THE SHORT ANSWER IS BECAUSE WE SHAME OURSELVES.
Despite the abundance of self-help and feel good memes at our fingertips these days, on a neurobiological level, your brain is still wired to tell you that you’re never gonna get it quite right.
That you’re never gonna be exactly the way you’re “supposed to” be. That there will always be somebody doing it better.
It’s the voice that rears her ugly head the moment you go to publish that vulnerable post, or post that racy photo. Even posting this is slightly uncomfortable for me. It’s the voice that says: “Who do you think you are? Your message isn’t THAT important. You’re not pretty enough to post that. You haven’t gone through enough (or if that’s not true for you) you’ve gone through WAY too much. You’re too “broken” to help anyone. Nobody will listen. What if they don’t like you. Better to stay quiet. You know you won’t be able to handle the criticism. Haven’t you taken up enough space in the world already. Haven’t you caused enough problems. Maybe you’re past your prime. You’re never going to get it right anyway. Maybe it’s time to be more realistic. Maybe mom and dad were right after all . . .” You guys get the picture. The list literally goes on ad infinitum.
If it’s one thing I’ve learned over all these years it’s that the voice doesn’t just go away on its own. You have to actually do the thing you’re afraid of doing. You have to say the thing you’re afraid to say. You have to share the vulnerability.
Basically, you have to take the risk. EVEN THOUGH IT’S SCARY. You have to let that critical voice momentarily take a backseat. And eventually fade into the background of your life.
You have to know that you’re enough. No matter what anyone else says or does. Because you ARE enough. Just as you are. And understand that that voice is there to keep you “safe” — it doesn’t care if you’re happy — so it’s our job to re-educate the voice.
And you know what really helps!? The feeling of safety with the people we’re around. So I say let’s start by being nicer to each other on online, on social media.
Let’s practice the kindness we say we want to see in the world. Because the way we talk and think about others is always a reflection of the way we talk and think about ourselves.