intuition fill in all of the spaces and details. Give yourself time and allow the vision to come into light.

Focus on this vision daily and perhaps even create a vision board. (Love those!) Focusing on your vision daily allows you to align your thoughts and actions with that vision so every part of you can work together for your best interest.

3. Make the decision.

Take a look at the path you are currently on. Then, take a look at your vision. Honestly, where do you want to go?

Make the decision to move towards your vision no matter what. It all starts with a decision. Know that you can handle whatever the journey brings you.

4. Get honest.

Here you are, you’ve made the decision, and you know where you are going. What are you scared of?

Do a free form writing exercise with “Fears” written across the top. Get real honest about what you’re afraid of. Seriously, write it all down, as no one will see this.

Now, burn it! I mean it. Release those fears: out through your body, onto the paper, and into nothingness.

A coach of mine recommended that I do this exercise, and it was such a release! It instantly took the power away from my fears, as I realized they were only figments of my mind and not truth.

The physical act of releasing your fears in this way creates room so that your higher self to be your navigator.

5. Make it bigger than yourself.

When you make the decision to live a fully expressed life, you are inspiring others to do the same. What change in the world do you want to embody and inspire? Get clear on this. (Yes, clarity is huge in every step!)

When you have a mission beyond yourself, every choice you make not only affects you, but also affects those around you and closest to you. Each step forward becomes a little bit easier when you think of your bigger mission.

6. Find the silver lining.

Everything that brought you to this moment, all of your past choices, all of the “stuff” that embarrasses you or fills you with regret, molded you to become your best self.

It can be hard to see in the moment, but it’s the truth.

When I was on my knees, never in a million years would I ever have imagined I would be helping women heal their relationships with food. If I didn’t experience all of the stuff I experienced before that moment, or make the decision to heal myself, I wouldn’t be here today. I am of greater service to others because of it—because I understand what they’re going through and what it means to move past it.

Trust your experiences. You don’t need to feel ashamed or regretful because of them.

7. Get support.

Open up to those closest to you about your new direction. Get a coach to support and guide you—someone who has been there and understands. Find others who are going through the same thing.

You don’t have to do anything alone! Make this easy for yourself and seek support in every way possible.

We all feel fear, shame, and regret—and we can all move past them to live lives of purpose.

Photo by hang_in_there

About Jackie Vecchio

Jackie Vecchio writes about creating happy. If you want to be a more active participant in the creation of your personal brand of happiness (because it's NOT the same for everyone), then come over to http://www.createhappy.net. Sign up to receive weekly emails on the how of creating lasting, pervasive happiness - from the practical to the magical.

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