7 Signs You Are Living With High Functioning Depression

Coaching (2).png

For many people when they hear the word depression, it conjures up images of someone being in bed for three weeks, someone not bathing or showering or eating for days or weeks, and someone just sitting in a silent blue room staring at the walls. While that’s like true for a very small percentage of human beings, that’s not how depression actually manifests itself on average.

Consider for one moment, the possibility that, for so many people depression doesn’t look like that at all.

It’s important to realize that for many people, depression isn’t something that instantly takes you to rock bottom, like in the movies. Many people just keep plugging away, despite the depression.

Take a look at some common ways depression shows up in those of us who live with functioning depression.

(And PS? You don’t need to have ALL of these in order for this information to be applicable. Even just one symptom makes you eligible to be a candidate and is worth considering.)

Read this blog through a few times, and maybe check in with a trusted friend and see if they see any of these symptoms present for you.

It’s also crucial to consider that some people we categorize as lazy, are actually living with functional depression.

In my experience, human beings are rarely lazy! It’s just easier to call ourselves lazy than to look at the reality of having functional depression.

SO, back to the symptoms of functional depression that include but are not limited to:

  1. Wonky Sleep: This can range from insomnia to hypersomnia. Whether you are sleeping 16 hours a day, or three hours a day balance is (as typical) a sign of a healthy and well-balanced life. Even if you are not sleeping too much or too little if you are waking up when the alarm goes off and you don’t feel well rested this might be a factor for you. So much research talks about the importance and validity of deep, healing, rejuvenating sleep.

  2. Life Has Lost Its OOMPH: You likely can’t remember the last time you laughed so hard that you cried. You also can’t even conceptualize feeling so much joy that your soul soars! Things that you previously enjoyed, have become very hoe hum and have lost their appeal or their zest. Think about this one for a sec, k?

  3. Inability To Rest Or Engage In Down Time: This is that constant sense of needing to be busy or productive. It’s the drive to prove your worthiness that destroys your ability to engage in downtime or actually just sit and rest. If you feel yourself struggling with downtime, rest, slowness, or stillness it may be helpful for you to seek out some outside help. When’s the last time you did something without fidgeting or feeling like you were relaxed?

  4. Decrease In Energy: That feeling or sensation of just not being well rested, the fear or worry that you just don’t have enough energy to get through the day, and not having the physical or mental capacity to engage in the situations in your life; are all symptoms of living with high functioning depression.

  5. Increase In Irritability and Anger: Things that in the past would not have been any big deal, are more frustrating than normal. You can cognitively know that you may be overreacting, but you just can’t seem to reign in your anger responses. Sometimes it has nothing to do with other people. Often times it’s the inability to fight back the tears or reduces yourself to a demonized sense of self.

  6. The Little Things Send You Over The Edge: Most of the clients that I work with are very skilled at handling huge and life-altering crises. In fact, for many of them, there is no crisis so huge that they will not soar through it with the most wonderful amount of grace and ease...and yet, things like a light bulb blowing out or burning the toast are enough to create absolute meltdowns.

  7. Everyone Thinks You Are Doing Great: People who live with high functioning depression, typically are experts in masking and denying their own feeling and emotions. (I see you.) The people around you have no clue how upset, stressed, worried, lethargic, fatigued or hopeless you are. You’ve become so skilled at denying the struggle you are living with, that you can even convince yourself that it’s all in your mind.

If ANY of these pertain to you, get some help. It’s okay to need or want help. While many of us have subscribed to the belief system that it’s noble to suffer in silence, the exact opposite is true with depression.

Be brave, reach out, ask for help!

Don’t continue just “living” with high functioning depression, connect with me to grab a solution to it, so you can not only live, but live OUT LOUD. Schedule your FREE 15-mins solution chat here.



6 Ways to Cope with Social Media Trauma

I’m not immune to the trauma of the world. It’s occured to me lately that part of the reason I have decreased engaging in Facebook lives, is I’ve been slightly avoiding Facebook. I’m not apologizing for this, because it’s what I needed to do in that moment and time.  Let’s get very real for a moment, okay?

For those of us who have experienced sexual trauma (or traumas of any kind), social media is a very tough place to be presently.  There are so many mixed messages being spewed out there about trauma and sexual assault. I want to make some things very clear to you:

  • Whether or not you have ever spoken about your traumas, you are not to blame

  • You are (now or ever) under no obligation to offer a justification or explanation for not talking about your traumas

  • You don’t ever have to share your story in order for it to be valid

  • Your only obligation is to do what you need to do to promote your own healing

  • Your journey is YOURS

As a professional psychotherapist, I can tell you that when people are subjected to hearing other people’s trauma encounters, it re-traumatizes the people listening. Which is my main concern with everyone sharing their stories of why they didn’t tell about their traumas.  

If you are feeling uneasy, anxious, disconnected, or troubled because of what you are being exposed to on social media I would love to offer the following coping skills. I’m sure I’m not the only one exhausted by the concept of grounding magically fixing everything. My recommendations include:

  • Create human anchors: Enlist the support and unconditional acceptance of people in your life. Think about those people who help you to feel safe, valued, and nurtured. Have those anchor people leave you a voicemail reminding you of your worth and value in their life. It’s critical for you to keep that voicemail and allow it to center you during difficult times.

  • Decrease current use of stimulants: While many of us enjoy a good pick me up, during times of high stress and trauma things such as sugar, caffeine, and nicotine create havoc on your central nervous system. Stimulants such as these increase adrenal fatigue and end up enhancing the wired and fried sensation.

  • Laugh...a lot: That old wives tale “laughter is the best medicine”  isn’t really just a wives tale after all. Many years ago, when I was working on healing my adrenals the best recommendation I was given was to engage in regular laughter. Watch a comedy on television, go to youtube and listen to babies laughing, watch puppies playing, find something that will make you laugh and watch it regularly.

  • Intentional Relaxation: When we have survived traumas many of us don’t know how to relax and just “let go”. Typical ways I recommend the clients I work with engage in intentional relaxation includes: meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, hot baths, hot showers, etc. Find a way that you enjoy and value relaxing that is beneficial for you to engage in. For some people, it’s just engaging in some deep breathing. Sometimes it’s beneficial to set the alarm on your phone and keep this very simple. Engage in intentional relaxation for as few as 30 seconds, 45 seconds, or 60 seconds.

  • Disconnect From Social Media: For so many of us, disconnecting from social media can feel terrifying and very unsafe. I’m not advocating disconnecting your entire social media profile. However, I wonder how it would feel to not be tied to your cell phone, laptop, or desktop. Not forever, just for a half hour, an hour, or even just 15 minutes. Disconnect and allow yourself to heal. It’s challenging to heal when you are constantly bombarded with everyone else’s trauma.

  • Stimulate Your Parasympathetic Nervous System: This is one of the most crucial pieces of advice I give the clients I work with.  Your parasympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that’s responsible for your feeling safe, grounded, comfortable, relaxed, rest, and recovery. The best ways to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system is to engage in something creative. Examples include: painting, drawing, coloring, signing, dancing, deep breathing, massage, yoga, exercise, and overall reduce stress.

I hope that these suggestions have been helpful to you. My goal is to provide you with safe, simple and practical coping skills.  If you are feeling stuck, isolated or just need to know someone cares sign up for my 15 minute solution chat. Let’s get you on the path to healing.

How to manage burnout when you’re used to giving everything

Coaching (9).png

I work with very driven women every day.

And I love working with them, because I’m also very driven.

But the downside of being so driven is it’s easy to find yourself burned out. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout, as well as how to combat it.  

When you love what you do and who you work with it’s easy to compromise your boundaries. And it becomes more and more tempting to skip lunches, to sacrifice off time, to begin working more and more with less and less down time.

Increasing our risk of burnout.

Burnout occurs on a spectrum, which means you don’t need to experience all of these symptoms in order for it to need attention. The symptoms of burnout that I typically warn my clients about include:

  • Fatigue

  • Not being able to get enough rest

  • Feeling stagnant or stuck

  • Decrease social connections

  • Constant exhaustion

  • Short temper

  • Difficulty maintaining healthy habits

  • Headaches, lingering  colds, increase of health complications

  • Lack of focus

  • Feeling of not being effective

  • Cynicism and other negative thoughts/feelings

  • Cognitive issues

  • Self care completely disaptates

  • Increase in mental health symptoms

I really want to reiterate that if you find yourself experiencing ANY of the symptoms I listed above, then PLEASE consider checking the solutions I am listing below. If you are currently experiencing more than half of the symptoms above, then please get in touch with me.

You don’t need to suffer alone.

When looking at solutions to heal burn out, it’s super important to make sure they are simple and realistic. When I’m experiencing burn out, meditating for an hour a day just isn’t going to happen. So...if while reading any of these, the suggestions feel like too much, break it down and keep it simple. Do what works for YOU. Remember when we are healing burn out, it’s crucial that we keep it simple, easy, helpful and practical.

Leaves& Stems (1).png

One of the best suggestions I have ever received is to set a time for two minutes. So implement any or all of these suggestions for JUST two minutes.

Set the timer and let the healing begin, then when the timer goes off return to work as normal.

This has to be a no brainer for you!

Healing should be easy, natural, and simple. My recommendations include:

  1. Set Limits: Limits are a healthy way of establishing boundaries.

    Contrary to popular belief settling limits is a healthy and self supporting activity to engage in. Some of the limits I typically recommend to clients are to take a FULL LUNCH, schedule down time, and schedule two minute breaks to just breathe. During times of burn out it’s super important to set yourself up for success.

  2. Intentional Relaxation: Relaxation is typically the opposite of being burned out.

    It’s important to dedicate to the habit of engaging in relaxation.  

    Take an extra long shower or bath, spend three minutes outside in the sunlight, spend two minutes looking at the stars. Set the timer on your cell phone for 30 seconds and just focus on your breathing.

  3. Disconnect from gadgets: It’s crucial to disconnect from being “on call” or “on demand” from everyone in the world.

    It’s also important to find a few moments each day to disconnect from cell phones, laptops, nooks, kindles, desktops, televisions, etc. It’s important in the beginning of this activity to prepare for the panic that may set in.

    It can feel super unsafe to  not be accessible 24/7.

    However, it’s important for you to keep in mind that while highly uncomfortable, you are completely safe. Start for very small periods of time and then build up from there.

  4. Get back to basics: I mean this one very literally.

    When we look at the basics we consider things like sleep, hydrations, movement, nutrition, etc. I’m a huge proponent for regular check in’s on these issues.

    How much water are you drinking? How much sleep are you getting? Are you waking up feeling refreshed? Are you feeding your body food that nourishes it? What kind of movement are you giving your body? When’s the last time you stretched your body?

