“When we blame, we give away our power.” Greg Anderson
Why do we feel inadequate?
We feel inadequate when we judge, blame and shame ourselves. Often, we can be our own worst critic. Inadequacy implies one is not good enough and I invite you to think about this – who decides if one is good enough?
Typically we are the one judging ourselves, finding us less than perfect with that judging voice in our head criticizing us for our supposed deficits. When we judge, blame and even shame ourselves, we are not only surrendering our power. We are also being truly unkind towards ourselves, creating a mindset of insufficiency, scarcity.
How does this serve us? Does this help us to show up as the high functioning women we know, deep down inside us, we can be?
How does the curious communication paradigm help you release that feeling of inadequacy?
When we become curious, we see things differently. No longer do we judge, blame and shame ourselves. We know we are more than adequate, in fact, much more than that. We begin to reflect more. Curiosity allows us to become more aware of who we are, focus on what our self-talk messages. When we hear judging comments that can blame or even shame us, we ask ourselves those challenging open curious questions. That helps us stay in a place of curiosity, where we are open to explore and discover more about who we really are. We begin to be kinder to ourselves and message self-respect. Our sense of self-increases and as it does, our connection to others shifts to a place where we message respect to them as well.
A colleague said years ago when she began to live a more curious life, ‘once you cross over to curiosity, you will never go back’.
Let’s put this into action for you today so you can let go of the shame, hurt and upset that comes from inadequacy.
Tip #1 – What does accepting blame for everything feel like to you?
Typically we blame ourselves — for everything! As women, we are willing to accept responsibility for anything and everything that possibly goes wrong. We are really good at accepting blame that we put upon ourselves or others put out there and we will pick it up as our ‘bad’. How does this feel for you? When one feels inadequate already, accepting more blame just seems like the thing to do. How does this support you in being the successful woman you know you can be?
Tip# 2 – Using curiosity shifts blame
When we judge ourselves, telling ourselves we are not enough we are constantly blaming and shaming ourselves. This never feels good. During the shift we are curious in our self-reflection, we are there for ourselves, wanting to create greater self-awareness. We focus on what we are thinking, feeling and we ask ourselves those questions that will help us gain clarity around why we are showing up the way we do. Generally, we can also begin to understand how this self-blaming is serving us in becoming the woman we so want to be and know we can be. We begin to ask ourselves questions such as:
‘How is this conversation I am having with the gremlins in my head, helping me to live the life I want to live?’
‘How does my judging of me support me?’
‘What can I say differently to myself to truly help me thrive?’
Curiosity focuses on learning and understanding, which makes us feel good. The more we learn and understand about ourselves, the easier it is to let go of the blaming and shaming – the hurt. Curiosity allows us to challenge, and change the narrative to one that aligns more closely with who we actually are rather than focusing on who we think we are. There is normally a huge difference between the two – we just rarely take the time to explore it.
Tip #3 – From blaming to learning
So what kind of conversation do you want to have with yourself? Do you want to have chats that take you down a spiral of self-judging, blaming and even shaming? Where does this get you? How can you move into the life you want to live, having conversations with yourself that support you?
When we become curious in our gremlin conversations, we become open to the possibility. We feel we are enough. Developing self-awareness is key to our success in life. Self-reflection, which includes curiosity, is one of the easiest ways for us to let go of the responsibility connected with blaming ourselves for everything. It helps us let go of our need to be perfect in everything we do. Curiosity helps us look at every situation as one of possibility where we are open to exploring various perspectives that support our learning, thus enhancing our self-awareness.
Curiosity helps us thrive!
I’m curious to hear your feedback – leave me a comment on how this can help you.
Co-Founder of The Institute Of Curiosity
Kathy Taberner is a retired occupational therapist, Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with a MA in leadership and training. With her daughter, she is a co-founder of the Institute of Curiosity and co-author of the ‘Power of Curiosity’. She is committed to supporting women to strive to become the dynamic and successful leaders they want to be. Her research project for her Masters explored the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of senior female leaders in BC.
She and her husband of many years, share their time between the Okanagan and Vancouver.