Sabotaged Yourself And Now Stuck In A Shame Spiral? What Do You Do?

by Reid on September 29, 2017

Beautiful young woman in bed, with hot water bag on her tummyFeel like you ruined everything? How can you get out of the negative loop?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: What do you do when you self-sabotage something that you really wanted to do, and now you’re kind of falling in a shame spiral? This is Reid Mihalko from 

Reid: Cathy Vartuli from 

Cathy: We had someone write in, and again, this was about the webinar, “My partner doesn’t want to sleep with me.” She felt like she’d ruined … He was planning a nice surprise for her, and unintentionally she ruined it. She was kind of following down the spiral of it’s never going to happen, it’s all over, I screw up everything. What can you do when you’re in that kind of spiral, or someone you care about is in that spiral? It can be really hard, you’re like, “Oh you did make a mistake.” Or, it sounds like she did something that they kind of messed it up, but when they’re falling, we can’t ever catch them, because they keep going lower and lower like kind of martyrdom a little bit. What do you suggest? 

Reid: There’s a couple of things. You can start geeking out on shame, understanding shame and the difference. Shame and guilt are two different things. I heard this first from Charlie Glickman, guilt is that you did something wrong, and shame is that you’re wrong. There’s something wrong with you. 

Cathy: It sounds like she’s in a shame spiral where she feels like she messes everything up, and she doesn’t even want to try to reconnect with him. 

Reid: One can be forgive yourself. Can you get real with what’s going on? Self-sabotage, if you notice a pattern, something else is happening underneath. Maybe you don’t feel like you deserve it, it’s an abundance issue thing, so you keep cutting your pleasure down rather than really being able to practice stepping into things that you deserve, which again you might want to geek out on things about self-love and forgiveness and things like that. It could also be depending, it might be a simple solution as let your partner arrange and execute the date. 

Cathy: Get out of the way. 

Reid: Yeah, get out of your own way and as long as you’re not violating yourself somehow, sometimes if you’re a bad driver with your life right now, and you keep going into the shame, let your partner drive for a minute. That can sometimes get you over the hump and there might be other things going on in your life that are kicking your ass, so you just kind of kick your own ass even more. It’s really, can you stop beating yourself up, and how do you create a win-win? I like recommending people to see a therapist or take a workshop or something so that you can empower yourself with better tools. 

Cathy: One thing that I’ve noticed too is I’ve had a lot of shame spiral when I was younger, realizing that when I went into that deep, “I don’t deserve anything, my life is over, I’ve ruined everything.” I was really abdicating responsibility to say, look how awful I am, that’s such a big mess, I don’t have to clean it up. Realizing that it was actually a way for me to dump it all on somebody else. Yeah I screwed up but you can’t hold me accountable I’m just a horrible person. I screwed everything up. That leaves both people incomplete, and doesn’t actually fix the problem, and you’re kind of left with a mess.

I tend to notice those inclinations even now when I’m most depleted, if I’m super tired, I haven’t been taking care of myself. If you can realize you do have a responsibility to take care of yourself enough, and to notice when those shame spirals are happening, it’s not someone else’s responsibility to pull you out. They can certainly offer help if they care to, but it is our own responsibility to take care of what we’ve done and to show up for the discussions that follow up as we’ve messed up rather than being this victim, “Everything is so impossible, I can’t do anything.”

Not saying that we don’t all go there once in a while when things go really bad, but it’s not going to get cleaned up unless you step forward. Okay I screwed it up, it’s a really good screw up maybe, maybe not. I need to at least show up for the conversations and see what I can do. Clean up whatever part of it I can. 

Reid: You also might want to look for some tools. Recapping has a lot of really great tools over at Thriving Now with Rick Wilkes around tapping and EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. Sometimes when you find the right tools that you can use to interrupt your patterns, you can then get a leg up on maybe things that have plagued your whole life. 

Cathy: Yeah, please leave comments below, we’d love to know what you think and how you might get out of a shame spiral, or help somebody out of it. 

Reid: Hit subscribe.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: