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Toxic Shame Keeps Executive Function Skills Underdeveloped – 110

podcast Nov 29, 2022

Toxic shame is a killer. It’s an internal message that tells you that you are defective, bad, wrong, and not valuable. Toxic shame isn’t personal; it’s like poison. It doesn’t matter who gives you the poison or who does the shaming, either one will eat away at you and take you down.

And, when shame comes flooding in and causes us to retreat into ourselves, our transformation is put on hold while we navigate the toxic shame.

Shame and guilt are different:

Guilt tells me that I made a mistake.

Shame tells me that I am a mistake.

I definitely used to feel a lot of shame and wanted to erase myself from life.

Over time, I learned how to change my mindset and develop the skills to eliminate the hold that shame had over me.

Now, my life’s work is to pull others out of that same dark place and into a calm and competent life by sharing the exact roadmap I followed. 





Full Episode Transcript Toxic Shame Keeps Executive Function Skills Underdeveloped – 110

Hi Aspiring Achievers,

Toxic shame is a killer. It’s an internal message that tells you that you are defective, bad, wrong, and not valuable. Toxic shame isn’t personal; it’s like poison. It doesn’t matter who gives you the poison or who does the shaming, either one will eat away at you and take you down.

How many of you love movies? I used to love them as an escape from my life. Now, I love them if they have something of value to share with me. Movies like the Karate Kid, Erin Brockovich, and the Peaceful Warrior to name a few, touch me. I love movies that share a hero’s journey. Daniel learns Karate to gain respect and avoid getting bullied. Erin fights for justice for those who can’t fight for themselves. And Socrates teaches Dan what it is to be a Peaceful Warrior because the battles we fight are on the inside. And that this moment is the only thing that matters. When I learned to show up fully in each moment, amazing things happen. And the same is true for you.

This meant training myself and my mind to be 100% present in the moment because that is what matters. When I am fully present, I can address whatever I am presented with or ask for help to do so. When I am checked out or multi-tasking the day away, I will miss the moments that matter; the moments where I have the personal power to act on my behalf in a positive way. And the same is true for each of you.

And, when shame comes flooding in and causes us to retreat into ourselves, transformation is put on hold while we navigate the toxic shame. It’s important to be able to differentiate guilt from shame. Guilt tells me that I made a mistake. Shame tells me that I am a mistake. I definitely used to feel a lot of shame and wanted to erase myself from life. There was no apologizing for being a mistake; only for making one. My first step was to shift my beliefs from shame to guilt. My second step was to examine my beliefs about my guilt and release myself from my self-imposed prison because I wasn’t guilty of all that I had heaped on myself. The mistakes I had made I could apologize for, whether to myself or others. And then it was time to move on.

We are each the meaning maker in our life. And, we can rescript, direct and star in a new movie of our life; one in which we win. For this to happen, we need skills – and specifically Executive Function skills. And therein lies the problem.

Do you know that a significant number of adults worldwide have some level of underdevelopment in their Executive Function life skills, whether or not they have ADHD? It’s true; whether the source of these deficits developed as a result of chronic depression or anxiety or addictions or traumatic experiences, many of us are living with the fallout from these deficits. That was certainly the case for me, for many of these reasons, and probably for you as well.

When I think of the fallout, shame comes to mind. It is one of the feelings many adults experience as a result of underdeveloped Executive Function skills. Shame describes our feelings of inadequacy that are created by our internalized negative beliefs about ourselves. Personal insecurities, secrets, mistakes and perceived flaws can all trigger shame responses, causing us to become extremely self-conscious, self-critical, and embarrassed. Shame is focused on our disapproval of and disappointment in aspects of our self rather than on our actions. Shame leaves us feeling vulnerable, inadequate and even unworthy of love or positive attention; it drives us to hide. The two most powerful shame weapons are “you are never good enough” and “who do you think you are?” I heard both of these statements from others as well as from myself. I learned that It’s important to be able to shift shame to guilt so it's about behavior and not about self. We can all learn and adapt when we make a mistake. There is no learning or adaptation when we are the mistake; when shame is in control. Shame shuts us down because we are bad, wrong, and shouldn’t even exist.

