"Human behavior, beliefs, and emotions always have a "so that".  In determining your behavior and how you feel, it is essential that you determine if the old programming is actually working to produce the "so that" - if not, choose to alter it and to replace it.  This is a bit of a "duh!" in life, but it seems that few do it at a high enough level - and thusly they perpetuate having their lives not working."

                                                                                    The BuddhaKahuna

He needs to see that "I will be better off making commitments and allowing myself to occasionally fall short, for what I will gain is priceless: more progress in life!" 

Note that that "declaration" or "affirmation" may not do the trick here, as the belief system around this involves a number of factors that need to be resolved and unwound one at a time. 

He needs to gain more confidence (by doing the confidence growing study and exercises). He needs to address his fear beliefs, for acting in shame is just another misbelief that he is dependent on others and in jeopardy. 

He has so generalized his non-thinking conclusion that he fails to look to see what the actual consequences are and what the tradeoffs are. He fears any loss, as if it were life or death.  He is stuck in "form" rather than function.  In being functional, a person is able to do tradeoffs (accept the loss of one thing for the gain of another) and use balanced (balancing?) judgments.  His inability to judge well will result in his life being hell...


Yes, we do need to address shame directly, so one needs to study it and do the declarations.  But one needs to learn and do a few other things for the fallacious fear-causing belief to be reduced to the pile of outdated, harmful beliefs.

The whole syndrome is based on lack of confidence that one can and will handle one's own life well and on the ambiguous, ubiquitous (wide ranging) belief that something overwhelming and bad will happen and that one will not be able to handle that.  It is important, accordingly, that one study, and as soon as possible implement, the blowing up of false fears so that one becomes "Fearless".   One becomes so by shoring up one's confidence that one will handle life and also correcting one's false belief that consequences will reduce him/herself to a pile of rubble and fear. So, of course, the person must, absolutely must, begin, as soon as possible attacking the beliefs that are holding his "faux fear" system together.  He must follow The Fear Management Program, which will, of course, use The Belief Changing Process.  The person must become very knowledgeable about the fear of disapproval, as he is basing his life upon it, to his great harm.  He is basing his life upon the belief that he is as if a child, believing he is still powerless and, accordingly, dependent on the power of others. These are Core Beliefs that can underlie all of life and keep people stuck in being a child and operating in life as a victim.

So, the person must just follow the steps in the program, period. Aggressively read the pieces and take notes until you gain high understanding.  Do not stop short this time. And, often, people want to go on a parallel track of changing some selected beliefs.  As these are complementary to each other, that strategy works just fine and is more attractive to embark on, since people want to "cure" a few things quickly, not later!


Some people may have the patience to read all the links in this piece and other pieces in order to learn as much as possible.  More power to them, as that is a proactive student approach. 

However, for most people I would recommend that you start at The Fear Management Program, and follow as many branches as you want to (using "branched learning").

As you are studying and learning, you might find yourself getting impatient and wanting to skip things but you'll not be authentically learning if you do that.  One can, however, skip that feeling of impatience, if one goes more intensively at a more rapid pace, because then the results will be manifested sooner, with many of the benefits and good results starting fairly early and continuing.  Fast and deep is the way to go, until you reach the "Sufficient Knowledge" (mastery) level.

Note also that if one spends time "building" up one's alternative "mind-memory" by fully utilizing the "Re-Minders" Notebook, one will build a structure that will support one's installing what works much faster - and it can have a large effect on one's confidence and feeling of security in life.  (See The Quick Set Up Of Your Reminders Notebook, Creating A New, Finer "Mind".)

Years ago, I wrote a long page on Shame And Guilt, grouping both together (as they are for a similar purpose: to keep us in line for social purposes).  Along with a number of other "negative emotions", those "composite emotions" helped us survive.  They worked 10,000 years ago and some still work to some degree today.  But it is up to you to determine which are outdated and/or conflict with what works for you today - and then to replace the ones that don't work.

The basis of the word "shame" itself is "to cover", as in covering oneself.  Notice that people who feel shame are seeking to hide something for a purpose.   Of course, we would only hide something because we were afraid that if someone else finds out about it we would suffer socially in some way.  What we fear is exclusion from getting a benefit or safety from "out there". We believe we are dependent on getting that from others - and therefore, the power is seen as being "out there" and not in oneself.

