Words of Wisdom: Public Shaming

public shaming - a woman covering her eyes with just her head out of water photo by gage walker - unsplash

You’re being chased through a muddied forest with brush swiping your face and legs. Your hands bound behind you while you struggle to get them loose, but not at the expense of losing speed or time. And then within a matter of seconds, you trip on a small stump causing your face to be fully submerged in mud. You panic and struggle to get up while you hear your captors nearing in on you.

Beep! Beep! Waking up in a cold sweat, you realize that you have just been saved by your alarm clock. Most of us have experienced a nightmare of feeling trapped, helpless, and completely vulnerably. However, it’s the nightmares of our waking life that can’t be solved with a buzzer.

Public shaming. You don’t have to be a politician or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company to experience it. In an age of, fast over accurate, exclusives over ethics, and feelings over fairness, we’ve become a breeding ground for the inevitable. But today…it’s not him or her or them…it’s you! How do you overcome the shame, the humiliation, and the degradation?

Consider the following when regaining your self after public shaming…

Identity

At this moment, your identity is being challenged. Perhaps you are being characterized by a bad decision or misrepresentation or slander. Regardless of the derivative, you must stay grounded in the truth of who you are. You know you better than anyone else, so don’t allow anyone to define you by past mistakes, rumors, or opinions.

Dealing with Critics

Do not respond to critics. Their job is to talk, and your job is to live. Part of you understanding your worth and identity is knowing who and who not to address. Everyone is not worthy of a response.


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Play Offense

It’s been said that defense wins games. But not without a strong offense. Focus on reinforcing who you are rather than attempting to prove what you are not. Realize that an excessive defense can not only appear as an admission of guilt but also gives people permission to judge you. Move forward being the best version of you!

Rebuild

In life, we tell ourselves many stories, sometimes subconsciously. If I get a divorce, I will never find love again. My business fails, it’s gone forever. If my reputation is damaged, I am ruined. These stories that we have believed have become our truth; a belief system that has tarnished the existence of the truth. So, start rewriting the script of your mind creating new stories.

You can learn to do what you’ve never done before. You can overcome what you thought you couldn’t. And you can live your best life despite difficulties. You will outlive this moment, but don’t let this moment live in you. Brighter days are ahead of you!

Words of Wisdom Series by Jada Ledbetter


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