How to get out of self-blame, shame and regret

“What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” Brené Brown

I received a message from a client who was really struggling with a lot of self-blame and regret associated with her relationship that recently ended. 

After some distance from the relationship, she could see more objectively how she fell back into some fear-based patterns, and when she began feeling insecure, she did what many people do.

She tried to control the situation in an effort to feel more secure.

Now don’t get me wrongThis wasn’t a good relationship or a good man, in my opinion. He gave her plenty of reasons to feel insecure and fearful. She didn’t want the relationship back, but she was beating herself up and wanting to find her way through that with some more compassion for herself.

When you find yourself in a self-blame and shame spiral, you can self-soothe, which is actually pretty easy to do.

You just speak to yourself more gently, like you would your daughter or something that you loved dearly. You speak to yourself in a kind and gentle manner, so you can feel better and find more compassion for yourself.

Here’s some language my client and I used to get her to a much softer place; maybe it will help you too:

  • My intentions in this relationship really were good.
  • I just wanted to love him and to be loved in return.
  • I got scared, and in that fear, I didn’t have a lot of tools to employ at the time.
  • Some old habits came back. That’s okay. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
  • Now that I know how to better manage my fears inside relationships, I know that those patterns have been interrupted and I can do it differently in the future.
  • We all want to feel secure inside our most intimate relationship, and I am no different.
  • What I want is beautiful. I’m not asking too much or being too demanding.
  • I can forgive myself for feeling insecure in insecure circumstances. 
  • It’s okay…this relationship ended and it’s okay. It needed to end.
  • It wasn’t ever going to be able to be what I most want and deserve.
  • And while I still carry some sadness about that loss, I know I have a lot of love to give. And someone in the future will be the recipient of that love, and won’t he be a lucky man….

That took me maybe 2 minutes to write. It would probably only take you 1 minute to read it to yourself. It doesn’t take long, and it’s not complicated.

But if we don’t get intentional about being more gentle with ourselves, that inner mean girl will take the wheel and drive you through some pretty hurtful and judgmental neighborhoods.

If you find yourself struggling with some self-blame and regret, as well as shame regarding a relationship, give this tool a try to make your way to a softer place.

You’re doing the best you can.

How to get out of self-blame, shame and regret