I recently learned something that has really shifted my mindset about shame.
If shame is a feeling of not being good enough, then the opposite is a feeling of being better than everyone else. We would call this arrogance.
But right in the middle between these two, is confidence. Confidence is the feeling of being good enough, even if you aren’t perfect. I would never have made that connection between shame and confidence if someone else hadn’t made it for me.
These three feelings are on a continuum. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, but there is also a fine line on the other side bordering shame.
And to bring love into it, shame is not loving yourself enough. Perhaps is it also only noticing what is flawed in yourself. Arrogance is loving yourself too much or seeing only what is positive about yourself. And confidence is recognizing all that is positive and flawed in you- and loving yourself anyway. It’s a more wholistic view of yourself.
This idea of the continuum has helped me see that confidence is an ever developing process. Just like life. We don’t want to tip too far to arrogance or shame, and it’s a balancing act that is probably never permanently perfect. Thinking of shame in this way has also helped me not feel stuck when I find myself in a shame spiral. I shoot for confidence in all areas of my life now.
Does this help you at all? Do you err more on the side of shame or arrogance? In what areas of your life do you feel confident?