Burn out is a natural and normal culprit that occurs when you are driven and passionate about what you do and who you work with.

Let’s forgo the self deprecating and beating ourselves up for finding ourselves relating to the criteria outlined in this blog. Treat yourself with some compassion and empathy and implement one of the skills above.

In the meantime, feel free to set up a 15 minute solution chat.

Jenn Bovee is The Driven Women’s Coach to Wholeness. She thrives on empowering her clients to find their way back to living life, loving life, and living in joy.

Is it Pain or Is It Anxious Tension (Plus 5 Ways to Alleviate the Latter)

Wed Sept 5 - Is it Pain or Is It Anxious Tension (Plus 5 Ways to Alleviate the Latter) (With Text).png

“Anxious tension” is not a word my clients use consistently, however I can see them experience it consistently.

But many of them describe it when it comes to how their bodies feel.

Many people describe anxiety as a painful combo of stress and fear. Technically, tension is defined by Webster’s dictionary as an, “inner striving, unrest, or imbalance often with physiological indication of emotion.”

And it’s real, whether people can describe it as such or not. It’s so real that it manifests itself physically.

The way that it frequently wreaks havoc includes: muscle tension, aches, pains, digestive issues, and muscle twitching.

And oftentimes these symptoms are experienced as: headaches, migraines, TMJ, low back pain, muscle spasms, shoulder/neck pain, leg cramps, digestive issues, stomach aches, and the list goes on and on.

It’s a challenge for many people to separate regular pain and muscle aches and anxious tension. We just know we’re in pain.

Sometimes tension is described as the mental strain on the body of the physical symptoms of experiencing anxiety. I agree with this 100%.

The difficulty with anxious tension is it can appear very random.

Anxious tension can last anywhere from a moment to several hours.

It can set in when the anxiety begins to occur, it can set in when a person attempts to sleep, it can amp up as relaxation is attempted. Which is why my statement of it seeming kind of random is absolutely accurate. There’s no real rhyme or reason for the onset or the departure of the anxious tension.

The reasons behind the anxious tension, are expressed best by the production of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that our brains release anytime that our brains (or bodies) perceive as stress occurs.

The difficulty is when anxiety and stress become constant, too dramatically, or too intense. At that point the potential increases to basically get stuck in the stress response state. It’s very similar to the fight, flight or freeze state.

Decreasing anxious tension requires consistency, and intention.

When we set our intention to heal some particular part or parts of our lives or bodies, it implies a certain level of commitment. And with the following commitments will help you relieve your own anxious tension.  

My clients are often asked to implement the following things to alleviate and or ease their expressions of anxious tension and report fabulous results from their implementation:

  1. Regular Massage: This is a great way to alleviate muscle tension. In a perfect world every human being would receive a 90 minute massage at least once a month. However, that’s not a necessity. Even if you just rub your calves for a few minutes a few times a week, it will be beneficial.

  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This is a great technique for stress, tension, pain, and insomnia. Progressive muscle relaxation is really very simple (although many people love to complicate it). This form of relaxation is when you focus on one muscle group at a time and practice tensing or tightening that muscle group. The really important piece is the releasing and relaxing of that same muscle group. Then you move on to the other muscle groups in your body.

  3. Get Good Sleep: I cannot begin to stress the importance of deep healing sleep for the human body. There’s so much research available now that stresses the importance of getting deep and healing sleep. When we get into a deep level of sleep, it allows both our bodies and our mind to heal. I encourage the clients I work with to find the optimal level of sleep for their body. Getting good sleep allows the muscles to relax.

  4. Move Your Body: The key to this one is to move your body gently.  Stretching is a great way to reduce anxious tension. The key to moving your body, stretching, or just walking is to do so very gently. It’s crucial to be kind to your body. It’s not recommended to do anything rigorous because muscles that are overly stretched will contract afterwards. Which ends up being more pain.

  5. Meditation: Many people describe meditation as the ability to clear your mind of all thoughts. That’s not exactly what I’m going for here. My recommendation is to simply focus on your breath. Set your timer for 30 or 60 seconds and just focus on how it feels to inhale and exhale. Focusing on your breath is a great way to engage in meditation. Meditation requires us to relax so it helps our muscles to relax as well.

5 Ways To Alleviate or Ease Anxious Tension (Embedded).png

The techniques listed in this blog are simply my go-to’s. There’s no right or wrong ways to deal with anxious tension. Give yourself permission to explore and experience new ways to heal your body. What’s NOT on this list that you use to sometimes feel better when tension strikes?

Jenn Bovee is The Driven Women’s Coach to Wholeness. She facilitates people learning to live and love again.

Click here to schedule your 15 minute solution chat to discuss a problem that’s nagging you and solve it. Finally.

 


 

5 Steps to Healing Low Self-Worth and Changing Your World

Thurs Aug 16 - Healing Low Self Worth - JennBovee.com.png

In last week’s blog, you learned about the signs and symptoms of low self-worth and how and where they show up in your life.

If you haven’t read that blog yet, please go check it out here:

The goal with today’s blog is to help you HEAL the low self-worth issues that show up in many people’s lives. Because when you HEAL, nothing less than your ENTIRE life changes, from relationships to money. Things go from okay to phenomenal. And that's what I want for you.

These are the techniques that I suggest on a regular basis to the clients I work with. And they are the same techniques that have helped them build brand new lives from their souls outward:

Copy of 6.png
  1. Treat Yourself  Like Your Best Friend: In the beginning, this is such a substantial paradigm shift for so many of my clients.

    They have become very skilled at treating everyone else with such huge amounts of grace, dignity, and compassion. And yet they are their own worst enemies.

    Most people who struggle with low self-worth are hypercritical, mean, and demeaning towards themselves. Yet, they would never dream of treating anyone else like this!

    Step one to your own healing is to make sure you are treating yourself as well as you would anyone else.

  2. Accept Compliments Gracefully: When you have lived a lifetime being hypercritical of yourself and discounting everyone else’s compliments, the ingrained habits involved are indicative of instantly discounting other people’s compliments and praise.

    It takes concentrated effort and energy to begin saying “thank you” and not discounting anything that doesn’t support the negative diatribe you have in your head.

    Instead of arguing with people’s opinions or perceptions, or discounting their perception, practice just saying “thank you”. You don’t actually need to agree with their opinion, it’s about no longer discounting that opinion.

  3. Change The Story: Research indicates that for many of us, the biggest struggle is the story that we keep repeating to ourselves.

    When we keep repeating a monologue of disappointment, failure, inadequacy, and insecurity, it just continues to chop away at our self-worth.

    Any action we take to rebuild or solidify our self-worth is instantly canceled out due to the ongoing chatter in our head. I mean, who could compete against that?

    Imagine for a moment, how different your life would be if you spent even a fraction of your time telling yourself positive, wonderful, and uplifting stories about yourself.

    Studies show, as well as my own experience with myself and clients, that what you say to yourself reinforces who you believe yourself to be.

    This week, I want you to practice telling yourself the story that you are enough. When we operate from a place of being enough, everything in our life begins to shift.

  4. Avoid The Comparison Trap: We can never compare ourselves to anyone else, no matter how earnest our efforts.

    When we compare ourselves to someone else, we compare  our insides to our perception of their outsides. That’s like comparing grapefruits and puppies! It’s not even the same thing!

    Once we have engaged in the comparison trap we are quickly sucked into the rabbit hole of desperation and self loathing. Nothing good happens at that point.

    So when you find yourself comparing yourself to others, stop. Think 5 truths about yourself and keep walking.

  5. Celebrate All Of Your Successes: When we begin establishing the habit of celebrating all of our successes, all of our effort, all of our dedication, and every thing we attempt; we begin to acknowledge that there is more to us than our bad thoughts of ourselves. Many of us have spent a lifetime being abusive and neglectful towards ourselves.

    Celebrating every accomplishment allows us to recognize our value and worth. It changes our habits and perceptions from being victimized to actual celebrations.

    I am sure this sounds very far out there for many of you, and that’s okay. You work a full shift? Celebrate! You don’t call in sick? Celebrate! You stand up for yourself? Celebrate! You implement some boundaries? Celebrate! Begin celebrating things regardless of if it goes well or not, because it’s not about the actual outcome. It's about YOU!

I absolutely love being able to facilitate people shifting from a  place of low self-worth to positive self-regard. It’s a huge change for many people, but I want you to know and believe that you are worth this change.

Click here to schedule a free call to determine if you are a good fit for coaching with Jenn Bovee.

Jenn Bovee is a psychotherapist and Shame Busting Coach. She helps people all over the world to step into their own worthiness!

Symptoms of Low Self-Worth

Friday Aug 3 - Symptoms of Low Self-Worth - JennBovee.com.png

How to Recognize How and Where Low Self-Worth Shows Up In Your Life

This is going to be a two part blog because I really want to focus on facilitating your understanding of where and how low self-worth shows up in your life.  Next week’s blog will teach you how to begin addressing and healing those low self-worth issues.

Many of the clients that I work with really struggle to comprehend and define what self-worth is.

The word holds a lot of power and when we have lived a life of dis-empowerment, abuse, neglect, and negativity, whether that stemmed from ourselves or other people, it becomes confusing.

But self-worth is simply how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with the world around us.

The second part of the definition is super important because for many of us, that’s where our low self-worth typically shows up. But low self-worth issues show up differently for people, depending on your experiences and where the low self-worth stems from.

6.png

For some people, low self-worth shows up as:

  1. Over-Apologizing: For years I apologized for everything.

    It became so prevalent that the people around me were becoming easily annoyed by it.

    There’s a difference between apologizing because you have done something wrong or engaged in that creates harm. However, when you are operating from a place of low self-worth, the apologies are not about anything you have done.

    You begin apologizing for other people’s behaviors, attitudes, and actions. At some point, you may even find yourself apologizing for taking up space, being present, having needs, and at some point because of low self-worth, you may even find yourself apologizing for breathing.

  2. Rarely Have An Opinion: As we have more and more experiences that rob us of our self-worth, we begin using our voice and having an opinion less and less.

    People who live with a sense of low self-worth rarely have an opinion on anything that might upset, bother, offend, or irritate anyone else. When we are living with low self-worth, we rarely have an opinion that we are willing to share about food, clothing, politics, religion, people, or ourselves. Don’t even try to ask people who have low self-worth what restaurant you want to go to.

  3. Anxiousness: When you are living with such a deep sense of low self-worth, it becomes “normal” to live with a certain level of anxiety.

    It goes much deeper than just avoiding conflict. Many people find themselves avoiding interacting with people, living the life of their passions, and showing up for themselves or anyone else.

