Hey You,

Lick the shame you've carried since being a child using what you discover here

It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd.

Today I wanted to share with you what I believe to be an answer to one of the nastiest personal improvement challenge any entrepreneur will ever face.

I believe this challenge is at the root of all failure.

And I’m giving you a clear cut 1-2-3 list of solutions to this crippling problem you and I face from a speech that was given by Dr. Albert Ellis at the Institute for Rational Living in New York City in 1972.

I’m no expert on the famed Dr. Albert Ellis. I’ve never heard or read anything of his besides what I’m sharing with you today. But this is a powerful speech I feel touches the heart of what being human is and what I believe stops you from being who you’re fully capable of being.

Another reason I connect with this Dr.’s message is because it’s RAW. I think he stumbled upon what Tony Robbins expresses here in this disclaimer he puts at the beginning of all of his seminar videos . . .

THIS FILM CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE

Freud discovered that in every culture there are words which are considered taboo: words that are rarely spoken aloud, but, when they are, produce a dynamic transformation in the emotional responsiveness of the listener. He was one of the first clinical practitioners to use intense

language and taboo words with a therapeutic aim.

In this tradition, Anthony Robbins will, at times, deliberately use shocking language in order to establish an atmosphere of honesty and emotional authenticity. While not given a place in polite society, these words can be used to trigger deeper emotions.

This language is used strategically, according to the specific situation, to spark the participant to achieve a higher level of accountability

I believe Dr. Ellis came to the same or similar conclusions.

His experience with thousands of patients taught him that people had huge hang ups around sex and so he wasn’t afraid to address them, knowing the tremendous love and freedom a person could experience once they weren’t gagged by the shame they felt about these topics.

Now, I’m going to give you his long ass resume (feel free to skip it because you trust me, or because you already know of his ninja status) because I want you to see that this ultra accomplished doctor fully embodied this philosophy of stubbornly refusing to be ashamed and wasn’t concerned at all that colleagues of his and some people in the audience might think of him as being unprofessional for standing up on stage and bringing up the topic of masturbating, the size of your dick and “fucking” – the word he used, not me.

And this way back in 1972 when it was not anywhere near as “accepted” as it is now to speak to these topics in public forum.

Prepare yourself to be resumed-into-submission . . .

Dr. Albert Ellis hold’s a PHD degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University. He has taught at Rutgers and New York University. He’s been Chief Psychologist for the New Jersey State Diagnostics Center and was later Chief Psychologist of the New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies. He was a consultant in clinical consultant both to the New York City Board of Education and to the Veterans Administration. And at that time he was currently the executive director of the Institute For Rational Living and Director of Psychological Services for the Institute for Advanced Study of Rational Psychotherapy. He’s been in the practice of psychotherapy and marriage and family counseling in New York City for almost 30 years. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and has been President of it’s Consulting Psychology and a member of it’s Counsel of Representatives. Dr. Ellis has also been Vice President of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, Chairman of the Marriage Counselor section of the National Counsel on Family Relations, and is a member of the executive committee of the New York Society of Clinical Psychologists. He’s been honored by several professional societies and was given the “Humanist Of The Year” award by the American Humanists Association. Dr. Ellis has served as the associate editor of several journals including the journal of Marriage and The Family and Existential Psychiatry. He has published over 350 papers in psychological, psychiatric, and sociological journals and anthologies. He has authored or edited approximately 31 books and monographs including “Sex Without Guilt – The art and science of love” “How To Live With A Neurotic – A guide to rational living” “Reason And Emotion In Psychotherapy – A guide to successful marriage” “How To Raise An Emotionally Healthy, Happy Child” “Growth Through Reason” and “Executive Leadership – A Rational Approach”.

GOD DAMN! I’ve never typed “Association” “Committee” or “Administration” that many times in one paragraph.

And now that you know this guy is the real deal Holyfield and not just some schmuck off the street preaching self help, let’s get to the bottom of . . .

How To Stubbornly Refuse To Be Ashamed Of Anything

The more thought he gives to this business of shame, the more he’s convinced that it’s really at the core of MOST emotional disturbance. Not all, but most emotional disturbances have some element of shame in them.

Here’s the dictionary definition of shame . . .

Shame:

Feeling of guilt, incompetency, indecency, or blame worthiness. Dishonor, disgrace, embarrassment, humiliation, mortification.

This practically covers everything, including the kitchen sink.

If you feel ashamed, here’s some of the consequences that you do feel – this isn’t definitive but some of the consequences of feeling shame is the feeling of shame of course but then there’s experiencing shyness, embarrassment, humiliation, feeling of being insulted, depression, self downing, guilt, locking down, repression, anxiety, panic, lack of intimacy.

