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Overcoming Shame and Inadequacy - Living Your True Lovability

I used to believe that my value as a human being hinged upon how hard I work. How good I was, how lovable and worthy, all of it was defined by external validation.

It was exhausting chasing that! Nothing I did was ever enough to fill that bottomless cup of approval.

Have you felt the sting of shame? It’s as if everyone else has figured out the game of life but you yourself are still struggling?

Your smart brain knows you should be handling things differently. Maybe you’ve even read a shelf full of self-help books and surrounded yourself with positive affirmations.

Still, why is this shame and inadequacy so pervasive?!

I want you to know as you read this, that You ARE good. That's the baseline we're going to start with. You are good even if no one tells you that, even if you don't fully believe it yourself.

This is not dependent upon how hard you work, or being perfect, or having a certain amount of money or achievements. You are good! You are awesome! You are damn


But it is not enough for anyone outside of you to tell you this. My wish is that you feel it and KNOW it in every cell of your body.

This is not about conceit, about believing you are greater than everyone else. This is about genuine loving kindness. It is the root of self-care.

When you make this monumental and life changing shift, your worldview changes. Possibilities open up. You find you have the courage, energy and stamina for living. You make empowered choices. The people around you start to change. You no longer tolerate the people and situations that diminished you. You find your voice and you use it! You find your heart and you use it!

So how do you break out of this feedback loop?? I worked with someone recently on this very topic and maybe this is your topic too. If this speaks to you, here is how you can work with these feelings:


There is no CTRL-ALT-DELETE for your hard wired operating system. Sorry. First thing is to own your story. I am talking about facing and naming all the places where you feel you’ve come up short. You might like to write or journal, or share it with a supportive friend. It’s kind of like airing out the basement. It gets funky and moldy down there if you never open up the windows, if you keep piling up the junk down there. This is a brave and uncomfortable journey, but well worth the process. Some writing prompts you might like to use are, “I remember when…” or “I can’t tolerate this about myself:” or “If only I were…”

If you dissect your story, you will learn a great deal about yourself. What is important to you? What do you value in life? What makes you feel good and whole? You might make a list of values that come up from this writing.

Now, how do you BECOME this person who is lovable and accepting of yourself? This person is there inside you now. What does this person feel like? I invite you now to pause. Put one hand on your belly and one over your heart. How would this person stand or move? Feel into and notice what it feels like to stand or move in this manner. What does this wise, loving, internal leader want for you to know? This might feel awkward and strange at first, but there is great wisdom waiting for you if you can drop out of your brain and get into your body for a few minutes.

I want to give you full permission to make mistakes. Give yourself a free pass to be imperfect. I’m not encouraging you to break any laws, but chances are that you deserve to give yourself a break. Please.

If you have made it this far, if you are still with me here, and would like to put this into practice, I would ask these three things of you over the next week:

  1. Tell your story. Write or share it with a very supportive person. Air out your shame, your fears, your vulnerability. Air out those things that you don’t want to admit or accept. Just this act alone of being with your feelings can be immensely powerful.

  2. Take regular breaks, at least 3 times a day. Tune into that loving, forgiving, gentle and compassionate person inside you. Take that posture or movement you came up with and practice it.

  3. Create a daily ritual that is about being kind and gentle with yourself. Take yourself for a walk. Draw a hot bath. Do something creative or playful. Commit to feeding the body nourishing foods and being well hydrated. These are just a few examples, but find the thing that is right for you.

If you found this helpful, and have some insight you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you! Email me at and tell me what you learned about yourself or what you did to “live your lovability”!

Melissa Eppard lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley, NY area with her young son and husband. After overcoming breast cancer in her mid-30's, she knows that nothing is guaranteed in life. As a Personal Life Coach she has made it her mission to ignite the spark of purposeful living and creative fire in everyone she meets. What you nurture will grow!

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