    When you don’t feel positively about yourself, it’s difficult to engage in many of these activities. And typically, society doesn’t understand the lack of engagement which just increases the anxiety that occurs.

    People who live with low self-worth typically live with what could be described as a constant low level of anxiety.

  4. Self-Neglect/Self-Abuse: We live in a culture where self-neglect and self-abuse have become such common place that many people now think that’s how things are supposed to be.

    When you are operating from a place of low self-worth it is next to impossible to make yourself a priority. It’s also a struggle to take really good care of yourself or meet your own needs.

    Asking for your needs to be met and taking good care of yourself require a sense of worthiness. In the past, I was not able to say I needed to rest (or any other need) so I ended up over committing to everything.

    In the end, I either went (exhausted, resentful, and inattentive) or I blew them off and beat myself up for not being able to keep my commitment. I worked tirelessly to fix this habit but none of it changed until I addressed my own low self-worth.

  5. Feeling Shame: Shame is often described as that feeling of not being good enough.

    Shame is so often at the core of low self-worth. Shame strips us of pride and confidence on a regular basis.

    Shame shows up in many different ways. However, for many of the clients I work with, it’s indicated by experiencing any of the following: addiction, relationship issues, poor life choices, job instability, financial difficulties, and the act of consistently setting yourself up for failure.

    Some of my clients describe it as that powerless sensation of knowing that something is not a good choice for you, but not being able to stop the behavior or action that sets it into motion.

  6. Lack Of Boundaries: Many of my clients have never actually given any concrete thoughts to what they want their boundaries to consist of.

    Even more of them have never considered that they have the power to dictate and determine what their personal boundaries are.

    When we have no boundaries, people are allowed to treat us however they want, engage with us in whatever way they see fit, and we have no limits. Many of the clients who I work with, who live with low self-worth, talk about how they never even realized it was okay to begin setting their own boundaries.

    The act of giving themselves permission to set up their own boundaries has proven to be very rewarding in every instance.

It’s no real secret that people who are operating from a low self-worth framework typically make less than stellar decisions about jobs, relationships, money, experiences, etc. My goal with this blog was to help you begin to recognize yourself and introduce you to the path of healing. Next week’s blog will talk about how to begin changing your self-worth issues.

If you’re ready to address these issues that show up, Email Coaching is now available to allow you to access solutions without commitment of losing time or money.  

Jenn Bovee is a psychotherapist and Wholeness Coach. She teaches clients all over the world how to step into their worth and create the life of their fantasies.

Practicing Self-Love

Practicing Self-Love - Wed July 25.png

While I was brainstorming for this blog, I was reminded of a conversation I recently had on my YouTube channel. One person felt that my message was inappropriate in working with people to develop a practice of self-love. Their perspective was that this is basically narcissistic and  creates selfishness and self-centeredness. I want to explain to you very clearly, that self-love is never wrong.

Self-love is a way to establish the foundation for determining and owning your worth. It’s about making a decision to treat yourself with dignity and worth. It includes setting boundaries, eliminating toxic people and experiences from your life, and changing the way you treat and interact with yourself. There’s a very direct correlation between Shame and self-love. Many, many, many people who live with Shame, don’t necessarily experience deep amounts of self-love.

I want to change that for you! Over the course of my in-person practice, I have witnessed people completely transform their lives by taking the risk into loving themselves. I will admit that in the past, I thought that self-love was just silly, honestly! I thought it was overrated and not the detrimental and necessary life skill that it is. Engaging in a self-love practice feeds your body and soul goodness and nurtures you into a safe and supportive experience with yourself.

I spend time every day talking to my clients about how to develop a meaningful self-love practice. I will admit that at least some of this is best done on an individual basis. The reason is because what I need to amp up in my self-love realm is going to be different than what you need from a self-love perspective. However, I want to facilitate you increasing and developing your own personal self-love practice.

Practicing Self-Love - Wed July 25 - Embedded.png

My recommendations for developing a general self-love practice include:

  1. Mirror Work: I don’t want to give you stereotypical advice but this one is such a good one because it’s so effective.

    Here’s the thing though, if looking in the mirror triggers a bunch of negative junk in your brain, get as close to the mirror as possible. Look and focus only on your eyes. I have an entire dialogue I have when I look in the mirror. A good place to start is by just saying, “Good morning beautiful! It’s going to be a great day!” This is something I recommend to my clients to do first thing in the morning. The basic goal is to act as if you are the biggest cheerleader for that person you are talking to in the mirror.
     

  2. Embrace The Differences: We are not robots and therefore many of us are very different from those around us.

    Even if it’s just subtle differences, they still exist. I really want you to embrace your differences rather than being afraid of them or ashamed of them. I’d actually LOVE to have you celebrate your differences! Many of us were socialized and raised to believe that our differences are bad or wrong. I believe that our differences is what makes us valuable. Spend some time creating a list of what is unique about you.
     

  3. Engage In Mind Calming Activities: This is such a healthy activity and habit to develop.

    I’m less concerned about which habit you choose (meditation, self-hypnosis, deep breathing) and more concerned with whether or not you are actually using it and getting benefit from it. When we calm our minds it acts like a reset button for us.

    It allows us to disconnect from our obligations and tasks and check back in with our bodies. It allows us to not feel the pressure and stress of being productive and just allows us to be for a few minutes. I’m a huge proponent of regularly experiencing mind calm activities. Even if you have to schedule it on your calendar until it becomes a habit.
     

  4. Engage In Some Helpful Self-Care: There’s really a huge correlation between self-love and self-care.

    I tend to view self care as the framework that allows us to develop the foundation that is our self-love experience. When we are taking really good care of ourselves it allows us to be more gentle and kind towards ourselves. It allows for the gradual shift from abuse and neglect and opens the door for us to experience true self love.
     

  5. Ditch The Garbage: I mean this one literally and metaphorically.

    It is a massive struggle to treat yourself lovingly when you are surrounded by people who tear you down or abuse you. In my life, if the people don’t build me up as much I work to build them up they are eliminated from my life.

    If your house is full of garbage and clutter it is difficult to notice all the things you have to be grateful for. If your home, car, or work environment is an emotional landmine for pain or trauma, that doesn't help you to feel good about yourself. My philosophy is that if something isn’t building me up it can’t stick around my life very long! I don’t have the time or energy to expand on stuff that is toxic or dragging me down.
     

  6. Create Your Sanctuary: When I was first introduced to this concept I thought it was the biggest load of crazy I had ever heard.

    I have since explored and embraced this concept. I facilitate my clients creating or developing their sanctuary (also referred to as their happy place) on a regular basis. For some people this is their bedroom. In their minds, the bedroom is the one place where people just can’t come in and do what they want. For some people it’s a particular chair or corner of their house.

    For me, it’s my office at home. Everything in that room is 100% mine. I can write, paint, sing, watch television, record videos, etc.  The sky is literally the limit. If you don’t have the ability to create a whole room, begin with a space or a corner. Make this space a safe place for you, a place where you can disconnect and decompress.
     

  7. Create Radical Gratitude: Experiencing radical gratitude is an awe inspiring experience for many of my clients.

    It’s easy to be grateful for the things that are going well, that bring you joy, or light you up. However, my experience is that easy is not always deeply rewarding. That speeding ticket you got, that flat tire, that missed phone call, that migraine, that negative review? I want to empower you to be grateful for all of those experiences.

    My experience is that when we can develop radical gratitude for each and every experience, it allows us to have a glimpse of the holy grail of gratitude. And we experience true self-empowerment. Both of which enable us to experience self-love.

No matter what is going on in your life, no matter what your previous experiences have been, and no matter what lies you have been told (or said), you deserve to love yourself deeply and unapologetically.

Let me know what you are going to do to develop a practice of self-love.

And if you need help developing that practice, I’d love to help. Find out more about the Self-Love Foundation here.

Jenn Bovee is a psychotherapist and Shame Busting coach. She helps people all over the world to ditch the negative implications of having experienced Shame, and instead develop the life of their wildest fantasies.

Choosing A Life Coach

July 16 (Mon) - Choosing A Life Coach.png

If you have ever read any of my blogs, you know I thrive on giving you tips, tools, and techniques.

And I have been getting questions recently about how to know how to choose a good life coach.

Tons of people are currently trying to sell themselves as life coaches, so how do you really know who to pick? What should you look for? What benefits should you get from it?

I want to address all of those questions and more in this week's blog!

I realize that I will likely upset, offend, and hurt some people but I am dedicated to providing you with accurate and helpful information.

Therefore I’m going to have to set the potential for upset aside for the remainder of this blog!

My ultimate hope is that this blog empowers you to make a well informed choice. I’m a firm believer that information is power. I want to empower you to make a good decision about who you invest in.

This blog is not a covert way to convince you to work with me. Although I highly support that decision.

This blog is designed to protect you from suffering the Shame of not getting the results promised by some coaches, when they aren’t equipped to take you to the place they advertise.

As much as I wish this was a perfect world where everyone could be exactly what they want in every minute, attending one Tony Robbins conference or reading Think and Grow Rich once, does not equip people to coach effectively; which begs the question, if that doesn’t make a good coach, what does?

I have used coaches throughout my life in multiple areas. I have used coaches to help me guide and develop my business.

I have used coaches to help me heal personal relationships and my relationship with money. I have used coaches to empower me to overcome trauma experiences.

Did they all deliver? Not by a long shot!

However, I learned a lot about myself in this process. I learned to ask the tough questions about myself before I ever click the link to connect with them. The following are questions for you to ask yourself to help you decide if the person is a good fit.

  1. What specifically are my goals?: It’s really important to KNOW what your goals are when you are working with a coach of any kind.

    It helps to make sure that you haven’t just gotten swept up into the hype and that you know what you are working towards.

    One of the things I ask many of my clients is, how will you know when we are done? How will things look? What will be different? I suspect that by taking some time and writing down your goals, it will empower you to choose a coach who is focused on facilitating you accomplishing those goals.
     

  2. What types of training / certifications / experience does this coach have?: This is a crucial one for me personally.

    I personally, can think of five “business coaches” off the top of my head who are not currently running successful businesses. To me, that’s a prerequisite. I’m also not going to invest in coaches who have read one mindset book or completed one energy course!

    I want to work with people who are committed, who have spent countless hours and money investing in bettering them as a coach. Don’t get me wrong, coaching is a very unlicensed field.

    Some of my favorite and most respected coaches don’t hold a “coaching certificate”. But I want to make sure that the people I invest my time, energy, and resources in have solid training and experience.
     