Here’s some physical aspects of feeling ashamed – blushing, stuttering, physical nervousness and psychosomatic things like ulcers, high blood pressure, etc.

You can see that shame is a very broad ranging and deep ranging feeling and has lots of very serious consequences.

What’s The Basic Cause Of Shame?

In Rational Emotive Therapy they don’t think in terms of prior events that happened to you, though they may have something to do with exacerbating these feelings.

The basic cause is philosophic. The philosophic sources of shame are probably the beginning of “I MUST”, not “I would like to,” but “I MUST achieve or be loved.” That’s the mental premise.

Then, “I am not doing what I MUST,”

Then, the conclusion, “THIS IS SHAMEFUL!”

Meaning, “I am a SHIT for creating this shameful condition!”

And then, “Because I feel depressed and anxious, as a result of what I’ve just done and along with my feelings of shame, I am a SHIT for feeling like a SHIT!”

That’s where people usually end up. Or, another way of putting it is “I am ashamed of being ashamed!”

You could presumably go down to another level saying, “I am ashamed of feeling ashamed of feeling ashamed.”

But usually people have both in their mind, “I feel ashamed of doing or not doing X. And then I know that I am ashamed that I feel ashamed of being ashamed.”

Now to be more concrete and specific . . .

The Sources of Shame Start With The Proposition That “I MUST BE LOVED”

And this has various ramifications such as I must be popular, I must be accepted, I must be approved of, I must be un-criticized. And then therefore, it is awful if I am un-popular, unacceptable, disapproved, criticized ridiculed, etc.

The second main source is, “I MUST ACHIEVE”

And this means I must achieve many things and it’s amazing how many there really are, such as competence, excellence, intelligence, normality, physical perfection, emotional maturity, strength of character, moral goodness, godliness, saint hood, nobility, and the special subheading of this is, in the sexual area where we particularly, in our society and probably in most, ally or connect our feelings of shame that I must achieve sexual adequacy, sexual conquest, sexual excellence, sexual normality, sexual decency, and sexual morality to say the least.

And to sum up all of these things into one phrase, you’re really saying, when you’re ashamed, “I must achieve greatness, goodness, and godliness.”

And then the obvious conclusion with these premises is that it is therefore, it awful if I am incompetent, average, stupid, idiosyncratic, physically imperfect, emotionally disturbed, weak in character, immoral or bad, ignoble, un-saintly, un-godly.

By the same token it is awful if you are sexually inadequate, sexually un-attractive, sexually average, sexually deviant, sexually indecent.

But you can see that with these nice premises, and the conclusions there of, that practically everyone would feel ashamed.

Even I can’t do all of those things so you can imagine what chance the rest of you have! Hahaha

But now we have another phenomena that comes in which makes things even worse . . .

You wouldn’t think they could get worse but they can. And this worsens by creating the “Boxed-In” or “No Exit” feeling.

The individual demands that he must have both sides of the coin – or sometimes neither side. For example, he says . . .

“I MUST not be too idiosyncratic, too different, nor too conforming.”

“I MUST not be the underdog, but then it would be a sin if I were to be the over dog.”

“I absolutely MUST not be poor, but if I’m rich, you know what I really am.”

“And I MUST be a sexual conqueror on the one hand, but if I’m too much of a conqueror, then I’m a promiscuous dog.”

“I MUST not be unethical or bad, but then I MUST not be too good – too easy going.”

“I MUST not be non-achieving but then I MUST not achieve too much.”

“I MUST not be over intellectual or intellectualized but then I MUST not be over-physical or aggressive.”

“I MUST not be too sensitive but then I MUST not be too hard.”

In regards to shame, you can see how an individual boxes themselves into a standard they can never meet.

What To Do About This . . .

Supposed you feel very ashamed some of the time, or moderately ashamed most of the time, or very ashamed most of the time like most people feel.

What can you do about it? The first thing is what he calls PALIATION.

This is where you work to change your inadequacies. If you look at all of those examples where you can feel shame above, you’ll see that you’re damning yourself for one inadequacy or another – you’re not good enough to be loved, you’re not good enough to achieve.

So you can work on these inadequacies. You can diet, you can exercise, you can discipline yourself, you can practice things like sports or studying. You can try to improve yourself aesthetically, you can go in for all kinds of self-actualization. Or you can do what he suggests in the Guide For Rational Living, go get yourself a vital absorbing interest.