In one of her Ted Talks, Brene Brown shared that for women, shame is “do it all, do it perfectly, and never let them see you sweat.” It’s horrible that women’s shame is driven by this unattainable idea of who we are supposed to be. It’s similar to what I found in my research years ago when writing about the negative idealized body image of women; not much has changed. For men shame is “do not be perceived as weak.” In other words, we ask men to be sensitive, listen to us when we talk about what we are feeling, but to not show their feelings.

And the antidote to shame – it’s empathy. Shame grows exponentially with secrecy, silence and judgment. It’s why we need safe spaces and communities of people who are also safe for us to be ourselves with; to break the silence and share the secrets that others can relate to because they have kept those same secrets. The 2 most powerful words to hear when we are struggling with shame are “me too.” Shame drives us to numb our feelings in so many ways, and when we do, we numb everything because it’s not a selective process. To bypass the numbing, we can choose to be vulnerable, which is the courageous path forward to our freedom. And to choose to be vulnerable, we need to know that we will be safe from judgment and further shaming. I feel blessed to be able to create such safe spaces.

Speaking of being courageous, have you stepped up to find out if your Executive Function life skills are underdeveloped? And if so, are you ready to step up and do something about that underdevelopment? I am on a mission to make sure that every adult on this planet of ours knows the state of their Executive Function life skills, if that is of interest to them. I created a free PDF so you can find out the state of your EF skills called, “13 Signs Weak Executive Functioning Is Holding You Back”. And, if that PDF shows you that your EF skills are lacking, you can do something about that right away. Yes, right away. I created The Transformation Club to serve that purpose. Links for both are in the show notes.

You know how you struggle to organize your life and prioritize your time? And when you schedule things, they typically don’t happen the way you intended them to? Or, how you get overwhelmed easily, have been fired from a number of jobs, and are looking for a solid path forward so you can live your best life, but are coming up with empty promises from the many gurus out there who are offering you hacks or workarounds instead of real solutions?

I’m an Executive Function life skills expert. I move into your online life, if you allow me to, and teach you how to develop your underdeveloped Executive Function life skills, which is more than just organizing, prioritizing and self-management, so that you can be competent and feel confident in all that you do.

When you are ready to take the first step to develop your Executive Function life skills, the process is really simple. First, get The Transformation Club roadmap, where you see which Executive Function skills you will be developing. Second, watch the brief video message from me, and read the details of how I will be serving your needs in The Transformation Club. You’ll get a sense of me from the video, and an understanding of the value I will be adding to your life from the details on the video page. If this speaks to you as one of the fastest and more effective ways you can start to develop your Executive Function life skills right away, with a time commitment and price that makes sense for you, then click the ENROLL NOW button and I’ll see you on the inside. Be sure to introduce yourself in the private community forum as well as enjoy the initial training videos already available. We have our first live training session on December 7, 2022.

There are only so many years left for you to live your best life with well-developed Executive Function skills.

My students live a more competent and confident life, and actually excel both personally and professionally. They are able to take care of their adult responsibilities with greater efficiency, and feel good about themselves as well.

I am offering a time-limited opportunity that goes away at midnight on November 30, 2022. If you enroll before that deadline, you will be upgraded to LIFETiME membership. You still have time to get in on this extraordinary offer AND to develop your Executive Function life skills, if that’s of interest to you.

Whether the cause of your underdeveloped executive function skills is ADHD, traumatic experiences, depression, anxiety, addictions, chronic illnesses or something else, the lack of these skills puts you in a bad situation. You can spend your time pursuing a diagnosis and perhaps medication and this process can take months and sometimes years, depending on where you live. Or, you can go straight to the solution, so you can successfully perform the basics of your adult life and more. You can always pursue a diagnosis or medication while you are actively engaged in the solution, but waiting is wasting precious time. Are you seriously committed to wasting time or to transforming your life? It one or the other. And if now is your time, I can help you. If now isn’t your time, I can’t help you because I can’t do the transformational work for you.

The literature says that if we don’t have well-developed EF skills by age 25 or 30, then we have what we have and we will need workarounds for the rest of our life. I don’t accept that’s all that can ever happen for us. Neuroplasticity dictates that as long as we're here and alive, we can continue to develop the skills we need. It doesn't cap out at 25 or 30 and that’s it. It’s one of those limiting beliefs, like running the 4-minute mile, and if you believe it’s true, it will stop you in your tracks and hold you back for life. I know from personal experience that age 30 isn’t the end of our developmental window of time, because I developed my own EF skills after age 30 and so have my students.