  3. Are they truly an authority?: I hold myself responsible and accountable for some of my prior poor choices in coaches that I attempted to work with.

    However, in hindsight, I think I got swept up into the chaos of taking them at their word.

    The problem is some people are labeled as an “expert” because they have labeled them that way. Before you invest in a coach, do some research. Listen to them on podcasts, google reviews of them, read their blogs. Truly get to know them and find out who they really are.

    For me, personally, I can tell you I am an authority on the follow things: addictions, shame, subconscious mind, change, trauma, anxiety, and depression. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on money or energy because I have not spent countless hours training and exploring in those concepts.
     

  4. What is my personal investment?: One of my big pet peeves is when coaches act in a disparaging manner towards clients who either can’t afford the investment or need to consult their partners.

    For me, personally, if you can’t afford to work with me one on one, I typically recommend either my email coaching package or my group coaching option. I have zero expectations of you mortgaging your home to work with me. If you are wanting to work with a coach and the financial investment is too uncomfortable, seek out other options. One of the commitments I have made to myself is that I want to be affordable to every person, not just the wealthy!  Which is why I have multiple ways that you can work with me. If a coach attempts to get you to sell something, mortgage something, or just open a line of credit: RUN! That’s not helpful and there are other options.
     

  5. Are they living their talk?: If I am looking for someone to help me heal trauma, I need to make sure this person is not consistently canceling all of their appointments due to anxiety.

    If I am looking for a money coach, I need to make sure that this person is not two steps away from filing for bankruptcy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you spending time looking for “perfect” people. But, I do think it’s important for them to walk their talk.

    I am very imperfect, but I own that at the front of my interactions. There’s a difference in being human and a work in progress and just spewing information at people in a hope to be able to sell them something.
     

  6. Ask for references: For a long time in my career as a coach, I didn’t list references because my training as a psychotherapist said that was unethical.

    It’s one of the many amazing differences between therapy and coaches! In my coaching, I rarely ask for references because my clients are typically absolutely in LOVE with the life they have developed as a result of the work we have done together.

    Recently, one of my clients randomly sent me a testimonial that absolutely brought tears to my eyes! I was super grateful because I’ve watched as she has changed the way she responds to her life and shows up for herself!

Jenn_Testimonials.png

I stated earlier that this blog is not a covert attempt to convince you to choose me. Truly, my goal is to stop the amount of people getting taken advantage of, to stop the coaches who make promises with no ability to follow through, and to lead you making a choice that is authentic and worthy of your time, energy, and financial investment.

Choose wisely, but whomever you choose, show up for yourself. You deserve it and you are worth it!

Click below to schedule a free call to see if we are a good fit to begin working together.

Jenn Bovee is the Shame-Busting Coach who helps people to eliminate what is standing in the way of them living the life of their wildest fantasies.

Life Coaching By Email

July 9 - Life Coaching by Email.png

Spending a few minutes on Google will show you all of the criticisms and complaints of not only coaches who are willing to engage in email coaching, but the clients who decide it’s their best option. I would like to use this opportunity to explain a different perspective.

As a consumer, I have utilized email coaching a few different times in my life. I’d love to spend this blog explaining why I personally choose to use email coaching as well as some of the possible benefits of email coaching.

When I first entered into the coaching world, I was still dealing with some leftover feelings, emotions, and struggles from my previous trauma experiences.

Many times, the way my anxiousness manifested itself was that I was just unable to get on the phone (or video) with a coach that I had paid lots of money to.

So when the time for our scheduled appointments would come, I would either create an emergency or I would just blow them off. It wasn’t one of my finest moments but I was literally doing the best I could.

For so long, email coaching was such a great fit for me.

Until my life shifted and I had the time and the ability, being on the phone/video with a coach was seriously the best option for me.

I also found that it helped me to increase the value I got out of the coaching session. I live a busy lifestyle, where I’m constantly doing things and running from appointment to appointment.

It can be pretty frustrating to not have the goals met that I brought with me to a coaching session.

With email coaching, I can make sure that all of my goals get covered. It also eliminates the (at times) awkward chit chat that I struggle with in some personalities.

I’m not by any stretch of the imagination pretending that every person on the face of the earth would either benefit or be appropriate for email coaching. But for some people in the world, email coaching is absolutely the perfect fit.

For those people who are a good fit for email coaching, I believe the benefits are as follows:

July 9 - Life Coaching By Email (Embedded).png
  1. Email Coaching Is More Relaxed: Some people send an email first thing in the morning and right before they go to bed.

    Other people send a few emails throughout the day, as thoughts occur to them or as issues come up. Many clients really value that they get to go at their own pace in email coaching. They value not being put on the spot to create an answer, and instead having some time to process the questions.
     

  2. You Have Time To Process Your Responses: I’m sure many people have had the experience of being asked a question, and not having a good answer.

    And then hours (or sometimes even days) later, the perfect response occurs to you. However, many times there seems to be no point in going back and clarifying. And even if you do, the other person has moved on. One of the many benefits to email coaching, is that it gives you time to process and create your response.
     

  3. Eliminate The Scheduling Pressure: In today’s world, many people don’t have time to get on the phone or video to have an hour conversation.

    Many of my coaching clients are professionals, parents, caregivers, etc. They barely have time many days to shower, cook, eat, and clean up after themselves. That doesn’t even begin to describe the challenges of creating a connection with other humans, meditating, exercising, journaling. We live in a busy and fast paced world and email coaching is a great fit for people who want to dig deep.
     

  4. Keep The Conversation For Review: In traditional coaching, one of the big frustrations is trying to recall pieces or parts of a conversation after you return to your world.

    Many clients report that they absolutely value being able to review the conversations that took place. I think this is especially relevant when you are working through some big issues. Sometimes when people are writing, they get in the “flow” and they are not focused on every detail with their conscious mind. Some people just express themselves more clearly in writing than they do verbally.
     

  5. Typically It’s Less Costly: One of the big complaints of life coaching, is the amount of financial investment necessary in order to engage in it.

    While I have never anticipated or expected people to mortgage their own homes or go into massive debt to work with me, I understand that traditional life coaching is still not affordable for everyone. The cost of email coaching is typically significantly less, with much more accessibility to the coach involved. Traditionally, instead of a per session rate, you have a prearranged agreement with much more access via email.
     

  6. Low Pressure: Whereas in other forms of coaching, there seems to be significant amount of pressure to perform, to show up, to get results; email coaching is significantly lower key.

    Having the freedom to respond, in your own time, or not respond, as you see fit takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of you. Many of the coaching clients I work with talk about how much benefit they get from our email communication.

I am so excited to be able to offer a limited amount of spots to email coaching!

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach that empowers people to ditch the things holding them back from living the life of their wildest dreams.

Coping With Manipulative Parents

July 4 - Coping With Manipulative Parents.png

For the purpose of this blog, I suspect we need to come up with a definition of what manipulation is. Otherwise my fear is that we will be referencing different terms throughout this blog.

According to Webster’s dictionary, manipulation is defined as: to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.

While this definition seems fairly solid, I’d love to spend some time explaining how this shows up for people.

In the past 20 plus years, I have watched a common theme with parents who manipulate their kids. Most parents who manipulate are operating from a place of fear, and typically that fear is that their kids will leave them.

Some parents use manipulation to control their kids and keep them hooked in.

Other descriptors typically used in relation to parents who engage in manipulation include: blackmailing, passive aggression, emotional blackmailing, and codependency.

I’m fairly confident that most of you are familiar with the concept of blackmailing.

However, I wonder how many people really understand the depth and severity of emotional blackmailing. Emotional blackmailing is using a variety of tactics including shame and guilt to coerce someone to interact with you.

Shaming you is designed to create self-doubt. It’s designed to create a reliance on them because clearly they “know what’s best for you.” Emotional blackmail is a very toxic experience. Typically, when people have experienced emotional blackmailing, they walk away with a sense of fear, obligation, and guilt.

Passive aggression is typically a form of rage or anger. People who engage in passive aggression lack the courage to express concepts such as, “You hurt my feelings when you did X” and instead use passive aggressive comments to create the emotional wound from their interactions.

Passive aggression is a way to express anger without having to be accountable or vulnerable about your feelings or the repercussions of those feelings.

People who engage in codependence have become masterfully skilled in saying what they think people want or need to hear.

The disconnect here is that while they may say whatever they think you need to hear in order to suck you in, they will typically not follow through with doing those things that you need. Essentially they hook you with promises and then do whatever they want. Codependents use charm, flatter, gifts, and bribes to create their needs being met. They offer gifts, food, meals, opportunities, and experiences to create a relationship.

Other examples of behaviors displayed when manipulation is occurring include: minimising, never accepting responsibility, gaslighting, telling you that you don’t listen, blocking your efforts, controlling the conversation, never being wrong, overly emotional, parent doesn’t really “know” you, bribing you to interact with them, and maintaining control at all cost.

I can not reiterate this enough: many parents manipulate because they don’t know how to interact with children in any other way.

This is especially true as their children become adults and create lives of their own. When parents are operating from a place of not being wanted/needed, not being relevant in their child’s life, or the fear of losing their child; manipulation is just a tactic to preserve the relationship.

Regardless of the cause of manipulation, it’s a toxic experience for most people.

It easily leads to bitterness, resentment, anger, rage, low self worth, etc.

My goal is to empower you to understand how to respond to manipulation in a way that empowers you to develop Shame resilience. Many adults that I have worked with have carried shame over their parents' manipulative behaviors.

I want to empower you to develop a resistance to the manipulation of your parents. My recommendations are as follows:

July 4 - Resistance To The Manipulation Of Your Parents (Embeded).png
  1. Set Boundaries: Boundaries do not make you selfish or self centered.

    Every healthy human being has boundaries. Decide what you want your boundaries to be surrounding your parent and then decide how you want to respond if they don’t respect them. I want to warn you this will take some work. They have had a lifetime of manipulating you and suddenly you are changing the entire game board. It’s going to be a work in progress.
     

  2. Be Assertive: If you are over 18, it’s likely that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your behaviors or choices.

    You certainly don’t need to justify each and every decision you have made. Part of assertiveness is explaining in very clear language that you don’t like when your parent says/does/behaves in a certain manner. My recommendation is typically to use language like: I don’t want to discuss that, it really hurts my feelings when you say those things, that topic is not a conversation we are going to have, that behavior is unacceptable. It’s going to really feel scary in the beginning, but please know you are worth standing up for yourself.
     

  3. Answer Questions Not Statements: When people use statements it leads quickly into manipulation because they keep leading and cornering you until you give them the results they are looking for.