In other words, you can work your ass off at taking those inadequacies and changing them and then you’ll feel less shame. But this is palliative because you still have the general philosophy, “But suppose tomorrow I fall on my face again and I stop dieting or the exercise that gives me these great muscles? Then back to shamehood and shithood go I.”

So that wouldn’t work very well. And you’d end up working your whole life with these palliative methods because you have so many possibilities of things you might be inadequate at.

So the next thing people turn to are DIVERSIONS

These too are palliations but instead of being fairly constructive like the diet and the exercise, which could do you a lot of good, even if you had your feelings of shame, diversions try to keep you from thinking how inadequate you are or what a shit you are for being inadequate.

Diversion techniques range from relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, getting very busy (one of the oldest techniques in human history), positive thinking where by you pick an inadequacy and say “Day by day, in every way I’m getting better and better and better at lasting longer in bed,” and you can convince yourself that you’re very good at it.

Or you could use calming, imaginative techniques. So whenever you get anxious about being inadequate about something and you feel ashamed of your inadequacies, you picture some calming scene as they do in psycho-synthesis and some other therapeutic techniques and this would divert you.

And the trouble with all these again is that they’re diverting, palliative, they’ll temporarily get you away from feeling that you’re not doing as well as you could and should do. But sooner or later, you’re not gonna relax forever and you’re not gonna stand on your head in a yoga position forever so you come back to the real world and you have plenty of time on the subway or elsewhere to be un-relaxed and back to the shame.

So they don’t work very well.

Another technique that’s a little better because it’s not quite as palliative is to question one of the assumptions you have about shame.

And the first assumption to question is that “You’re doing this thing badly or wrongly.”

That’s not always a good assumption because sometimes there no evidence to prove it right. You could say for example, “I masturbate all the time, 20 times a week or something like that, and that’s bad!” But that would be an assumption.

Not that you masturbate 20 times a week. You get evidence of that. But that it’s bad is just an assumption. And then you could be ashamed of doing that bad thing. But you can check a lot of the so-called facts that you’re assuming and see that they aren’t facts.

For example, lots of people feel shame about thoughts they have. These could be non-sexual or sexual thoughts. And the thoughts may be very bizarre, you could really think of crazy fantasies while you’re fucking or while you’re masturbating or something like that and say, “OH MY GOD, what a bizarre fantasy! How awful!”

But in this disputing technique, you’d ask the question of . . .

“Why is it such a bizarre fantasy? Fantasies very frequently are bizarre. Really, doesn’t the person next door and the person on the side of me have fairly similar fantasies at times? They may not admit it but they do.”

So you can question whether your fantasies are really bad which is your assumption – immoral, bad, no-good.

Whether our other non-sexual ones, for example, you may have evil thoughts, you may think of killing your sainted mother (by the way, this got a laugh from the crowd).

Well, is that a bad thought? It might or may not be. No if you kill your mother, that’s not the greatest thing in the world and people take a dim view of this but why is it so bad to have the thought of killing your mother and what honest person does not have the thought of killing his mother. Very few (once again, more chuckles from the audience).

What’s Wrong With Being Butt Ass Nekked?

Or you might think that certain acts like nudity are bad because it’s shameful to be nude. If he took his clothes off there for example, he’s supposed to be ashamed. Actually he wouldn’t be but the cops might object so he wouldn’t do it.

He guarantees he wouldn’t feel ashamed if he did do it because he questions the thought of “What’s wrong with me being nude right here at this time? It’s a little awkward, a little more odd if all of us were, but the state of New York says that if three people in a group take their clothes off at once it’s lewd and obscene so that aids in making it more odd.

But really, despite the sacred state of New York’s law, what would be so bad if they all took their clothes off? In fact, they might think of some good things that might happen if they did. But what would be bad?

So this is just an assumption that that would be a bad act.

Or suppose you have an idiosyncrasy and you go around eating goat testicles all day.

Well, not very many Americans go around eating goat testicles all day. The normal thing to believe is, “Oh My God! Because I have this idiosyncrasy, there’s something wrong with that which means there’s something bad about me.”

But what’s wrong with it? It’s just a peculiarity. It’s odd, it’s different, but why is it wrong?

Well let’s take a sexual deviation. Let’s say you that instead of screwing, you go around obsessed with peeping all the time. You’re not screwing –  you’re peeping. That’s a deviation, a abnormality that you can arrested for but when you say it’s wrong you’re not saying it’s peculiar or it’s self-defeating, which it is if you’re doing it compulsively but you’re implying that it’s immoral or wicked.

Well, you could ask, “What’s wrong with peeping? If I really pulled up peoples shades, that would be an infringement on their privacy, but what if I only go around peeping into shades that are open? Then what’s wrong with that?

