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  • nwianwood

Fueled by shame

I recently have become obsessed with pickleball.

A ripple effect of going to Hawaii last summer for my aunts' wedding.

The truth is I can get locked into what I am working on day to day.

I love my job, love what I do, and I’m passionate about what I am creating.

I can become a workaholic that traps himself inside.

Living in one of the most beautiful places with amazing weather there are days I don’t spend much time in the sun.


I stepped onto the pickleball court with a desire to play and have fun.

To be outside more.

On top of that, I wanted a place to bring healthy competition.

A desire to be good at something I enjoy.


There is a blossoming PB community here in Baja.

Opportunities to play almost every single day at multiple times.

And it has connected me to familiar energy.


“You idiot”

“I’m so stupid”

“What is wrong with you”

“I could kill myself”


These are all phrases I have heard in my time “playing.”

Things that people say out loud to themselves.

I hear this kind of talk almost every day I play.


I have been reflecting on how this kind of self-talk might develop.

Where and how does it show up in me?

This curiosity took me down a rabbit hole of memories connected to playing competitive sports as a kid.

Continually desiring to be better. To do better. To score more points. To be seen.


When we are young, love and affection are our greatest currency.

The love of my family and friends at a young age was a way that I gauged my value.

It was the world reflecting what they thought of me at a time I was discovering those beliefs about myself.


Doing well in sports equated to love and positive attention.

“Good Job!” Smiles. Hugs. High fives.

Doing poorly often meant not much love or attention.

If one is lucky there will be a pat on the back and a “you’ll get them next time.”

Even worse is getting a hard time for doing poorly.

Rubbing one's nose in it.


The mental chatter starts to form to use self-punishment as a form of fuel.

It is an energetic spanking.

The words turned toward self have a sensation similar to- “Try harder” “Do better”


I am not here to judge, or even focus on, the creation of these habits and patterns.

What I want to point toward- bringing awareness to if, and how, this shows up for you?

Do you use shame and poor self-talk as an attempt to motivate yourself?


This is a perfect example of an outdated habit attached to belief.

If I shame myself and provoke myself I will do better.

From my experience, this could not be further from the truth.


I continue to find to this day the more calm my mind is, the more I believe in myself, and the better I do. The more present I am and the more focused I can be.

Ultimately the more fun I have because I am not so attached to the outcome.

The open, confident spaciousness is the sweet spot for success.

But there is so much unconscious training that happens early on that creates programs that value self-criticism.

Self-punishment.

This is calling for a pealing back of that which no longer serves us.


So this is the seed I am wanting to plant.

Pay attention to shame as a means of bettering performance.

Notice the “you suck” energy that is a sideways attempt to propel you.


What do you notice?

What can you learn about yourself?

It is a constant exploration.

This program can be altered.




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