    My recommendation is to reframe like crazy using statements such as: what exactly is the question, I’m not sure what you are asking, or restate the last four or five words they said in the form of a question. When you make the commitment to only answer questions, it requires you to train your ear to listen for those things. It pays off quickly though.
     

  4. Create Reality Checks: I’m a huge proponent of you developing a support system of people who you can engage in to do reality checks with.

    This is a way to keep you grounded and not take the manipulation personally. How it works is you engage with your support system and say something like, “My mom said X, would that upset you?”. It’s crucial to have a support system who has similar feelings and beliefs as you and who will be honest with you. Reality checks are a huge part of my life because I want to make sure that my response is “normal” or justified.
     

  5. Don’t Give In To Bribery: When we give in to the bribery attempts, it shifts the power to them. Because they bought us a meal, they believe that they can talk to us about anything they want to.

    They believe they have a “right” to because we accepted the bribe. In order to minimize the amount of room and grounds they have to manipulate us, I think it’s crucial to not accept bribes. I often advocate for my clients to recognize where they are giving away their power and to stop doing those things. I think a lot of our power is inadvertently given away when we are in relationships with parents who manipulate.
     

No matter which tactic you begin with, I want you to know that this manipulation is so much more about your parents than you.

Please find a way to not personalize their behaviors and actions, because when we take these things personally, it creates shame and guilt for ourselves. You deserve better than having a manipulative relationship with your parent!

Click below to learn how to change your response to your parents.

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach. She empowers people to identify where their guilt is showing up in their lives and find creative ways to bust through the Shame. She thrives on empowering people to live the life of their wildest fantasies.

Self Love Techniques

June 28 (Thurs) - Self Love Techniques.png

I often feel as if there’s currently an epidemic occurring from people not engaging in self-love, or more specifically experiencing the lack of self-love. I see it all day in how people interact with themselves and with others, as well as how they represent themselves, and the behaviors they are comfortable displaying in public. In this blog I want to take a few moments and describe to you what it looks like (signs and symptoms) when people exist without self-love. As well as some ways that you can begin loving yourself, on your own terms.  

Over the course of my more than 20 years helping people, I have experienced the lack of self-love being labeled as many different things. However, if you chase that down the hole to the source, it always comes back to a lack of self-love. The symptoms of a consistent lack of self-love include:

  1. Self-Doubt

  2. Easily overwhelmed and stressed out

  3. Perfectionism

  4. A drive to be working and productive (including guilt when you aren’t working or being productive)

  5. Fear and reluctance for speaking your truth

  6. Feel unlovable and unworthy

  7. Easily anxious and allow fear to drive your decisions

  8. Poor communication

  9. Negative body image

  10. Frequently find yourself trapped in the comparison game

These are just the top ten behaviors and characteristics that come to the top of my mind. What I like about this list is it’s fairly easy to identify if you feel like you fall into these experiences. My experience is many of us are raised to not love ourselves because we fear being classified as arrogant or self-centered.

For me, I actually felt like I stumbled into self-love by accident. In reality though, I think I just kept digging deeper and deeper until it was the only thing left! Now, I love myself so deeply that I won’t allow other people (or myself) to abuse or neglect me. I don’t even typically allow people to talk down to me. I also absolutely believe in my own ability to communicate my needs, to speak my truth, and to make really good decisions for myself. I want to empower you to do the same.

My recommendations for self-love techniques are as follows. As always, if you want to take your self-love to the next level, click on the link at the end of the blog. In the meantime the suggestions below are really good ways to get you started with improving your relationship with yourself and loving yourself.

June 28 (Thurs) - Self Love Techniques (Embeded).png
  1. Notice Your Inner Voice: Become mindful of how you talk to yourself and what you say to and about yourself.
    Notice when you tend to fall into being critical of yourself, and make an effort to do better. Pay attention to your self-talk and how it makes you feel. Maybe set a goal to only speak to yourself with grace and kindness. Or only point out the amazing and wonderful things you do (versus consistently being harsh and critical).

  2. Set Healthy Boundaries: I have regular and consistent conversations with my clients about boundaries because it’s a crucial conversation to have.

    Typically when we’ve been operating from a place of lack of self-love we have a history of becoming a doormat for other people. They have gotten a clear message that we won’t stand up for ourselves (or speak our truth) so there are no barriers on how they interact with us. Developing boundaries is an important form of self-love.

  3. Stop Criticizing:  Negative thoughts are such a downward spiral event.

    You can begin complaining about something someone else said or did, and without much notice you eventually are tearing yourself apart. It’s a downward slope that currently we just can’t afford to engage in. Notice the positive, notice the effort, notice the work that you and the people around you are doing.

  4. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): When using EFT you tap specific parts of your body (although research has shown it doesn’t really matter where you tap or when).

    It’s a great way to clear the blocks and junk that are prohibiting you from even considering engaging in self-love. Many people use EFT to release their negative thoughts/voice/experience and replace it with an inner calm and an inner peace. I suspect that when people are experiencing a significant amount of stress it’s difficult to engage in acts based in self-love. 15 minutes of EFT a day substantially reduces our stress hormone.

  5. Give Yourself Permission To Make Mistakes: I no longer beat myself up for making mistakes and getting stuff wrong.

    That may seem like a simple thing for you, but please keep in mind that I have spent a lifetime making a career out of beating myself up. It’s not helpful and not productive to beat yourself up for being human. Give yourself some breathing room, and begin acting towards yourself with grace and compassion. It’s a lot more productive than being abusive and being a bully towards yourself.

  6. Begin A Gratitude Routine: I think when we are regularly engaging in a practice of gratitude, it creates a shift inside of us.

    I think it almost softens that harsh protective edge that we neglect ourselves with. I suspect that the old adage is true “what we focus on grows.” And as we spend more time engaging in gratitude, we find more experiences and opportunities to be more grateful, and the gratitude just keeps growing. It’s like a non-ending positive happy loop of goodness!

    When we train our brains to focus on all of the good stuff that life is offering us and bringing to us, being kinder and more loving towards ourselves is a natural consequence.

Take your self-love to the next level and check out the Self Love Foundation here.

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who empowers people all over the world to ditch the shackles of Shame and step into the life of their fantasies.

The Importance of Self Love

The Importance of Self-Love - June 25.png

Develop a love affair with yourself and become unbreakable

The title seems fairly self-explanatory, right? Self-love is important because well….. Because it is?!? When pressed to answer why self-love is so important many people begin to struggle with coming up with rational and measurable rationale for why I have been placing such an emphasis on self-love.

In my world, self-love is crucial for engaging in good self-care, for choosing yourself, and for showing up for yourself. Each of the previous statements are accurate and relevant, however it’s really just the framework for the endless possibilities of goodness that flows from you loving yourself! You literally become unbreakable when you unconditionally love yourself.

1. People Treat You The Way They See You Treating Yourself:  There’s an old 12 step adage that says, “We teach people how to treat us.” If we treat ourselves as if we are worthy of love, compassion, and empathy it sends the message to those paying attention in our lives to treat us with those same characteristics.

Whereas if we are harsh, critical, and belittling of ourselves the people around us will eventually treat us in the same manner. Even if you are forced to act as if you believe you are worthy of deep self-love, let’s remain mindful of the fact that we set the example that other people follow.

2. The Love Of Other People Needs To Be A Bonus Not A Requirement: My husband has been telling me a similar concept for years. So let’s just keep it between us that he was actually correct!

When you love yourself completely and think you deserve only wonderful things in your life, it changes your interaction with others. Instead of being dependant on others to give you that sense of worthiness, that feeling and experience begins coming from within. Depending on other people to make you feel loved creates an unhealthy relationship and typically creates a foundation of codependence.

The Importance of Self-Love (embeded) - June 25, 2018.png

3. Self-Love Creates A Foundation For True Happiness:  Greater life satisfaction has been noted amongst people who love themselves. When you believe positive and wonderful things about yourself, you will find more satisfaction and gratitude in your daily life.

It’s not different than anything else that we focus on growing. Look at any of the research surrounding gratitude. Dr. Daniel Amen talks extensively about how when people focus on three things that they are grateful for daily, they have a better quality of life within three weeks. Making the commitment to love yourself, opens up the gateway for true happiness.

4. Self-Love Translates Into Positive Body Image: When you love yourself, you treat yourself better. When you treat yourself better, you talk more positively about yourself. Many of the clients I work with, in the beginning, talk about how much absolute disdain they have for themselves when they look in the mirror. From a subconscious level, looking in the mirror triggers a negative diatribe to play about how they feel about their physical body.

When you are committed to a process of loving yourself, you no longer feel the need to verbally destroy that image you see in the mirror. Upon committing to self-love, many people gradually notice their body image shift.

5. Mental Health Issues Are Reduced By Self-Love: When we have higher amounts of self-love, it becomes easier for us to engage in self-compassion. Some studies have shown that people who have compassion for themselves are less likely to develop anxiety and depression.

Self love can also help you to not get lost in your own head, or slipping down the rabbit hole of morbid reflection. One of the common denominators of people  who suffer from addiction and mental health issues is there’s a longing for a healthier relationship with themselves and self-love is often a remedy.

6. Reduction In Stress: Many people have found that engaging in self-love reduces stress, decreases performance anxiety, increases comfort around deadlines, and lessens procrastination.

Just think for a moment how much easier it would be to get that big task that looms over your head done, without the negative diatribe that plays in your head. When people are actively engaging in self-love, they are shown to rebound faster from adversity. Rarely can you control what life throws your way, but you can control how you handle that and what you do with it.

Now...develop that love affair so you can be the you you want to be, have others treat you the way you want to be treated, and know what it means to be truly loved by taking the following actions:

1. Practice Radical Acceptance: This is when you accept anything and everything that occurs in your life. It doesn’t mean you like it, condone it, or endorse it. But it means you are no longer wasting your time fighting against things that you are powerless over.

When I’m looking at how to apply acceptance in my life I frame it like this: Is this thing/event/occurrence/activity more important than my sanity or serenity? Is it more important than my happiness and well being?

2. Change Your Self Talk: I mean this very literally. Whatever negative talk you engage in from the safety of your own brain, this needs to stop at once! The way you flinch as if you’ve been burnt when you are trying to take a picture but the screen on your camera actually shows you...please don’t keep doing that! Instead of being so harsh on yourself, in an effort to protect yourself, work on affirming the great parts of you!

Whenever you begin down that negative road, instantly flip it and reinforce the opposite. It doesn’t matter if the opposite (positive) is true right now or now. Right now the focus is on creating a habit.

3. Make Yourself The Number One Priority: When you are anything less than the number one priority in your own life, it’s difficult to treat yourself lovingly. When you are not the priority, you will typically find yourself exhausted, overcommitted, resentful, angry, betrayed, and alone.

