How to Prevent Disappointment from Turning into ShameBy Homaira Kabir
No one likes to make mistakes. Failures disappoint the most optimistic of us. But some people can let the disappointment turn into shame. As psychologist, author, and Wharton professor Adam Grant has said, we often let "This is awful" turn into "I'm awful."
If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering what it is that shifts the focus from outcome to self. You may want to know what turns the primary emotion of sadness into the secondary emotion of shame. What if I told you that you needn't worry about all the factors, and would be much wiser to focus simply on the voice in your head?
This voice exists for all of us. For some, it sticks to the facts when things go wrong, takes into account what went well, and gets to the important business of what needs to be done next. But for many of us, it pounces on us the minute we fail to live up to its standards, and gets particularly nasty just when we need a kind and accepting presence to turn to.
The origins of the voice go back to our early experiences, some so deeply embedded within us that we've forgotten all about them. But they live on through the way we relate to ourselves in certain situations. We shake our heads and cross-question ourselves like an attorney. We attack ourselves with "shoulds" or shower ourselves with unsolicited advice. We scare ourselves with (often imaginary) impending rejection and turn to sel