You can question whether this act is really bad or not.

You can do this with any kind of abnormality. You might have lots of them. He has diabetes for example. This is a physical abnormality that some people are ashamed of.

Well, he doesn’t run around cheering that he’s got diabetes, but on the other hand he figures, “Shit, so I have diabetes. It’s a pain in the ass,” But he doesn’t view it as some terrible abnormality, something rotten to be ashamed of about himself.

So in this method of disputing, you would take any act that you are labeling or calling bad, wrong, unethical, immoral, wicked, nasty, impure, indecent and you’d question why the act, not you, fits any of these labels.

When you do this, and it’s amazing how few people do this, you come up with the answer, “It isn’t. It’s defined by certain people in certain cultures as wrong or nutty or evil, but that doesn’t mean that it is because people for centuries or years have thought about it that way.”

And then some of the things that you do/have that are really disadvantageous, because wrong includes being disadvantaged, you blame yourself for.

Say for example you’re your hand was crippled in an ugly manner. Well, you could easily make yourself ashamed of that because it is an abnormality and it is ugly and it is something that’s wrong with your hand. It’s different from most other people’s and it’s a disadvantage because suppose you only have two fingers instead of five, you can’t do certain things so you’re disadvantaged.

Now another technique for getting rid of shame which is still mild and palliative, but it still works to a large degree, is to ASK YOURSELF, “Why am I responsible for certain aspects of my disadvantages?

Some of them you are. You’re responsible if you go out and get drunk and get into an accident because you’re drunk, you’re responsible because you had a choice of being drunk or not being drunk. The drink didn’t make you drunk. You drank the drink so you’re responsible.

But take things like being crippled. You could ask yourself, “Why am I responsible for this?”

So, you were born crippled or you got into an accident one day when you were younger and this crippled you. And you can do this about lots of things, various weaknesses that you have that you’re not responsible for. Some of them you obviously are but suppose you’re physically weak. Maybe you were born this way or fed very poorly when you were young and now you’re physically weak.

Suppose you’re low sexed which practically everybody feels ashamed of in this crazy society. Well how are you responsible for that? Your hormones just may be below par. Or something else may be physically wrong with you and therefore you don’t lust after many people as I do. So, you don’t. That’s not necessarily good that I lust after more, it might be more frustrating.

But let’s suppose it’s an advantage for me to have a higher sex drive than you. Well, why are you responsible for your lower sex drive? And the answer is frequently, “You’re not.”

Or suppose you’re a male and you have small sex organs. Or, a female with large sex organs.

Then are you responsible for that? It might not be desirable to certain people and they might not like you for having those organs. Most people wouldn’t really give a shit as long as you had fingers and a tongue to supplement those organs.

But some people would so it could be chalked up as a disadvantage. But that’s all it is and you’re not responsible. That’s the way you are. Go try to build yourself a bigger penis. (He said this back in 1972 and it got a laugh out of the crowd because it was impossible. It would do the same today because of all the cream dreams that’re sold to guys (pumps, pills, implants, etc.) in an attempt to make this possible.

Or suppose you’re incapable. Say you’re un-artistic for example. You might practice the piano or the violin for 13 ½ years and still sound like his sister still sounds which is very bad. So you’re incapable.

You were probably born with that incapacity or acquired it an early age. Why are you responsible for it?

Or suppose you’re forgetful.

A lot of people come to him and complain that they’re forgetful. So he says to them, “YOU’RE FORGETFUL!?! You should see me. I just saw a show on TV the other day and when it was getting to the final scene I remembered that about a year ago I’d seen the same god damn film. So you think you’re forgetful. Why do you think I have these thousands of notes that I keep ripping out of paperback books and magazines. Because I’m forgetful.”

But he’s not ashamed of this.

He acknowledges that that’s too bad because he used to be less forgetful in his youth but now he forgets more. Well, tough. Now what can he do to make up for this?

You could be poor at reading or math or other stuff like this, which are real disadvantages but instead of feeling ashamed you’d say, “Why am I responsible for this low level of capability in this area? Tough. That’s the way it is. Now how can I be happy with it?”

The Main Attack On Shame That He Advocates . . .

These are philosophic attacks.

The essence of shame is not that you’re doing poorly at something, but that you think you MUST be doing well – you MUST win various people’s love and approval and you MUST achieve notably in anywhere from one to hundreds of fields.

The philosophic way to attack this is to first be ANTI-PERFECTIONISTIC

This is accepting the fact that you are error prone, you are a fallible, fucked up human like the rest of us, and you will always have inadequacies.