When you consistently ensure that your cup is always filled that allows you to be more of service, to give more to others, and consistently keep your commitments! Many of us have been raised and socialized to believe that making ourselves a higher priority over other people, is selfish but the exact opposite is actually true. It’s a very effective form of self preservation.

That is all there is to creating a love affair with yourself that no one can break. Easy? Or not?

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who helps people all over the world learn how to ditch the Shame and step into a life built of Self-love and Self-care!  Learn more about the Self Love Foundation that Jenn has established here.

Healing Abandonment Issues

June 12 (Tues) - Healing Abandonment Issues.png

We often hear the words, “abandonment issues” however, I suspect that many of us don’t have a clue what that means or what that entails.

So, let me begin by explaining what the symptoms of having abandonment issues are.

Typically symptoms of abandonment include:
Fear of / reluctance to initiate plans with other people
You attach to people to quickly or too soon
You easily find flaws in potential mates
You may frequently find yourself sabotaging your relationships or success
You expect perfection (from yourself or others)
You over react to feedback and view many things as an attack
You have a tendency to people please
And you struggle to make or create a commitment

June 12 (Tues) - Embeded - Healing Abandonment Issues.png

That’s a pretty thorough list because my aim is to show how inclusive this issue really is.

I suspect that the majority of us have varying degrees of abandonment. The difference for many of us is how they manifest themselves. I have friends who have sworn off relationships (because the fear of getting hurt is too bad). I have friends who just can’t get it together professionally (because the fear of being successful is HUGE), and the list goes on.

There is a whole continuum out there of attachment issues and what those look like.

There are so many factors that can lead to someone having abandonment issues.

This is not an all-inclusive list but I want to provide you with some understanding of how abandonment issues begin:
Early childhood trauma
Problematic family upbringing
Dysfunctional family of origin
Emotionally unavailable guardians
Narcissistic caretakers, birth trauma
Exposure to physical or mental illness
History of low self esteem
Any level of abuse or neglect

It’s crucial to keep in mind that abandonment issues are simply a maladaptive coping skill, born out of a desire and need to protect yourself and keep yourself safe.

Safety is typically our highest priority, so in order to keep ourselves safe, some of us have put barriers in the way of creating deep attachment. I’m all for safety, but I would love to be able to empower you to create a sense of safety while having healthy and fulfilling relationships, as well as successful careers.

1.     Get Clear On The Origin:  As painful as this may be, and as much as it sucks, in this case it’s important to have the knowledge of where this started and why.

I’m not typically a fan of digging up all of your history and examining it for the sake of saying we did. But in this case, it makes healing abandonment issues just that much more challenging if you don’t know who or how it appeared in your life.

Spend some time figuring out how it came to be and why. NOT in a critical or judgmental fashion, but simply just from the ability to notice and allow healing to begin. All that is necessary to begin this healing is to acknowledge your past hurts

2.     Validate Your Own Feelings and Emotions: This is such a crucial missing piece in our world today.

So many of us are looking to people outside of ourselves for validation that our feelings, emotions, or experiences were accurate. This is a huge mistake. We are better served to recognize that our feelings are valid because they are ours, however that doesn’t guarantee that they are accurate.

I’m going to share a radically unpopular opinion: I don’t believe that negative feelings exist. I think all feelings are worthy of being felt and experienced. I’m not encouraging you to take up permanent residence in rage, but I think if you are feeling frustrated or angry it’s worthy of being felt.

3.     Create a Positive Support System: I think the biggest mistakes many of us make is that we attempt to battle the world on our own. And I’m pretty sure we weren’t designed or created to do this deal on our own.

Every living and breathing being is worthy of having positive social support. And interesting tidbit, is that many of my clients have found that while focusing on building a social support system, their anxiety has actually reduced. Take a few moments and look around you: who constantly lifts you up, who consistently supports you, who is in your corner.

4.     Acknowledge Your Strengths: I mean this one very seriously!

You have so many strengths simply because you are still alive and breathing. We typically grossly underestimate the good stuff about ourselves. We’ve become a society that embraces the myth that talking wonderfully about ourselves is arrogant and self centered. Live a little! Sing your praises from the rooftop!

5.     You Have the Power: I’m going to be perfectly honest with you for a moment. Yes, what you experienced massively sucked. It was likely even harmful and messed up. But I don’t want you to take up permanent residence in that pain and trauma. I want you to move past it. Once of the best things I typically do is to look at the awful experiences of my past and recognize the good stuff that has developed as a result of it. Some of the good stuff for me is: compassion, empathy, and love.

6.     Challenge the Negative Committee: Many of us have this committee of voices inside of our heads that are armed and prepared to tear us apart at any given opportunity.

Not only is that not helpful it’s not even healthy. The next time your committee begins engaging in whatever negative diatribe it likes to create, I want you to do two things: the first thing is I want you to change the  voice to one of your favorite cartoon characters. The second thing I want you to do is INSTANTLY reinforced the opposite. I know you have what it takes to heal from this deep wound.

I hope you find this information helpful.

I’d love to hear what you are personally doing to overcome these abandonment issues. Even if you don’t feel worthy of overcoming them right here and right now, I’d still love to hear where you are at.

And feel free to schedule a free 30 minute consult with me for 1:1 coaching, click here.

Sign up for Jenn's free EFT video series here: www.JennBovee.com/EFT

Father Wound

Father Wound.png

In the past,  I remember hearing the phrase, “Father Wound” and being massively confused by it. I think the part  that confused me was that some people seemed to wear it like a badge of honor. But it really creates two questions in my mind A). What does that mean and what does it look like and B). What causes this?  Which is what I want to address in this blog.

People historically refer to father wounds as daddy issues. I don’t like the term daddy issues because I think it’s pretty demeaning, insulting, and mean! However it’s a term that is so commonly used, I would be remiss if I didn’t include it in this blog.  What does it mean if someone has “Daddy issues”?  There is a term in psychology called the “father complex,” which was coined by Freud and later taken up by Jung and subsequent thinkers in the field, which describes the neuroses that result from an individual’s poor relationship with their father.

I can already hear some of you thinking to yourself, “Jenn!! What does THAT mean?”  In real world terms it means the residual trauma, pain, and Shame as a result of a person’s relationship with their Father.  

In regard to what it looks like it really varies for everyone.  

The main theme of what it looks like however is people typically replaying the relationship, lack of relationship, or dysfunction of their relationships with their father.

The specifics of what this looks like can be: someone being in a relationship with an alcoholic, while their father was an alcoholic; if their father struggled with being monogamous, they may find themselves in relationships with men who struggle to remain faithful; if their father wasn’t there for them, they may find themselves clinging to unhealthy relationships; etc.

While this list isn’t all-inclusive, I do hope it helps to help get a clearer picture of what Daddy Issues looks like as they replay within your life.

The bottom line is that those negative interactions (or less than spectacular interactions) impact our sense of being enough.

And as a result of not feeling like we are enough, we don’t think we are worthy of connection with other humans. But connection is a primary need for all human beings. Regardless of our interactions and relationships with our primary caregivers.

Regardless of whether your father ghosted you in your time of need or was always two sheets to the wind, it still affects you. When these are your experiences with someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally and support you, but doesn’t...it is absolutely mind boggling.

And because, as children, we don’t have the ability to identify that our parents were potentially damaged and not healthy, we take that stuff on!

I have worked with countless people who, as children, absorbed the belief that they were someone responsible for their parent’s behaviors.

As children, we don’t have the emotional skills to recognize that the lack of connection, love, support, and relationship with our parents is their responsibility and not ours!

As a parent, I understand that it’s 100% my responsibility to love my children unconditionally! And now, it is our responsibility to heal these deep Shame wounds. Otherwise we risk repeating the same patterns with our children, spouses, partners, families, and friends.

Part of the healing that this injury calls us to do is to really dig in and examine what happened and what went wrong. I’m not encouraging people to ditch the responsibility of healing and place that on their fathers.

Instead, I am encouraging personal accountability and healing because then we can begin to experience true freedom.

When we begin healing these wounds, injuries, and losses, we begin to prioritize ourselves and our own healing. Where as in the past, we may have found ourselves easily manipulated by people who act similarly to our dads, we are suddenly no longer instantly hooked by their shenanigans.

We begin taking much better care of ourselves than our Fathers were ever capable of. This is a crucial piece of developing deep Shame Resilience. And I believe you are worthy of this!

If the time is right for you to begin healing your relationship with your dad, with out without him in your life, you will want to check this out: https://www.jennbovee.com/self-help/surviving-june

Sign up for Jenn's free EFT video series here: www.JennBovee.com/EFT

Identifying Mom Shame

Identifying-Mom-Shame-Title-image.jpg

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you are familiar with the concept I use regarding what Shame means. However, I want to review it just so that we can make sure we are on the same page. The definition that I prefer regarding Shame is typically “that feeling or experience of not being _________ enough and therefore unworthy of connection.”  When people experience Mom Shame, they typically feel not valued or not good enough. They suspect that they are somehow defective which is the only explanation they can find why they don’t have a great connection with their mom.

The standard difference between whether someone perceives an experience as Shameful or not is typically how they process it. Some people can experience something as embarrassment. Others can perceive the same event as humiliation. The only real difference between how the same event can be processed differently is if they have a core Shame program running.  This is specifically true during those formation years (prior to puberty). Every day I hear countless stories of people whose mom just couldn’t show up for them. They just couldn’t be present for them. They just couldn’t nurture them. They just couldn’t treat them with unconditional positive regard.

I would be remiss if I didn’t spend at least a few words talking about WHY your mother couldn’t do these things for you! I don’t believe for a moment it’s because she doesn’t love you. I really suspect it’s because she hadn’t done the work necessary to heal her own pain, trauma, and Shame issues. Unlike you, she didn’t have me to lead her to healing. She truly was doing the best she could with what she had.  That doesn’t let her off the hook, but I want to put it into perspective for you. YOU have the power to heal yourself. YOU have the power to show up for yourself right here right now! YOU have the power to change your relationships with other women. 