We all create our own reality and that reality is based on our perception of the information and stimulus that comes into our mind, as well as the meanings we make out of it; nothing comes with any meaning. We are the meaning makers in our life and we have the power to change the meanings we have given to any experience once we have the skills and strategies to do so. Do you want that power for yourself?

In my reality, you are a precious child of the universe; and are called a “human being” not a “human doing” for good reason. You don’t have to earn your value; you were born with it. Your value comes from “who” you are “being”; not what you are doing, which means that you can wake up every day with your value 100% and that’s pretty awesome. It’s a great win.

Speaking of wins, what’s it going to be for you today? You stayed present in a conversation with a friend and actually heard what they were sharing with you; that’s wonderful. You decided that it’s time to let go of some of the excess stuff you’ve been holding onto for years now; that’s awesome. You have started a gratitude journal and have been consistently writing in it every night before you go to sleep for a full week now; that’s fantastic. Each one of these WINS deserves your full-hearted celebrating! YES!!! WOW!!! AWESOME!!! I know you all have wins – big and small – and I am hopeful that you are celebrating them all every day.

How much time do we have? Not much. So, let’s get to it.

I’m curious…what do you believe comes first: thinking or feeling? The vote is usually split; feelings just happen and thoughts just pop into your head. For me, the answer is neither. Instead, it is what I believe that comes first. Remember the expression if you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right either way? What you believe determines the outcomes in your life. Your beliefs determine your thoughts. Your thoughts determine your feelings. Your feelings determine your behavior. When we want to change, we typically target our behaviors; the weakest place to start.

We all experience life differently because we create our own reality out of the ingredients of our life experiences. We filter, delete and distort those experiences based on our beliefs. And so, even if the best information is given to you about something important to you, it might never reach your mind to take action on because of your subconscious beliefs. One of the reasons I address limiting beliefs early on is because I know how powerfully they impact our outcomes. Thoughts are just patterns that can be broken. But beliefs run deep; sometimes multi-generationally and societally deep. My parents believed, my grandparents believed, my teachers believed, and so on. If we aren’t aware of our beliefs and if we don’t challenge them when we discover limiting beliefs, we could become the victims of our limiting beliefs.

Imagine how much you loved running as a kid, if you did, and growing up hearing that you had to be careful to not run too fast because your heart would explode if you did. Scary thought. And then, you were an adult in 1954 when Roger Bannister, an English neurologist and middle-distance athlete did the forbidden and impossible by being the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. What would that do to your belief that you couldn’t and shouldn’t run fast? It would probably bust that limiting belief and free you up to run as fast as you were physically able to. How is that possible? One day you dare not run too fast and the day after Roger Bannister did the impossible, so did you. This is how it works. As soon as there is an exception to a limiting belief, there is the opportunity to surpass that limiting belief. And, it doesn’t have to be you who creates the exception; it can be another person. If it’s possible for him or her, it’s possible for you.

Being a Gifted Underachiever is a tough way to live. Tons of limiting beliefs. An identity that keeps you locked into the past. Many of my students are afraid and they are doing the work in spite of their fears because of the enormous amount of support they receive from their fellow students. It’s good to know that others are also afraid and that they are stepping forward even while they are afraid. And, it’s amazing how the fears fade away when we do this.

It may not feel like it, but you are 100% responsible for 100% of the outcomes in your life. I learned that if it’s to be, it’s up to me. I developed the willingness to go the distance; to do whatever it would take to reach my destination. I have met many people along the way who have wanted important changes in their life but were unwilling to invest their time, effort and energy to intentionally create the outcomes they were seeking.

As a Gifted Underachiever, we have accumulated a lot of disempowering stuff that we need to challenge and shed to make room for the empowering stuff we want to live with as an expression of our authentic self. If we didn’t have years and years of the disempowering stuff, we could just learn new skills and strategies and move on from there. However, to do so would be bringing in the new and laying it on top of the poisonous old stuff that would destroy our foundation for a successful, happy and healthy life.