You’re never going to be perfect. No human being as we know, was ever perfect aside from Jesus and look what happened to him. (Once again, huge laugh from the crowd)

So you have very little chance of really achieving perfection and you better ask yourself, “Why The Fuck Do I Have To Be Perfect?” about 3-4 million times until you can consistently get the answer . . .

“I don’t have to be anything! Maybe it would be nice if I were perfect because I can do all kinds of things of which I can’t now, but maybe it wouldn’t even be nice because who the hell would be my friends, lovers and country men if I was perfect? It might be a very lonely experience. But even if I could prove that it would be nice, how the hell am I gonna make it so?”

Along with this is what he calls ANTI-SELF RATING

Shame is a result of ego – self rating – saying “Because my performance is good, I am good,” or “Because my performance stinks, I am no good.”

What you can practice here is first, ANTI-EGO – “Why do I have to prove myself?” And that not only means why must you always do well, and why are a shit if you don’t well, but also something goes along with it, which few people want to practice it, is ANTI-PRIDE.

The opposite of shame is pride. If you don’t give up pride, you’re not going to give up shame.

Pride means, “I did xyz, whatever the hell it was, well, beautifully, marvelously, and therefore I am noble, god-like, and pure. I am a great person.”

Now while you’re indulging in this pride, you’ll inevitably go to the other side and when you do xyz badly, and the chances are you will from time to time, then back to shit hood go I. That’s what you’re going to feel.

So unless you give up pride, with ego, not just the self downing part, you’re not going to be solving your problem successfully.

Now some people ask, “Well, if I give up pride, then why shouldn’t I just sit on my ass all day long and not do anything?”

The answer is, you better teach yourself to achieve for the right reasons.

Shame doesn’t stem from the desire to achieve, but rather the need, the feeling that you have to achieve and if you don’t, you’re no good. If you give up that have to, you can go right to a desire for achievement . . .

“I’d like to achieve X. I’d like to be an individual who gets through school and makes $20 million dollars, who fucks continuously and is able to keep it up, who does A, B, C, D etc. etc.

But I prefer to do these things for enjoyment, to have a more pleasurable existence. NOT to prove myself, not to show that I’m a worthwhile human being on the one hand or that I’m not a turd on the other hand. I want to do it for the right reasons and that is to HAVE A FUCKING BALL! To enjoy myself. That’s what I’m here for. Not to achieve for achievement, not to achieve for ego, not even to achieve in a sense for me because lots of people say, ‘I want to achieve for myself,’ and that’s okay in a sense but it has connotations and overtones which are dangerous. But I want to achieve so that I can ENJOY, have a better existence.

And not to prove that when I finally get off this earth that I was worthy of living. I don’t have to do anything like that.”

Then the other side of the coin, along with the anti-ego goes the ANTI-SHIT HOOD

No Self-Downing Of Any Kind – no matter how badly you do, no matter how poorly you are, no matter how many people do not care for you or think you are the worst individual they ever met, you never down you.

You do down your acts and you try to get feedback as much as you can because you will act badly and it would be advantageous and desirable to act well. But you never down you because you acted badly. No self-downing, no self-blame OF ANY KIND.

You condemn, if you wish to do so, the acts, you never condemn you, and then you do the exact same for others. You don’t damn other human beings.

If you don’t like their performances, you tell them that you don’t like them. If they’re you’re boss, you may say this tactfully. If it’s your wife or spouse, you may say it un-tactfully.

But you do let other people know about their performances and why they are performing poorly because sometimes they don’t understand that it is a poor performance so you better explain, “I don’t like you doing X because X causes so much trouble to you, to me, etc.” so you give them reasons.

But you never down them because if you down them as humans, you really think of them as contemptible, as flawed, as vermin, as scum bags, then sooner or later you’ll also tend to down yourself in the same manner. That isn’t cool.

No Downing Of Any Human Being What So Ever For Any Reason What So Ever

This is a hard line to follow and he can’t say that he always follows it himself. He practically never downs himself anymore, he’s not that crazy, but he does down other human beings. He’s still a damner to a certain degree, much less than he used to be.

So he’s not telling you to follow his noble example because it’s not that noble. And he’s not telling you that you should never be angry, upset, resentful, furious, enraged, at other human beings.

Because if he told you that, you’d almost certainly become so from time to time and then you’ll say, “Ellis said I shouldn’t do this and I’m doing it, what a shit am I.”

He’s just saying it would be better if you worked like hell against those negative feelings of damning other human beings and when you do damn other human beings, which you will, as he does from time to time, then you better come back to, “that was an error, not my feeling of displeasure, not the fact that he did various things wrong, but my damning of him was an error, now when am I gonna correct that error and get back to assessing this person’s performance, rather than this individual for his performance?”

