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Do you believe in the idea of ‘shame’?

This week, I’ve been experiencing shame and processing it out of my life. I personally don’t believe in it, and yet I continue to experience this terrible feeling. You see, I’ve noticed that when I overcome a belief that no longer serves me, I am greeted with opportunities — or tests — to prove it’s no longer relevant.

This week, I’ve had at least 3-4 opportunities show up for-me, and in each of them, I felt a momentary level of shame, realized it’s not real, and let it go. I am grateful for these experiences, as it’s time for a new era; an era when I recognize I’m doing the best I can, every moment of every day.

I no longer care to look towards the past and feel ashamed of my actions, decisions, or behaviors. Instead, I care to live in the present moment and look forward to the bright future I’m creating. When temptation arises to second-guess decisions I’ve made in the past, I’m offering myself a simple reminder that I’m doing the best I can in this exact moment, so I must have been doing the same before.

Shame — in many ways — is a symptom of ‘not enough syndrome’, which is perhaps my biggest limiting belief. Somehow, I developed the belief I wasn’t enough. Maybe it was my parents always encouraging me to do my best, while I heard I wasn’t doing well enough? Maybe it was when I was a fat kid and people used to make fun of me? Or maybe it was our education system and comparing myself to everyone else in my class — or family — and the grades they were able to achieve? In fact, even when I would get a 97%+ on a test, I always wondered how I could do better and get 100%. If there was extra credit available, I blamed myself for not getting a 110%, or whatever the highest score was.

And it’s a funny thing. In most people’s eyes, I probably have it all:
  • A mother and father that love me to the best of their abilities
  • A brother that loves me unconditionally, and who’s family feels the same way
  • A wife and children who are absolutely lovely people, healthy, (mostly) happy, and (generally) appreciative of everything we get to share together
  • Friends that feel like family, and who share a common vision for life and purpose
  • A lifestyle that allows me to travel the world and help people transform their lives into something that exceeds their wildest dreams
  • A level of income and success in my career that prevents me from having to worry about how to pay the next bill
  • A burning passion for life, desire to help, and uncanny work ethic to achieve whatever I set my mind to
  • My health; after a major health scare just 3 years ago, it’s almost hard to believe I’m in the best shape of my life, and happier than ever…

When I put life into these terms, how did I get so lucky?!

Yet, inside of a moment, I may feel differently. This is because I have a buried subconscious belief — that likely formed before I could fully articulate myself (age 6 or earlier) — and it reminds me “I’m not enough” throughout each day, week, or month. When I don’t learn something as quickly as I would like, I might feel down on myself. If I speak to someone harshly — or with less patience than I would like to be spoken to — I blame myself for being unkind, and I wonder why I’m not as nice of a person as I strive to be. If I do my best to provide for my family — and also be fully present for every magical moment as my kids grow up — and I miss one or the other, I tend to think I can do better, and I will next time.

Strange, right?

In fact, I feel pretty spoiled and obnoxious even telling you this, let alone realizing I’m confessing this to a million people who might see my life as fairly idealistic. I don’t mean to be obnoxious. It is my intention to be real; you see, the human mind self-complicates. And, more often than not, those who ‘achieve’ the most do so because they feel they are missing something important in their lives.

I am one such person: driven, loving, excited, fun, successful, and of the perception I am not enough.

I will continue to strive to do my best and make a difference when this belief is completely resolved. Yet, the attachment to a specific outcome will be gone. I can see the writing on the wall; my day will likely be very similar, but how I ‘feel’ about my day will be different.

If I accidentally break a promise, or if I lose my cool a bit, I’ll understand I’m human, that I’m here to learn an important lesson, and that there’s no point in shaming myself or letting anyone else influence me to feel ashamed. I’ll understand I am strong enough, caring enough, loving enough, and determined enough to work through any obstacle in life, and that’s exactly what it is: an obstacle or lesson.

How about you?

Are you ‘enough’? Or are you also your own worst critic?

Today’s thought exercise:

If you were born enough, and all you’ve ever done is give life your best shot, how did you end up as less? Does this even make any sense? And if it doesn’t make any sense, can you think of a single example of a situation in life that justifies feeling ashamed, or as if you’re not enough?

I challenge you to overcome this limiting belief. You were born perfect, and so you are.

Sent to you with love, honor, and in service,


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About Author

Dr. Kareem Samhouri

Dr. Kareem Samhour is known as (perhaps) the best Doctor of Physical Therapy & Kinesiologist on the internet. People come to him for results when other methods fail, injury gets in the way, or health situation is more complicated. Dr. Kareem Samhouri exercising In fact, he and his companies reach a combined total of 1.5 MILLION people on a daily basis to help them with their health. If you ever saw Dr. Kareem on the street and mentioned something was going on with your health, however, he would volunteer and offer to help you for free... that's the Dr. Kareem way.

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