The Difference Between Shame and Guilt 

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, Executive Leadership Coach on shame, the image shows a red-headed woman holding her head in her hands.

Have you ever read something that made you rethink what you knew before? When I read about shame and guilt in Brené Brown’s Atlas of the Heart, she made me do just that. Have you read her book? 

I have heard Brené talk about the difference between shame and guilt before but what was so powerful for me this time is how she describes shame as an emotion that is about your connection with others, even if others don’t know they’re involved.

It’s how you feel others are viewing you and how you feel your value is in the outside world.

Through your connection with others and sharing your shame with others, that’s when healing begins. Of course, you need to find the right person to share your shame stories with, the person who is not going to judge or make you feel worse. It can be a great therapist, a good friend, or a good coach, with whom you share your shame stories and receive empathy.

Watch the video for more. I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Want to read more: Here’s how to forgive yourself when you’ve screwed up.

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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