[PODCAST EPISODE 63] - Toxic Shame & Fear of Success

It's been a little over a month since I've recorded an episode and I am so happy to be back (and back with a BANG!). In this episode we're talking about toxic shame and how it relates to the fear of success in high-performers. 

Here's What's Covered:
What is Toxic Shame
Where Does it Come From
How Does Toxic Shame Show Up
My Personal Experience With Toxic Shame
Toxic Shame & Fear of Success
Toxic Shame and Internalized Rage
How to Start Healing Toxic Shame

And, at the end I share a simple prayer for support in moving through it. 


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Show Notes Below.


Toxic Shame & Fear of Success


This is a deep, and sort of heavy topic. But it’s very important and it’s not really understood enough in entrepreneurial spaces and leadership and mindset  spaces. We talk about shame, but we don’t really understand it from a perspective of embodiment and our physical being, our physiological selves right. Like what is the impact of shame on our BEINGNESS. On our BODY. 


It’s really important for high-performers, particularly high-performing women to see this pattern, to become aware of it and to begin to heal it. 


So - i’m not taking you through this heavy topic for no reason. It’s very important. It’s a big part of becoming healthy. And it’s a big part of Healing toxic shame is essential for being able to experience embodiment and a sense of presence.  It’s essential for having healthy relationships and avoiding abusive relationships. It’s essential for self-expression - in work, creativity, and business. It’s essential for breaking patterns of self-neglect and self-sabotage. It’s also essential for resilience-building.  It’s essential for a good flow of work and productivity. It’s essential for good health as well. 

What is Toxic Shame? 

A sense and imprint that says I am fundamentally bad.
I am fundamentally disgusting.
I am “bad meat”
I am defective
I am deeply wrong

So your self-hood is demonized and it’s a very real experience. Meaning you experience yourself as fundamentally wrong/bad/broken.


Where Does Toxic Shame Come From? 

Childhood Trauma, abuse, neglect
Internalized Rage - the suppressed rage of the child turned inward towards the self



Withholding Behaviours


Fundamentalist Religions 


How Does Toxic Shame Show Up?

Chronic Self-sabotage

Diminishing, Demeaning, Self-Deprecating and Self-Blame
Ability to do things for others but not for yourself

Lack of sensation in the body, full-blown dissociation, chronic anxiety

Relationship patterns that reinforce your diminishing view of yourself

Deep heaviness and depression



Rage toward others

Constant Irritability and Isolation


My Experience With Toxic Shame

Abuse of my mom. Her projected rage, that was projected onto her by her own mom.  Being physically abused and being told and screamed things about myself: lazy pig. Disgusting. Selfish bitch. Simply being neglected. The banishing of my true self.


Toxic Shame and Fear of Success in High-Performing Women 

If you experience yourself as wrong-ness and bad-ness, you will not want to be seen. You will not want to stand out. You will not want to be close to others. You will not want to be seen. You will not want to be appreciated, loved, and celebrated. Because it will trigger that deep sense of badness within you. It is not congruent with how you experience yourself and you will push it away.

You may need to survive on the approval and validation of others, and you may harm yourself to get that in subtle and not so subtle ways. You may not every discover your gifts or bring them into the world the way you were meant to. You may sabotage the success you experience or hide from success. You may subconsciously invite failure into your life through sabotaging relationships, addiction, your body may even simply just shut off and guide you to the old pattern. 

So, if you’ve felt that there is a veil around you. If you’ve felt yourself locked in patterns of fear of success that are causing you to create failure, then you may be dealing with toxic shame. 


Toxic Shame and Internalized Rage

When a parent is raging at a child. When a parent is ridiculing and harming a child, the natural mammalian response to that is to rage. It’s to use our primal anger to protect ourselves. But our system will override that natural urge if there’s a very real sense that the person harming us is bigger and more powerful than us. And if that person is the one who is responsible for our food and shelter, right? 


How to Resolve and Heal Toxic Shame

And, what are you noticing happening within you as you listen to this podcast episode? Are you crying? Do you notice other sensations in your body? What’s happening with your breath? Do you feel a sense of realization? Do you feel a sense of relief? Just take a moment now, as long as it is safe to notice that.


That is the beginning seed of awareness. That maybe your tendency to downplay and diminish yourself might be linked to something deeper. 


Restoring a sense of self and a sense of safety to the body. Meaning restoring the sensation to the body. Beginning to orient to your environment and your surroundings. Being able to build the capacity in your body to feel through the shame and process it.

Prayer for Healing Toxic Shame:
May I have the grace, guidance and wisdom to heal the shame within me

May my body experience wholeness and goodness, and may I remember that my body is divinely and intelligently designed

May I remember that I am inherently worthy

May I be gifted with awareness of how toxic shame has kept me living in patterns of fear and sabotage

May my sense of myself be restored

May my healing intention touch all parts of me, body, breath, blood and bone
May I learn to see, experience and feel my own sacredness, my own worth, and my own human dignity.



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