• Breanna Aponte

Mastering The Art of Being Shameless

Updated: Jul 11

This post will set the foundation for everything you learn and hear on this blog. Being shameless is an art. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to most people and has to be learned, practiced and maintained.


To break it down, there are 5 simple things to address.


I use the acronym “shame” or as I like to call it “the shame method” to remember these key aspects. S is for Self-doubt, H is for hurt, A is for anxiety, M for mentality and E for emotion.


Each of these things are what we as women need to work on and deal with if we want to be the best version of ourselves. If you’re truly ready to stare shame in the face and take control, this crazy and uncertain journey we call life will soon seem a lot easier.


Let’s break it down.


S, for self-doubt:


The number 1 reason why people feel shame is because they are seeking affirmation from others. When we judge ourselves based on what we see others doing or what the world says is beautiful or successful, we lose sight of loving ourselves as is and allow self-doubt to creep in.


The first step to accomplishing your dreams and creating a life you want is to believe you can actually do it. You would be surprised what you’re capable of achieving when you just believe in yourself. A way to get rid of self-doubt is to swap it for self-love.


Self-love is a daily practice that is hard to implement when we are too busy worrying about others. It’s called SELF-love for a reason. It means you are taking the time to care about your own needs and well being and therefore are not settling for less than you deserve. This can be true for many things. Whether it’s a man, a friend, your job, etc. when you have self-love, you know your worth and value and will not put up with anything less.


Here are my tips for encouraging and implementing self-love instead of self-doubt:


1. Quality Time


How often do you spend real quality time with yourself? Think of your relationship with yourself as a relationship with anyone else. In order to truly get to know someone, you have to spend quality time with them. It’s no different when we are trying to get to know and love ourselves. Schedule “me time” during your week whether its lighting candles and running a bubble bath, taking a long walk, having a glass of wine with soft music on, something to unwind from your daily life and practice some self-love.


I myself have a whole me day every week. It’s a day where I allow myself to do whatever I want and focus on filling myself up with encouraging messages whether its a podcast episode, sermon or just time with my friends or Dre. I always make sure to journal on this day and brain dump all my thoughts and cares on a piece of paper and visualize how I want my week to go. My “me” days are Mondays so it’s the best way for me to start my week off strong and make sure I accomplish my goals.


2. Journaling & Goal Setting


I love journaling. It’s calming and therapeutic. You would be shocked to see how much you can learn about yourself and shift your thinking just by writing down your thoughts. Try this, grab a paper and pencil and write where you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. Be detailed, where are you, who are you with and what does your life look like. Chances are you’ve never even taken the time to do something like this which will reveal to you your core desires and what you want out of life. When you visualize your future and your goals, it makes it easier to believe you can get there and get rid of the moments of doubt. Visualizing your desires on a regular basis will also allow you to subconsciously make decisions that align more with your long term goals.


3. Daily affirmations


The easiest way to kick self-doubt in the butt is to remind yourself daily that you are able. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Having affirmations can help you remind yourself how amazing you are in the moments that you may not feel like it. We all have bad days, and that’s okay but it’s important to lift yourself up and choose to love yourself through it. You can try putting affirmations on sticky notes around the house, creating an affirmation jar, hanging up an affirmation board by your bed, whatever works for you. It’s helpful to be reminded of positive thoughts throughout your day because life has an easy way of catching us slipping and pulling us into a funk.


4. Positive Influence


Surround yourself with positive people. I cannot tell you how much of a difference you will see when you change up the people who you give your time and energy to. Not everyone should be a priority in your life. You have people who poor and people who need pouring. If you’re in a stage where you need pouring, you should be finding positive people who can pour into you. And if you don’t have a person like that, that’s okay. The internet is an amazing tool people, you have the world at your fingertips. Find the people who encourage and inspire you the most and listen to their podcasts, videos, subscribe to their newsletters, do what you gotta do!


Your friends should reflect your values. If your values and your friends don’t align it may be time to reevaluate your relationships. You want to surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you no matter what.


5. H, is for healing:


We have all been hurt in the past. It sucks, but it’s a part of life and it makes us better in the long run. Whether you have been hurt in the past by your parents, friends, significant other or even a traumatizing experience, you have got to deal with it, heal and move on. As women, we scare very easily. We usually wear our hearts on our sleeves until someone comes along and breaks it. Then instead of understanding the situation, doing self-evaluation and learning from the experience, we shut the world out and say all guys are dogs, leaving us in a space where we have trust issues going into new relationships with people who don’t deserve our mistrust.


In order to be your best self, you have got to deal with your past. You can’t be ashamed to talk about the bad things you have gone through because your story could encourage and help someone else.