The rest of this blog I want you to really get a clear picture of what Mom Shame looks like. I want you to be able to read through this blog and see yourself here.  I want you to either know with complete certainty that what I am talking about pertains to you. Examples of situations and relationships that create Shame for many people include:

  1. Addiction: Living in a home (or even just having a parent) who has an addiction installs Shame for various reasons. The children of parents who have addiction typically hold on to the Shame of not being able to control their parents’ addiction, not being good enough to be worthy of their parents stopping the addiction, and the unpredictability that accompanies addiction.
  2. Neglect: When your mother just couldn’t invest emotionally or physically in your life it leaves you with the sensation that you must be somehow broken. When your mom forgets to show up for activities that you are in, forgets your birthday, doesn’t try to validate your feelings and emotions; you typically will process that as being about you rather than about her. As a result, it translates into Shame quickly.
  3. Lack of Being Present: When your mom just can’t be present in your life it creates resentment and emotional pain. Typically, the way this manifest is: your mother is too preoccupied with what other people think, it’s too important to make appearances look good (rather than how you feel) and is too involved with other people to notice that you have needs. This is absolutely a cause of Shame in many people.
  4. Abuse: This one likely seems as if it’s a no-brainer. However, children whose parents are physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive are affected with the long-term effects of Shame. They tend to blame themselves because in their mind, this mom is supposed to love them unconditionally! This mom is supposed to advocate for them! This mom is supposed to fight for them! And when that happens they begin to blame themselves and create more Shame.
  5. Lack of Vulnerability: Sometimes when we are always trying to be strong and always trying to put on a brave face we create more harm than good! Parents used to believe that their children should never see them cry! They needed to know how strong and brave their parents were. But what happened is they raised children who didn’t know how to access or process feelings and emotions. Which created even more Shame when you just can’t manage your anxiety, depression, stress or worry!
  6. Too much focus on beauty: Many of the adult female clients I work with can remember when their mother first started Shaming them about their weight or their looks. The majority of women with disordered eating unintentionally pass that on to their daughters. When we don’t love our children unconditionally it sends them a message that there’s something somewhere that is wrong with them! They begin focusing on the external stuff like weight, hair, looks, appearance, and clothing and begin losing sight of how amazing they are internally! This is a breeding ground for Shame.
  7. You Have a Very Limited (if any at all) Relationship With Her Now: As we begin getting healthy, many of us have had to limit our contact or relationship with our moms. The problem is no matter what our motives, we live in a society that does not typically understand how having a toxic relationship is so much more detrimental than having no relationship at all. Mother’s Day, Christmas, and other holidays are a time when society begins puking the importance of family and cramming it down your throat.
Identifying Mom Shame blog image.png

I could literally go on and on about what this looks like and how this begins to take place. Reading through these I hope you understand that I don’t think any of these parents (described above) intentionally created Shame in their children! I don’t think any of the parents wanted to stunt their children’s connection. But I do think they were likely dealing with and coping with their Shame issues as best they knew how!

The month of May is such a difficult time when our relationship with our mothers are built on a foundation of Shame. It’s a challenge to not get bombarded with guilt about not having the perfect (commercial) relationship with your mother. It’s a challenge to find a way to honor yourself when the focus is a million percent on your mom this month!

I’m honored to be able to provide you with some healing and some relief. If you are interested in eliminating the Shame you carry surrounding your relationship with your mom, please click here.

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coaching who loves empowering people to ditch the shackles of Shame and step into the life of their wildest fantasies. Jenn works with people all over the world to create a solid foundation of self-care and self-love.

Coaching with Jenn Bovee

Coaching with Jenn Bovee.png

Today’s blog is going to be a completely different from my typical blog. I want to explain what it’s like to work with me as a Coach. I typically get several emails a week asking questions about my coaching style, how sessions with me work, and what people can expect.  I absolutely LOVE working with women who are ready to change their lives! Typically, the clients I work best with are people who have experienced some level of a traumatic event in the past, they are women who don’t take spectacular care of themselves, and women who are hard workers. That doesn’t mean that every one of the clients I work with matches these categorizations, but these are just the common characterizations of the people I typically work with.  My clients are consistently surprised and pleased with how down to earth and practical our sessions together are. In each session, the client walks away with an action plan of things to take them closer to their long-term goals. I have had many clients tell me that they find it easy to talk to me, to open up to me, and connect with me.

When I first began working with coaches I typically paid for many services that I never received.  It was just such an anxiety-producing process for me to show up and allow people to help me. I suspect that for me, showing up and receiving these services triggered the worthiness in me, or lack thereof. I remember not feeling as if I was worthy of their time. Let me assure you very frankly, that you ARE worthy! And you will leave our sessions changed.  I have worked with many coaches through the years for many different reasons. Some I have struggled with, and others were easy to connect with and helped me in great ways. I feel that my time working with other coaches has taught me a lot about how to be a great coach. It has also driven me to make sure I deliver the highest quality products and services for my clients. So you don’t have to go through some of the struggles I have in the past.

Do you know that gut-wrenching nervousness of getting ready to get on the phone with a coach or healer? The clients that I work with typically acknowledge that during our first session together, and then they tell me that all of that is gone.  Most of my clients talk about how they feel as if they walk away so much calmer and more centered after our sessions.

The results of working with me sometimes look all over the map in terms of changes and success. Typically, my clients find that working with me:  lowers their stress, encourages them to take action, increases their self-care, they begin choosing themselves and are more easily able to identify their own needs.  The one response that I always get from clients is that they feel so valued and acknowledged because of our sessions.

There are so many misconceptions and objections that come up when people are looking at working with me. I thought it would be useful if we dispelled some of those common thought processes now.  These include:

  1. “I don’t have the money”: I am not like most coaches (in so many ways this is true). As such I currently don’t charge any more than I charge for my in-person therapy clients.   Even the person who struggles with money the most can likely find $20 a month (which boils down to 5 a week) for my group coaching program. As a person, I tend to massively over deliver, so I’m constantly making sure I’m giving people enough content and their needs are being met.
  2. “I’m Not Sure You Are Qualified to Help Me”: I am one of the most qualified people I know to help you.  I have had a very successful psychotherapy practice for over twenty years. I have a clinical hypnotherapy certification, I am a “Certified and Reciprocal Alcohol and other Drug Counselor (CRADC), and I have a certification in the Emotional Freedom Technique. I have extensively studied Shame, Feelings, the Subconscious Mind, habits, and behaviors.   I’m confident that every client I have worked with felt like their life was better because of our working together.
  3. “What If I Can’t Get Better”:  I could have literally made an entire blog about complaints or objections that relate or boil down to not feeling worthy of being coached.  Obviously that blog would be forever long. But common variations of this same thought include: I’m not worth your time, I am not capable of making a commitment, I’m not sure I’m ready, etc.  Let me just assure you that NONE of these are accurate. I know and believe that you can get better, I know you are worthy of the time we would spend together (and I’m okay that you are not convinced of it’s truth yet), the only commitment you need to make is to show up and do the things I teach and encourage you to do… and when would be a better time than now? Allow me to work my magic and you just show up and do the work, it’s really that simple.
  4. “I Don’t Know How To Make Goals”:  I can’t tell you how many people I have worked with who when we first started didn’t know how to set any goals. Let me be perfectly clear with you for a moment: YOU AREN’T EXPECT TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS RIGHT NOW! I mean that very literally. In the cases of people who can identify goals, we typically stick to their agenda through the coaching sessions. For those who are not necessarily able to identify specific goals we begin with me educating them on how their brain works, how habits are created and formed, as well as how to change those habits. Just simply teaching these things helped them to change in many positive ways.  
  5. “You don’t charge as much as some of the others, so that must mean you are not as good.”:  That’s not how it works at all for me. I keep my prices the same for everyone because that’s what allows me to feel good about the services I am delivering. I have worked with Coaches, Physicians, Attorneys, and College Professors. I keep my prices the same for all of them because it feels really good for me to be able to charge a price that makes sense to me. It also helps me to make sure I’m not getting “full of myself” or becoming arrogant. When I started out in the Coaching world, I made a promise to myself that I wanted to make sure I was easily accessible. While other coaches may charge enough to pay your mortgage each month, I’m more focused on the value that I deliver every time.
  6. “But THAT coach has written a book and is a published author – so they are better then you – Right?”:  This objection is actually more common that you would imagine, and not actually very accurate at all. I have been published in Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and a few other places. I also have a book that is being edited currently that I have written. I’d love to encourage you to actually get to know a coach (even if it’s not me) before you commit to working with them. One of the coaches I worked with in the past had a book published. That didn’t help her to deliver the promises that she made, however. It just meant she knew how to articulate herself well. I am not sure being a published author actually makes you a good coach.
  7. “So how do I know that you are up to date on knowledge and tools that are relevant to me today?”:  This is a great question! I am constantly doing continuing education to make sure that I am in touch with the newest information that research has to offer. I do more education and training each year that most therapists that I know. Many people ask why I do so much training, and my response is typically the same. I love learning and always want to make sure I am prepared to help the clients I work with. I absolutely LOVE being able to help people. More research is being published every day about more modern ways to help.  By staying up to date it helps me to be able to help you better.
  8. “I have been through a lot of trauma in my past, and the people I have worked with before didn’t seem to understand me, or get me.  How can I be confident that you are different?”: I have absolutely been in a similar position. When I was still living in the middle of my trauma’s I couldn’t find a therapist to help me truly heal. As a coach I have studied the Central Nervous System and how that impacts trauma issues, I have developed a deep understanding of how Shame impacts the ability to heal through the traumas we experience, and I have studied how the subconscious mind plays into healing from traumas. I won’t lie to you and tell you I know with a million percent certainty that I can help you heal…but I will tell you that I can help you improve where you are at. No one deserves to live with the impact of having survived a trauma forever.  On top of that, due to my trauma past and all of the training and experience I have had – I am very good at connecting with my clients and meeting them where they are at. Then leading them in a compassionate way to where they want to be and their goals.
  9. “My last coach didn’t deliver on their promises, and then disappeared.  Is that going to happen with you?”: I wish I didn’t understand this one as much as I do! I also wish I hadn’t experienced it so many times. I think people have the best of intentions when they commit to coaching someone, but I don’t think they are always equipped to deliver those promises. I have been a very successful psychotherapist for over 20 years. My reputation is built on me showing up and doing the deal with my clients every day! I can promise you I don’t disappear and I will still be here even if you need to take a break for a while.  I show up when I say I’m going to show up. It’s really important to me that you understand that I’m invested in you!
  10. “My last Coach just kept saying the same thing over and over again. I never felt like they understood. Will that happen with you?”:  I want there to be no confusion. I’m very human and will make mistakes. However, I do a lot of checking in with the clients I work with to make sure they understand the material I am presenting to them, to make sure they know how to apply it, and that it’s relevant to their lives. I literally have so much material that even for those people who struggle to set goals for us to work on, we don’t just sit and talk about the same thing every time. We will also not spend very much time on your past. Because while it is a relevant piece of you, we can’t change it! And because we can’t change it I prefer to focus on those things we can change, such as helping you achieve your amazing future.
molly_testimonial.jpg

I hope this has given you a  better picture of who I am as a Coach. I would love an opportunity to connect with you and see if we are a good fit. I am so grateful to be a part of so many people’s journey.

