top of page

Conquering SHAME through Curiosity (Part 1of 2)

“You should be ASHAMED of yourself.”

“Curiosity KILLED the cat.”

Maybe you heard one or both of the statements above as kid.

Depending on how many times we heard this and how ‘absorbing’ and compliant we were, the subconscious conclusion could end up being something like this:

Shame is something that I should feel towards myself and thinking too deeply about why could kill me…

Consider the definition of shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

On a scale from 1-10, (1 being no shame at all – 100% grace and learning from mistakes & 10 being frozen in the past and obsessed how much of a failure you have been) how would you rate yourself in the amount of shame you feel / carry around with you?

If you are anything like most people, it is higher than you would like it to be…

How Focus On IMPROVEMENT Is The Key

Back in the late 1980’s, to film football games, they were still using 35mm reel to reel.

The camera was referred to as ‘the big eye in the sky’ and the saying was ‘the big eye in the sky don’t lie’. And that statement was correct!

Games were typically on Saturdays & every Sunday evening, we would meet together as a team and watch the game from the day before.

For those with a GROWTH Mindset (secure, always looking to improve and learn from experience) this was like pure gold; an opportunity to see their mistakes, make adjustments and improve.

For those with a FIXED Mindset (more vulnerable to humiliation and glory seeking), Sunday nights Film Study was a disaster waiting to happen…

For the plays done well… GREAT! Play it over and over again (Glory Seeking).

For the play I totally messed up on…SHAME! Skip over the plays ASAP! (Can’t handle the Shame and Humiliation).

Unfortunately, coming from the FIXED Mindset, the whole experience, for me, was a mix between a roller coaster and a train wreck.

If you were given a chance for a ‘DO-OVER’ on one thing in your life, what would you choose?


What would you do differently?

My ‘DO-OVER’, would be to go back to those film sessions and be a learner, lit on fire by a curiosity to improve, get better, understand why I made the mistakes I made and work to not allow them to happen again.

Although they say that ‘curiosity killed the cat’, in my case, curiosity would have made me a WAY better player!

The shame I was carrying, and the glory I was seeking to offset the shame, and feelings of inadequacy, held me back from the goldmine right in front of me.

I simply wanted to escape the ‘big eye in the sky’ (film review on ‘bad’ plays) or bask in its glory (when I did well).

No middle ground. Very little maturity & therefore very little curiosity to study the film.

To be exposed and to learn from it… to be CURIOUS.

Are you interested in lowering that 1-10 number on the amount of shame you feel?

Suggestion: Replace that judgment of yourself (the conclusions you can easily come to) with curiosity by asking yourself, ‘what can I learn, how can I avoid that next time, what is the lesson from this experience?’

When you do ‘GREAT’, that’s cool too. Resist the urge to attach your worth to that outcome.

Rather, ask, ‘what helped me that specific time, what did I do well, what made that successful, and how can I repeat it?’

Keep your eye out for part 2, where we will discuss specific questions you can ask yourself to keep you locked in on curiosity which will ultimately drive out shame.

Reach out if you would like to discuss by clicking here.

The ‘Big eye in the sky’, the truth, is your friend.


20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page