A common past hurt I experience women having is daddy issues. Being raised in a single-family household where you didn’t know your father or worst, having your father in the picture and then he leaves you later in life. I personally had to deal with my own set of daddy issues before I could truly understand what it meant to really love someone and to understand what a healthy relationship looks like. It was painful and honestly a very long and hard process but going through it pushed me to become stronger, understand myself and my thoughts better and allowed me to get to the point where I am now in a healthy relationship with a man who is everything I dreamt of and more.


So yes, the pain from past experiences suck but suppressing them won’t make them go away. You will only be blinded by your mindset and behaviors, blaming the world for things that you are in total control of if only you dug a little deeper to understand why you are how you are.


Here are my tips for healing from past experiences:


1. Write down the things that you feel like you struggle with.


Once you have your list, create reasons why you feel like you struggle with those things. Be honest and look into past relationships and experiences that may have caused those behaviors or mindset. For example, I used to struggle badly with anger. I used to get in a bunch of fights, did jail time for assault, regretted choices that I made out of anger, and I hurt people by my actions. After self-reflecting I started to realize that my anger was a learned behavior I saw growing up by family members. I still had a lot of anger inside of me from my dad leaving, from men cheating on me, from bad things happening to me that shouldn’t of and I would let my anger get the best out of me. So start to reflect on the behaviors you don’t like. Determine when those behaviors showed up and what’s causing them so you can deal with the core issues.


2. Find someone to talk to


Healing on your own is hard. Find someone who can listen to you, be your sounding board and help support you through the process. For me, that person was Dre and of course God. For you, it could be a friend, family member or even a professional therapist. I think that therapy is amazing! Especially when you need help sorting through your emotions and past situations.


If you believe in God, he should be your number person through this journey. He is your strength, guidance, support, love and hope that you need to get through the hard stuff and walk into your full potential. I suggest reading your bible and looking up sermons that specifically talk about healing.


3. Forgive them and yourself


You cannot move on until you forgive. I don’t know what hurt you’re trying to heal from but there’s usually another person involved. You have to got to forgive them and move on to better things. Being mad at someone does nothing for your own personal growth. Being stuck in the past will hold you prisoner and not allow you to walk into a brighter future. You have to got to be the bigger person and forgive and move on.


When I say forgive, I don’t mean call that person up or send them a text message letting them know you forgive them. You most likely won’t receive the response you want and it will end in you needing closure that you simply won’t get. Forgive in your heart. You are the only factor that matters. They don’t need to know you forgive them, you just have to know it. Cut your losses and leave the past in the past. Focus on what’s coming in the future and keep your eyes turned forward. The quicker you move on, the quicker you can find true happiness.


A, is for anxiety:


In order to be shameless Hunny, we have got to kick anxieties butt! Anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehension about what's to come. I didn’t realize that I struggled with anxiety until dating Dre. He would say “you’re such a worrier” and I would, of course, say “nut-uh”. But he was totally right. I never realized how much I worried about things that were completely out of my control. Worry, anxiety, and fear are all in the same family and we do not want to invite them into our home. They trick us into spending valuable time stressing about day to day things, doubting our abilities and playing life safe instead of going after our wildest dreams.

Getting rid of anxiety and learning how to deal with it when it happens (because it will happen) is a huge part of being shameless because our goal is to create and live a life we love. We can’t do that if we can’t move past our own anxiety.


When you feel anxiety or worry happening, ask yourself these questions:


Is the thing you’re worrying about in your control?


If not, there’s nothing you can do anyway. If it is, determine possible solutions to the worry and then determine possible outcomes of each solution to help you make a choice, commit and continue to move forward.

What’s the worse that can happen?

Write down the worst possible outcomes and then determine how you would deal with them. Sometimes facing the worst-case scenario can help you eliminate your anxiety.

In the world we live in today, it’s so easy to suffer from anxiety because so much is going on around us and society tells us to do more, have more and be more all the time. Tune out those thoughts, focus on taking it day by day and making small choices that align with your core desires. If you do that, anxiety will be a friend of the past.


M, is for mentality:


Adopting a shameless mindset is to believe in yourself and your abilities as a strong woman while also being humble enough to accept help, learn new things and constantly grow to be better. It’s also a mindset that allows you to be transparent about who you are and what you go through because you have no shame of your imperfections and use it to inspire and encourage others. This type of mindset will allow you to see things from a different perspective. When you focus on the bigger picture, you can work towards your goals without being distracted by bumps in the road. Life is a journey and learning to enjoy the process will help you maintain your sanity and happiness. Nothing in life is ever perfect. When you begin to realize that and make the best out of every situation, you will be 1 more step closer to living shamelessly.