Accept Yourself Unconditionally

You do this despite willful irresponsibility’s and unethical behavior.

A lot of your acts are not willfully irresponsible or unethical, even when they harm other people, maybe you couldn’t help harming others or maybe you were born with some kind of abnormality so that you do harm others.

Suppose you have a very raspy voice. Some people don’t like Ellis’s voice. He was raised in the Bronx and sounds like it. And suppose your voice is worse than his and people cringe upon hearing the sound of your voice.

Well, you better not blame yourself because you might be able to change it by taking speech lessons or voice coaching, but it may be a function of your physiology and you’re gonna be stuck speaking that way.

You don’t have to assume responsibilities for lots of abnormalities and in-just behaviors that you do or ways that you bother others because that just happens to be the way you behave and you didn’t bear yourself and you didn’t rear yourself.

Maybe you did from the age of 12 on but you didn’t rear yourself early in life and you didn’t give yourself other biological factors so better not condemn yourself.

But there are lots of things that you do do, and are doing now, and have done, that are irresponsible

Some of them are in the past. Some of them are in the present.

He’s saying that you never have to condemn yourself, even for these willful irresponsibility’s (this looks weird but my spell check is saying this is the way it’s supposed to be :/ rather than irresponsibilities).

These could be irresponsibility’s toward yourself or toward other human beings.

And you never blame, condemn, or do yourself in for lying – which is often unethical, smoking – which many people foolishly do, over-eating, stealing, goofing off, avoiding, sexual inexperience – which people condemn themselves for all the time despite their refusing to learn, and even murder.

He’s written a book on murder and he showed how murders are very disturbed people but even if you do the most heinous crimes, you never have to condemn yourself.

Philosophically you can always fully accept yourself, no matter what your behavior.

Aren’t There Positive Attributes Of Shame and Pride?

Isn’t shame penalizing things that makes us do better than we would without it?

And the answer is yes and no because we could have those rewards, without the shame. For example, one belief is, “If I don’t do X, take care of my teeth, then I will get very rotten teeth, a ton of pain, etc. and therefore I’d better do it because it would be an advantageous thing to do. And if I do what would be better, that’s great.

But when shame comes in it transforms to . . .  “If I don’t take care of my teeth, I am a rotten PERSON.”

If you operate from the hypothesis that for not taking care of your teeth, you’re a rotten person, then how could a rotten person who’s so far avoided taking care of his teeth, because that’s what you usually become ashamed of after you’ve avoided it for awhile, how could this rotten person do a good deed by taking care of his teeth?

Won’t you then become obsessed with, “Oh what a rotten person I am, etc.”? And where does this actually help you with your teeth?

If you just focused on the first part, then you don’t need the baggage of, “I’m a shit for doing this act,” in order to goad you into doing it. You don’t need it.

Think of if someone called someone else a nasty racial slur when they thought the other person wasn’t in the room, but they were actually right behind them and heard every word of what they said.

Wouldn’t the shame they’d feel make them think twice about doing that again?

Yes, it may. It may not incidentally.

You may become so ashamed and think, “Oh my god, look what I did. I’m a real shit! I might as well go kill myself,” and then this person wouldn’t do it again, but it would be for the wrong reason.

He could get the same result by saying very vigorously, “That was a very irresponsible act! I am not a turd for doing that act. Therefore, since it was such an irresponsible act I am determined not to do it again. And this can lead to empowering behavior change.

Shame consists of two things: One – “I am doing the wrong thing,” for example dressing poorly to go on a job interview. Two – “Therefore, I’m a piece of shit for doing it.”

You only need to retain one of these two.

Yes, you are doing the wrong thing and therefore it’d be advisable to wear a different outfit or cut your hair if you know you’re not gonna get hired for having dread locks, not because you’re ashamed, but you do so purely because you want to bring advantage to yourself.

You can get the same advantages while living in this crazy world with all of it’s conventions, without the shame as long as you face the fact that the conventions are there and that you can conform to them for practical reasons, not because you would feel like a loser if you didn’t.

Can you still apologize without feeling ashamed?

Yes, there’s nothing to prevent you from feeling sorrow without feeling self-downing. You can sorrowfully say, “I’m sorry I said that.” And you don’t have to feel like a turd in order to apologize.

Well That’s A Great Philosophy, How The Hell Am I Gonna Believe It?

The answer is by thinking about it and thinking about it, and thinking about it and doing certain other things – emotive things and activity things.

