Shame vs Guilt

By: Kristin Martineau | February 14, 2018

Shame and guilt get lumped together often.

If we aren’t paying attention we might think they are the same thing.

But they aren’t synonyms.

This isn’t just semantics.

Being aware of the difference can have a huge impact on what you create in your life.

Shame comes from thoughts like:

“There is something wrong with me.”

“Other people are better than me.”

“I yelled at my kids this morning. I’m a horrible mother.”

“If people really see who I am, they won’t like me.”

“If I do something wrong, I am wrong.”

Guilt comes from thoughts like:

I made a mistake and I don’t want to ever do that again.”

“I yelled at my kids this morning. I don’t like that I did that and I want to do better.”

“I want to spend more time with my kids.”

“I want to feed my kids healthier food.”

“I should’t have done that.”

See the difference? It’s huge.

Shame comes from thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with YOU. That is never true. If you are a human on the earth your value is already set. Period. You can’t do anything to make you more or less valuable. Shame keeps you stuck because if there is something wrong with you, what’s the point in trying?

Guilt comes from wanting to be better. It leaves room for improvement AND self love. Your sense of value remains intact even though you make mistakes. Guilt tells you that you might want to change something and trying again is worth it.


If you are stuck in shame and aren’t sure how to change, I can help you. Sign up for a free mini session here.

Leave a Reply