Shifting your mindset is the game-changer. It’s about having a “glass half full instead of half-empty mentality”. You have to start looking at the world differently. You may not be where you want to be right now but I bet its further than you were last year! And sometimes it takes us hitting rock bottom to really reach the top. The best teacher in life is life itself. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I believe that God has a calling and purpose for each of us and just like children in school, we all learn differently. Some of us may be visual learners while others are hands-on. That just means that God has to teach us in ways that we learn best. When something bad in your life happens there is a lesson to be learned. Focus on finding the lesson and using it as a tool to grow and impact others versus playing the victim role. Bad things happen to everyone everywhere all the time, it’s inevitable. But what you take from the experience can be life-changing, don’t you ever forget that.


Here are my tips for shifting your mentality:


1. Always be grateful


Find gratitude for even the small things and people in your life. It will make you appreciate the big wins even more and in tough times, remind you how blessed you really are. Whenever I get frustrated or upset by feeling like I’m not as far as I should be or even seeing things that I want but can’t yet have, I just go back to gratitude and being thankful for where I am and what I do have because it could always be worst.


2. Think of your future self


We are constantly growing and evolving. I love Michelle Obama’s book “becoming” because it’s so true. We are always becoming who we are going to be. It sounds like a mouth full but think about it. Today I am not who I will be tomorrow. You are not who you will be tomorrow. Every day is a new day filled with new opportunities, challenges, and lessons. So as you go through this journey we call life, remember you are becoming who you’re meant to be.


3. Set boundaries


Our mental wellness is so important. We cannot afford to adapt our values to things or people in our life. Instead, you choose your destiny and create boundaries that hold you accountable for the things you want to accomplish. If the people or things in your life don’t fit within your boundaries, get rid of them.


This brings us to the final step in the SHAME method. E, for emotion.


E, is for emotion:


Getting control of our emotions is the final step to mastering the art of being shameless. Have you ever said something out of anger that you later regretted? Have you let fear talk you out of taking risks and going after your dreams? Emotions are powerful. Your mood determines how you interact with people, how much money you spend, how you deal with challenges, and how you spend your time. Gaining control over your emotions will help you become mentally stronger and overall put you in a place where you can truly be shameless.


Now I want to make this very clear, managing your emotions is not the same as suppressing them. Ignoring your feelings whether your feeling sad, depressed or angry is never the answer. Managing your emotions means that you are first aware of the emotions your feeling and then you analyze why you’re feeling them and how to deal with them.


Another huge part of emotions is choosing the types of things you’re going to let your emotions be affected by. If you let every little thing worry your pretty little head, you would never be able to reach your full potential. Not everyone’s going to agree with you or even like you and that’s okay. Learning to let petty things go will help you keep the peace in your life and not lose focus of who you are and your purpose.


Our emotions cause us to say and do things we later regret or worse, put us in worse off situations. As shameless ladies, we can take no shame in admitting that our emotions are real and sometimes through us off our track, but we become aware of them and quickly get back to where we need to be because we have a purpose to get back to!


Here are some tips for keeping your emotions under control:


1. Align your cares with your values


You simply cannot care about everything. The way to limit your cares is to use your values as a guideline for what you will choose to give attention to and what you will overlook.


2. Have a plan


When you feel yourself giving in to your emotions, have a plan of action. It could be calling a friend, meditating, praying, journaling, playing your favorite tunes and zoning out, reading your affirmations, anything that can immediately calm you down and snap you out of giving in to your emotions.

3. Prioritize certain emotions


Decide which emotions you like to feel and the things that bring those emotions. Prioritize those emotions over the emotions that you don’t like to feel. For the emotions, you don’t like, be aware of when you begin to feel them and try to shift back to the emotions that are positive.


4. Breath baby breath


Nothing like a simple whoo-sah to gain control over your emotions. Just stop, take a moment and breathe. Give yourself time to think before you act or say something you might regret.


5. Talk to someone


Have that person who you know you can talk to when you’re feeling out of wack. Someone who knows and loves you and will help calm you down and hold you accountable for your actions.


Now that you know the 5 steps of the “SHAME method” it’s important to remember that as you master the art of being shameless it is a process. It’s not easy and there will be many moments of feeling like your giving into self-doubt, past hurt, anxiety, mental roadblocks, and emotions. The goal is to take it day by day and remember that YOU ARE CAPABLE OF REACHING YOUR WILDEST DREAMS. You have the tools, you just have to use them! If you need help with holding yourself accountable, make sure to download my free guide to “Mastering the art of being shameless”.


Until next time, Be Shameless!

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