One of the things you can do are what he calls Anti-Shame Exercises.

He used these with his individual clients because he’s found that the more he can convince people to do things that are shameful and ridiculous and see that after they’ve done so, the world doesn’t come to an end . . . the less shameful they feel about them because they get used to doing them.

Most people think, “If I do this shameful and asinine act, everyone’s gonna stare at me and hate me and think about me for the next 40 years.” They find that they’re lucky if they’re thought about for the next 40 minutes. The other people have their problems and they’re worried constantly about what you think about them.

So he gives people a whole series of Anti-Shame Exercises and here’s a list of them that you run right out and do as soon as you’re done reading this . . .

Now don’t do these in your office and don’t escalate them to the point where you’re getting arrested. Now, if you want to see that it’s not so shameful to have spent some time in jail, then go on ahead and deliberately get arrested. That could be one of your shame exercises. But he doesn’t necessarily recommend this.

He recommends you do these exercise publically for the most part, in front of people who see you do it, and the more, the merrier. If you can do it at Yankee Stadium, that’d be great but if you don’t get that opportunity, pick any crowd you can get in front of.

Anti-Shame Exercise #1: Wear Conspicuous Buttons

Something that says something like, “I FUCK”.

Anti-Shame Exercise #2: Wear Outlandish Clothes

Now if you have a private practice, you wouldn’t necessarily do this at the office. But an example of this is wearing one blue stocking and one white stocking or something like that.

Anti-Shame Exercise #3: Do Strange Things

Whatever you or people around you would consider strange.

This goes without saying that what’s strange in a church isn’t so strange out in the Bronx. An example of this would be to wear a yarmulke to a Catholic church ceremony and going through all the catholic motions while there, instead of behaving as an outside observer.

Anti-Shame Exercise #4: Do Some Deliberate Troublemaking

Send back the soup you order at a restaurant five times, saying there’s something different wrong with it each time. Or, get store keepers to wait on you and deliberately don’t buy. Do trouble making things that people will get pissed off at you for.

Sacha Baron Cohen, the guy behind the fictional character “Borat” is legendary for doing this. He has a masters degree when it comes to being immune to shame as you’ll see in this clip here . . .

Anti-Shame Exercise #5: Give Strong Dissenting Views

State some really outlandish views like Borat did in the clip above, that you don’t think women should be allowed to vote. Something that will cause people to think you’re an idiot for.

Anti-Shame Exercise #6: Be Critical Of Other People

Point out blatantly things people are doing wrong.

The only way this works against you is you’re downing the person themselves vs. downing their behavior. Calling someone a dumb fuck is different than saying to them that their lack of attention in the moment caused a critical mistake and that you consider this behavior unacceptable.

Anti-Shame Exercise #7: Wear Odd Make Up

Men can put on rouge and lipstick. Women can go around with poorly applied make up on.

Anti-Shame Exercise #8: Be Frankly Sexual

You don’t have to screw anyone you don’t want to but say sexy things, especially if you’re a female, that you normally wouldn’t say. Go out and say something very sexy. If you can get away with it, do some nudity. This you gotta watch because the police take a dim view this.

Anti-Shame Exercise #9: Give Public Talks

Especially if you’re terribly afraid to do so.

Anti-Shame Exercise #10: Go Out In Public With Bizarre Companions

Albert walks down the street with his mother, who he considers to be very bizarre because she acts strangely and does weird things. Maybe you’ve got a mother you’ve been avoiding for years. Take her for a walk.

Anti-Shame Exercise #11: Go Places Alone

This is very important, especially for females. Pick something you would normally only do with other people, and it by yourself.

Anti-Shame Exercise #12: Come Late or Come Early To A Gathering

Anti-Shame Exercise #13: Be Conspicuous

One guy I know does stuff like this ALL. THE. TIME.

The other night he shot me a text that said something to the tune of . . .

“The bathroom attendant is looking at me weird. WTF!?! Hasn’t he ever seen someone wash their dick in the sink before?”

Anti-Shame Exercise #14: Do Some Door To Door Campaigning

Especially for an unpopular cause.

Anti-Shame Exercise #15: Confess Your Weaknesses

Publicly, whatever they may be.

Anti-Shame Exercise #16: Confess Your Weaknesses

Anti-Shame Exercise #17: Deliberately Act Stupid

Borat workout video here

Anti-Shame Exercise #18: Set Yourself Up To Publicly Fail

And make sure that everyone you know, knows it happened. Preferably get it on video for all to see.

Or, invite 20 people to your home and intentionally leave it sloppy. Don’t clean up beforehand.