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach. She helps people to remove the shackles of Shame and step into the life of their wildest fantasies.  Learn more about working with Jenn here: https://www.jennbovee.com/take-action/

What Healing Shame Looks Like

What Healing Shame Looks Like.png

I have been getting this question a lot recently. Trust me when I tell you that it’s a valuable and important question. My philosophy is that once we know what it actually looks like to heal our Shame, it becomes more manageable. We can begin to measure our own progress and imagine our own healing; it frequently empowers people to create the change necessary to heal their own Shame.

I want to reiterate that Shame is that feeling or sensation that destroys our ability to connect with other people as well as robs us of the feeling of being worthy of connecting with other people. One of the best feelings and sensations that we regain is that sense of connection. Not just with other people but with ourselves as well.

I would love to be able to sit down with each and every one of you and have a direct conversation about what Shame has robbed you of from your life. However, I’m not sure that would be helpful in the form of a blog. I tend to notice that even the mere word of Shame typically triggers people feeling and experiencing the Shame all over again.

I hope this blog serves as hope for you! I hope that it inspires you to find a way to move forward with your healing journey. I absolutely believe that human beings don’t deserve to live with, or in, Shame. I long to experience a Shame free world. I dream of a world where we are all living our lives out loud!

So what does it look like to have healed your Shame? There was a point in my life where I could not even imagine what my life would be like if I was actually free from Shame. Looking back, I’m not even the same person I was before. Today I KNOW that I am worthy of love and I settle for nothing less. So what does healing Shame look like? The following are areas where I have noticed my clients healing themselves:

Blog Image.png
  1. Finding Your Voice: I was literally talking just this week to one of the clients I work with about how she has suddenly found her voice. The best part is she is not afraid to use it at all. When we discard the shackles of Shame we begin having an opinion on things and subsequently feel a right to be able to express those opinions. It’s a very freeing concept in the middle of the journey. However, at the beginning of the journey it feels a bit overwhelming. When we have lived a Shame filled life for so long, we slowly begin to loose our voice. For many of us we have lost the ability to have preferences or wants, let alone have opinions. When that begins to change we will absolutely celebrate.

  2. Knowing Your Wants, Needs, and Preferences:  I’m sure many of us have had that experience where someone wanted to know our preference (or what we wanted) and we just came up blank. It’s a bit different than just not having a preference. It’s the absolute inability to form a decision, because you just don’t feel worthy of having a need or want. At that point in our journey, preferences seriously just feels too arrogant. Once we begin clearing the damage that Shame creates, we slowly begin to find ourselves again.

  3. Claiming Your Worth:  As you begin to heal your Shame issues, you will find that you no longer settle for relationships that don’t bring you happiness or joy. You will begin to not tolerate unacceptable behavior and will not allow yourself to be put down. Even things that are seemingly no big deal, such as being the butt of other people’s jokes or being talked down to; become absolutely unacceptable and not tolerated. You will (sometimes not so slowly) find yourself choosing YOU and standing up for YOU in many situations.  It will be a remarkable sight from where you started.

  4. Consistently Choose YOU:  This is by far my favorite measurement of growth and healing! When people begin choosing themselves things begin to shift and change for them in many different ways. Many people who have lived a lifetime or a lifestyle of Shame consistently reject themselves. Sometimes choosing you means asking for what you need. Sometimes choosing you means requesting that a restaurant fix an order that wasn’t to your specification. And sometimes choosing you just means taking a breath and slowing down enough to not have to push yourself with such a force. YOU get to decide what choosing you means for you, that’s part of the beauty of it.

  5. Cultivation of Positive Supportive Relationships: As we begin claiming our worth, many times our friendship and support circle change as well. Being prepared for the reality that your circle will likely change could save you from the anguish in the middle of the process. It is perfectly okay for you to develop a healthy, supportive, and loving circle of support and friendship. I would love to encourage you to give yourself permission to discard anyone who doesn’t support you in a healthy manner.

  6. Development of Self-Love and Self-Care as a Lifestyle: I’m a huge proponent of this one looking different for each and every one of us. What self-love looks like for me is different from what it looks like for you. How you apply self-love is different for you versus your neighbor or your best friend. I think you get the point I’m trying to make. I will no longer engage in those ridiculous debates of “this X thing isn’t self care”. Mostly because what that really communicates is that YOU are wrong for using that for self-care, but I am superior because I do self-care correctly. I’m a firm believer that you are the expert on you, therefore you don’t owe anyone an explanation about what you choose to do in an attempt to commit to a self-care or self-love lifestyle. Experiment! Have fun! There are literally no rules in this one for me.

This is not a black and white architecturally cemented plan of what healing Shame looks like. These are just the top six things I have noticed in the clients I have worked with that are aiming to heal their Shame issues.  I’d love to hear back from you about what you are noticing as you are healing the Shame you have experienced in your life.

 

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Coach who works with people all over the world. She helps people to eliminate what is standing in between them and their perfect life! Jenn would love to invite you to check out her Living Out Loud Community. Learn more about it here: https://www.jennbovee.com/living-out-loud/

How Shame blocks our Sexuality

How_Shame_Blocks_Your_(1).png

I can’t even begin to count the amount of women I have worked with over the past 20 years who have experienced sexual shame. The difficulty in identifying sexual Shame is that it manifests differently for everyone that experiences it. Some people can’t create sexual fantasies in their mind. Other people can’t orgasm through sex or masturbation. Some women can’t get wet, while others can’t stay present during sex.

Sexual Shame is one of the biggest topics that most people remain silent on out of embarrassment, insecurity, and guilt. When people experience Shame regarding their sexual preferences, desires, needs, or wants it increases their overall Shame, It also increases that sense of disconnection. Many women spend decades experiences the ramifications of sexual Shame.

In my experience, many people are unintentionally Shamed in regard to their sexual issues. Part of this is because human experiences rarely match the myths that are in the world today. Some of the many myths out the re include:  men always have a higher sex drive than women, women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex, women don’t have sexual fantasies, men think about sex more often than women do, and women don’t like casual sex as much as men do. All of these thoughts are inaccurate and untrue.

When we’ve experienced long-term Shame around our sexuality, many women experience the following issues: a lack of being able to ask for what they want or need sexually, a lack of being able to orgasm, a lack of being able to stay present, a lack of ability to enjoy sexual interaction, and a lack of overall pleasure. Sexual Shame comes from many sources, albeit most of them are unintentional and unknowingly contributing to the Shame we experience. Those sources include: Parents, teachers, media, school, friends, peers, and legislatures.

The problem with Shame is that we don’t talk about normal Shame because it’s uncomfortable and for many of us even hearing the word Shame is very triggering. I could spend days upon days talking about how the Shame begins and how it’s perpetuated. However, I suspect it’s a better use of my time (and yours) to begin outlying a way to heal those Shame issues. My suggestions include:

Releasing the Shame.png
  1. Give Yourself Permission To Experience Pleasure:  When we give ourselves permission and even encourage ourselves to experience pleasure things begin to change for us. Many times we have bought into the belief that we don’t deserve to experience pleasure or aren’t good enough to have pleasure, and those beliefs are not helping you. Many of the clients I work with benefit from using the affirmations, “I know I am worthy of experiencing sexual pleasure in my life.” Find an affirmation, use EFT, use hypnosis and give yourself permission to have pleasure.

  2. Increase Your Sexual Pleasure Confidence:  I’m going to be really honest with you for a moment. The first time you experience sexual pleasure (especially after having that stuff locked down so tight) it can be terrifying. Know that going in and prepare for it. Have a partner who you can talk to about the potential for this intense reaction. After wards, I encourage you to reflect on the massive power associated with your sexual pleasure. FEEL that power and that release. Commit to it and keep repeating it until you are extremely confident.

  3. Eliminate Archaic And Outdated Beliefs: This one may require more work on your part. It’s crucial that you begin to explore which beliefs you hold around sex, sexuality, and pleasure, that are serving you compared to those that are harming you. When we are constantly reinforcing that we don’t deserve to have good sex, it’s going to be next to impossible to experience good sex. When we carry beliefs such as "women don’t orgasm", we are going to experience massive blocks to orgasming. Identifying which beliefs are not supporting your desires is a crucial part in making change.

  4. Normalize Your Needs, Wants, and Desires:  I’m at a point in my life where very little shocks me anymore. I talk to the clients I work with regularly about the importance of identifying their sexual needs, wants, and desires. Once we begin to understand and recognize those, I think the natural next step is to normalize them. This goes hand in hand with eliminating archaic and outdated beliefs. If you long to have sex with someone of the same gender, and you hold beliefs that you will go to hell for that; perhaps it’s time to replace the thought of going to hell with a positive and supportive thought. If you long to have consensual sex with more than one person ,I want you to know that’s okay and it happens ALL THE TIME!

  5. Communicate Those Needs, Wants, and Desires To Safe People:  When I’m working with people to teach them Shame Resilience, one of the concepts we often talk about is that not everyone deserves to hear your Shame stories. A very similar belief resides here as well. Not everyone deserves to hear your sexual needs, wants, and desires. I would hope that the people you are engaging with sexually are worthy of hearing these things, but that’s not always a given. I encourage my clients to test the waters and confirm to themselves that the people they are sharing with are safe and healthy people to share these intimate details with. Begin communicating slowly and openly and go from there.

  6. Explore Your Desires: I want to give you permission to create a very rich and appealing fantasy life. Part of how we grow, heal, change, and evolve is by exploring what we enjoy and what we don’t enjoy. I’m always going to encourage you to make sure everyone involved has consented a hundred percent, but beyond that play and experiment! Figure out what you really like and what you don’t like! And know that you don’t owe an explanation to anyone. This category reminds me of that young adult who hates carrots. When pressed for a time he tried carrots, it turns out he has never consumed them. Upon trying the carrots it turns out he loves them. Many things cannot be ruled out as a pleasure until we have either tried them or considered them.

I’m a big fan of living a Shame Free life! I think when we commit to developing Shame Resilience, at some point we are going to be bound to apply it to our sex life. Many of us are still living under the rules and obligations that it’s not okay to talk about sex or pleasure. Those things could not be farther from the truth.  If you want a safe and private place to go to talk about sex or other personal things consider joining here: https://www.jennbovee.com/living-out-loud/


 

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who is teach people all over the world about how to develop Shame Resilience. She begins with teaching people how to implement Self-Care and Self-love and allowing them to step into the life of their fantasies. Learn more about Jenn here: https://www.jennbovee.com/take-action/