While that may be true in some cases, in most cases we actually have the power to gain those things for ourselves, but we need to see it, look at it from an adult point of view and to stop acting as if one were a child, helpless and powerless and dependent on others for our survival.


A person who is a perfectionist (which no rational person would choose to be) is driven by fear of being found to have flaws - and he is living as if someone who sees his performance as inferior (incapable) will take away support of him and would harm his survival in some way.  But he often fails to discriminate as to what level of "perfectness" he should be at in order not to suffer the consequences.

He "hides" (covers up) alot. He secretes things away.  He doesn't allow others to see that he is not doing what he is supposed to.  He will not do monitoring or accountability reports if he can avoid them, because someone might find out that he is deficient.

He will not make clear commitments, for fear of failing, not so much in terms of the failure itself but more in terms of his getting disapproved of.  As a result of his not making clear commitments, he ends up at a far lower level of growth in life - and, instead of protecting him, he suffers for it.


"Shame is painful, social emotion resulting for comparison of the self's action with the self's standards..."...but which may equally stem from comparison of the self's state of being with the ideal social context's standard

A subpart of shame...

Shame is a subpart of the fear of disapproval.  Those who are fearful of disapproval also exhibit guilt, dependency, are excessively run by what others want or demand, lack of confidence and a myriad of other behaviors or emotions that tend to cause them to behave as if they had no power, were helpless, and are doomed to a life of being unhappily buffeted around by circumstances.

The bottomline for ALL behavior

All behavior of a human is done "so that" we survive (better).  (The reason for this lies in understanding how evolution caused that to happen.) 

But many of our beliefs and behaviors do not work to achieve better survival.  We have simply acquiesced, in most cases, to automatic, thoughtless, unexamined beliefs that do not work AND also cause us to suffer, to have negative emotions, and to lessen our happiness.. 

The trick lies in first becoming aware of those beliefs and behaviors that don't work, examining and revising them, and then replacing them.

Manifestations of shame

The shame affects consist mostly of blushing, confusion of mind, downward cast eyes, slack posture, and lowered head,

Why have shame?

Shame and its related emotions are very simply the result of socialization by the culture in order to get us to conform to the behaviors that were for the greater good of the (relevant) tribe. 

To "enforce" our doing the right thing, the tribe might take away something positive or, at worst, abandon us or toss us out into the jungle to be eaten by wild animals or to starve to death. 

Needless to say, it was very effective, as it did help the species survive. 

But we also could have simply avoided the bad behavior by cognitive choice.

Instead, it was effective to have us as children trained to build it in to our beliefs (that we would suffer if we did "bad" things).  And this training caused us to build into ourselves a "protocol" that included self punishment via chemicals that felt very bad.  And soon the system began to work on its own, without anyone questioning what amounted to their decisions when they had the knowledge level of a child.

We are now above the knowledge level of a child, so it is now time to reexamine those beliefs and to stop punishing ourselves and getting no benefit from that punishing - we are only inflicting suffering upon ourselves!!!! 

Understand the core of this group of emotions

Understanding The Nature Of Social Status - For Some, Another "Not Enough" Problem, A Fear 

Note that this applies to other emotions

The same thinking (non-thinking) is involved in guilt, self-criticism, sin and emotions along a continuum connected to this syndrome.  Learn the basics, to the level you choose, from:

Fault, Blame, Right/Wrong, Good/Bad, Criticism, Anger, Punishement Syndrome, Contents, Links  

Instances of people feeling shame

Since shame is all about hiding that which will show you to be inferior or not acceptable in some way, it is about fear of disapproval.  Note that element in the following:

Fear of someone seeing one's body or body parts and the inadequacy or disapproval that could generate.

Fear of someone seeing one's lack of superiority, which one feels one must have in order to be accepted and seen as "special" (a childhood believed need)

Fear of someone seeing one's faults and flaws, because that means one will be negatively affected in some significant way. 

Fear of being found out by another to be immoral, stupid, not as intelligent as you want people to believe...fear of mistakes or failing because of the feared consequences via others.

Note that these include a false belief or two and a gross misestimation of the potential consequences and of what people will actually think.  Until examined, these beliefs will keep a person operating in a child mode.