Anti-Shame Exercise #19: Cry In Public

Anti-Shame Exercise #20: Scream In Public


These are just a few ideas of things you can do. The list can go on and on and on.

What Are Some Other Methods That Aren’t Verbal Or Philosophic?

Rational Emotive Imagery.

You pick something that you would feel ashamed of, think of the thing you would feel most ashamed of, like walking down the street naked or as a lot females may fear, going to the movies or a five star restaurant alone, or getting up in front of a crowd and stuttering and stammering and falling on your face.

Think of anything to you that’s about the most shameful thing you can think of picture yourself, vividly fantasize yourself doing that shameful thing and the audience laughing, howling, ridiculing you, people nervously gawking, pointing and whispering to themselves and then laughing at their inside jokes at your expense.

You can even accelerate this process by exaggerating the consequences of the shame. By fantasizing the extreme consequences like your dick actually being inverted into your body vs. just small, the ridiculousness of this can chip away at the shame.

And then, change your feelings. The normal feeling you’ll have when you do this, which you can test easily, is shame, embarrassment, humiliation and you can change that feeling to frustration, sorrow, regret, “I’m sorry I stuttered so badly in that talk but what’s so goddamn awful about it?”

Or, “It’s too damned bad that all those people think I’m crazy for walking down the street naked. It’s really unfortunate for them.”

And really convince yourself with the feelings and the thoughts in your head and fantasy that this very shameful thing you’re doing has disadvantageous results, because usually it does, BUT it’s not the end of the world. It’s merely unfortunate and too damned bad.

Another thing you can do is think of some Risk-Taking things you can do

In his groups of patients, he gives them risk taking activities to do. And almost always what is called a risk in our society, is a shameful thing.

People don’t usually mean by risk, something physically endangering – like picking a fight with a professional boxer and getting your ass knocked out. They think “I’ll pick a fight with a pro boxer and get my ass knocked out and everyone in the bar and everyone on youtube will see me get my ass knocked out and won’t that be shameful!”

People are constantly worried about losing approval.

Think of things that are risky to you, not necessarily physically risky like playing chicken with diesels, and you’ll find that most of them most of them are rooted in shame.

Do some of these risk taking things. One for me is talking to strangers. Especially strangers that have boobs and vaginas attached to their bodies – doesn’t matter what age or what shape.

Another thing you can do is hang out with people who have little to no shame

An example of this would be people who chill at nudist camps.

They aren’t ashamed of their bodies and if you ever watch Real Sex on HBO, you’ve surely seen one of the episodes where they film at one of these places and you’ll see that 99% of the people at those camps should by societies standards, be very ashamed of their less-than-perfect physiques.

Or, if you can find a good one, go to an orgy.

These people not only aren’t afraid of being naked in front of others – they aren’t ashamed of doing acts that people are normally ashamed of  like having sex in front of other people, having sex with the lights on, or even having sex with multiple partners.

Visit a commune.

See how these people act much different than you do and that they get used to.

Go to a group that asks you to reveal your feelings and let it all hang out. Where everybody does it.

If you stay in these kinds of groups and cultivate companions, soon these activities chip away at your life-long shame wall you’ve built to protect you.

Operant Conditioning

You can take any act that you consider to be shameful, like wearing the button that says, “My name is chuck and I like to fuck” to the bar.

But suppose he gave you one of these assignments and you don’t do it? You know it’d be good for you to do but you just refuse to do so.

ONE, this is where you reinforce yourself by saying, “If I don’t wear that button to the bar for at least an hour today, I won’t allow myself to do something pleasurable like screw my wife, or listen to music, or talk to my friends.

And TWO, I’ll make myself do something very un-pleasurable like clean the house or read a technical book, or do your taxes – something you’ve been putting off for weeks and weeks.

You can force yourself by these operant conditioning techniques to reinforce yourself for being brave and overcoming your cowardice. You can penalize and rough on yourself for refusing to break through and do what’s good for your soul.

Conclusion:

You want to face the fact that you refuse to confront your shame minute by minute and use some of these techniques to theoretically, philosophically, and actively in practice, to fight this nutty shame, shame, shame, and finally you’ll end up as he’s trying to end up, very stubbornly refusing to be ashamed of any goddamn thing you can do or by any stretch of your imagination, think of doing.


That’s 7,853 words on the topic.

That’s enough for the day, even though I’ve got a woman I want to refer you to who speaks to this topic from another angle. Some other time in the new future, I’ll direct you to her.

But for now, go out and apply whatever you’re brave enough to in the moment from this list and feel free to report back to me here in the comments below, or in a private email to me, the results of your shame busting exercises.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Smile

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd