This week on The Gutsy Podcast, I have one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. Her name is Amy Taylor, also known as the Shame Eliminator. As a speaker, coach, entrepreneur, and CEO founder of Amy Taylor Inspires, Amy works with women bound by the weight of past shame so that they can rebuild their confidence and merge from hiding so that they may tap into their greatness. Amy’s all about encouraging women to remove the shoes of shame so that they can stand within their shoes of power and promise. Guys, this is absolutely going to be an incredible episode.
What is Shame?
Amy describes shame as “suffering in silence.” It is the heaviness of negative layers that leave you in isolation and hiding. Often times, the impact of shame can go unnoticed until being tapped into and revealed. For Amy, the weight of her shame began when she was molested by her uncle at 12-years-old.
“When you’re at the age of 12, you don’t really know that that’s what that you’re dealing with—shame. So at that time, I just knew that something was wrong . . . I felt wrong, I felt nasty, dirty. But I didn’t realize that it was shame.”
Self-Inflicted vs. given
Within the episode, Amy talks about the two different types of shame that can hold a person back: shame that is self-inflicted and shame that is brought onto you by someone else. At age 15, when having her first child, Amy explains the self-inflicted shame she felt at a young age. But how the shame given to her at age 12 was not due to herself, but by the actions of her Uncle.
Is What I’m Feeling Shame?
Because not everyone realizes the feelings associated with shame, I asked our Shame Eliminator how someone can first realize whether or not they are dealing with this heaviness:
“I got introduced to shame at the age of 12 and then again at the age of 15 and then at again at the age of 37 . . . Shame just kept knocking at my door. I didn’t realize what it was. I just knew that I was in a deep dark hole.”
When it comes to shame, Amy relates it to a dark, deep feeling. It wasn’t until speaking her truths that all of the shame she felt, both self-inflicted and given, truly revealed themselves and the effects they were having on her life.
“You cannot wear other people’s shame.”
Being bound by another person’s shame can be such a heavy burden to place on ourselves, yet an action so many of us continue to do.
“I need to share with women that you cannot wear other people’s shame. That’s my specialty right there. My specialty is I teach women and I help women not only to remove their shoes of shame and stand in their shoes of power and promise but to no longer wear other people’s shame. And that’s what had me bound because I walked in my husband’s shame (tune in to hear the full story!) for so many years. So women—stop wearing other people’s shame.”
Eliminating Shame Step 1: You Can’t Heal What You Won’t Reveal
If you don’t reveal what you are feeling, how can any healing begin to take place? Amy states that the sooner you deal with shame, the sooner you can overcome it. From molestation to bankruptcy, to an abusive relationship to getting your car repossessed—shame can come in so many different forms. But although the experiences of shame may differ, “the process to go through shame and overcome shame is the same.”
Step 2: Own Your Truth
Owning your truth causes you to take action—thus leading you to be able to overcome it.
“Owning your truth doesn’t mean that you have to tell the world. Because here’s the thing, what I know to be true—everybody doesn’t deserve a front row seat in your life. Not Everybody deserves that. So everybody doesn’t need to hear what your story is. Everybody doesn’t need to hear what your shame is.”
When Amy was challenged to express her own shame, she knew that her story was not needed by everyone—but that it was needed by some. “Everybody has a story. Share your story . . . Get out there. Get your voice heard.” After being asked to speak on The Gutsy Podcast, she knew this could be an opportunity to be gutsy and own her truth.
Step 3: Forgiveness
“You have to forgive yourself . . . Not only do you have to forgive yourself, but you have to forgive the perpetrator. You have to forgive the person who brought the hurt to you.”
Forgiveness can be both a difficult and touchy subject. When it comes to a person who has hurt you, placed shame upon you, or made you wear the weight of their own shame—replacing resentment with forgiveness might feel like the last thing you should have to do to overcome it. But it isn’t until you release both yourself and others from this weight that you are able to break free and escape its grip. In doing this, you need to express “self-compassion” for the things you have done and for allowing yourself to rest within shame for so long.
“It came a time when I said shame, I had to look it in the face, I have to vacate. I said shame—it’s time for me to evict you.”
Step 4: Be Selfish
“This is so, so, so important,” says Amy. “When you are fighting to live, sometimes you have to be selfish.” The word selfish can come with such a dark connotation. I mean, it typically isn’t one we want ourselves to be latched to, right? But in a world filled with people so desperately trying to figure themselves out and create a path brings them to happiness, we sometimes have to learn it’s okay to say no.
“When you’re dealing with shame and you’re trying to live and I mean really live your life—not just for your family and friends but for yourself—you have got to learn the word no without apology. Without being apologetic and without any explanation. No, I can’t do that today because right now I’m working on Amy. Right now I’m working on Laura. Right now I’m working on whatever it is. Whoever you are—you have to be selfish at the time that you’re going through the process. You have to be selfish.”
Step 5: Live Abundantly
Existing, but not living. Does that resonate with you? I sure can relate. In such a fast-paced society where one day feels just like the last one, getting stuck within exist-mode can become all too real. But when it comes to letting go of shame and finding the happiness you deserve, you must learn to truly live your life outside of just existing.
“When you are really in abundant living, you reveal the shame, release the pain, and restore your soul so that you can be happy and have joy and inner peace.”
Bonus! 30 for 30
“I formed this program called 30 for 30 . . . It’s where I have a 30-minute Discovery Call for women who say, okay, well I may not have a strong support system like you may have had, but you know, I would love to.”
It is absolutely crucial to have someone to talk to; to have a support system to go to when dealing with deeply-rooted emotions. Unfortunately, not everyone has these resources. That is why Amy has made it one of her missions to provide the opportunity to be heard.
Connect with Amy
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