Be willing to clean house and be intentional about what you bring into your life. Consider this reframe: What if everything that is coming into your life is happening “for you” instead of “to you”? I found this concept challenging in the beginning until I accepted that the life lessons I have experienced, are what I needed in order to learn what I needed to learn. Everything is, always has been and always will be just fine. Things have a way of working out; not necessarily the way I planned or envisioned, however, they have worked themselves out and that’s the point.

When I talk about us being responsible for the outcomes in our lives, I think of this as being “response-able.” We are able to respond. We can quit or we can figure things out. Both are responses. We can respond to any situation that life presents to us and how we choose to respond is up to each of us. What we learn from allowing ourselves to have exits or escapes is that quitting puts an end to the suffering that is self-inflicted. We are suffering because what we choose as our solution is escape that results in regret. We live from circumstances, not commitments. When we live from commitments, we get things done even if they are challenging or difficult. No exits, excuses or escapes. We stay put and get it done. We learn to make things interesting and even fun; rather than a chore or something horrible to avoid at all costs.

The message that I would love for each person getting a new ADHD diagnosis to hear is: You need to develop your Executive Function skills, and the fastest, most effective way is to join a reputable training program with an expert coach and trainer. And this holds true for other diagnoses as well; conditions I’ve previously mentioned.

My hope is that eventually more and more healthcare providers will see the benefits of specialized Executive Function Skills Training for adults, no matter what diagnosis we are given, since the development of these skills gets derailed for many conditions other than ADHD. And yes, it would be wonderful if we had been given this opportunity when we were kids, but that didn’t happen for most. We are being given this opportunity now, as adults, and it is our choice to close the gap now or not. Our quality of life depends on what we decide.

I hope you decide to join me in one of my programs so that I can serve your needs and help you to experience a newfound freedom that you most likely never knew could exist for you. I know for myself and my students, life on the other side of underdeveloped Executive Function skills is a life worth living and provides a feeling of personal renewal.

You came to this lifetime with an empowering gift, and I would love it if each and every person on this planet were able to express his or her unique, empowering gifts freely, without the threat of being shamed or criticized. Let’s put an end to that stigma once and for all and live as Empowered Achievers.

A Favorite Quote: Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

I love this quote because it’s so true. Whenever I feel irritated with another person, I immediately know that feeling is holding up a mirror for me to see something about myself so I can grow. What a gift.

If you’re loving the podcast, be sure to check out the show notes for how to get even more support:

· The Transformation Club – the affordable way for anyone to develop their Executive Function skills:

· Executive Function Information List & AIA-FS Program Information:

· Free PDF - 13 Signs Weak Executive Functioning Is Holding You Back:

· Grant Assistance Programs for UK Residents for the AIA-FS program:

And, if you’re seeking immediate help, check out The Transformation Club. It’s open now, there’s videos available to get started with, and our first live training happens December 7, 2022 with a replay available if you can’t make it live. And if you love GREAT opportunities, if you join before midnight on November 30th, you will be upgraded to LIFETIME membership.

Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts If you found value in this episode, please leave me a review on Apple Podcasts! Our mission is to help as many people as possible transform their lives, and when you leave a positive review, more people can find this podcast! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and tell me what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

If you are seriously ready to stop your needless suffering and free yourself from your personal prison, I look forward to seeing you in The Transformation Club now and inside the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills program in February 2023. All the links are in the show notes. And, if you are located in the UK, be sure to check out the information about the Grant Assistance that may be available to you for the AIA-FS program.

There are real solutions to the challenges you are experiencing, and they are available now. Time is our most precious asset, and none of us have time to waste on solutions that don’t work. I would love to help you realize a new freedom, that is…if that’s of interest to you. Thanks for listening… Until the next time… Bye for now…





Developing your Executive Function Skills and shifting your limiting beliefs is the fastest and most effective way to overcome ADHD limitations, find focus, gain confidence, and a newfound freedom in your life!   

My mission is to put an end to the worldwide needless suffering of adults with ADHD and those with under-developed Executive Function Skills - whether from ADHD, chronic depression or anxiety, trauma, addictions, or chronic illnesses.  And, you don't need a formal diagnosis to know you need help developing these executive function skills in order to greatly reduce your suffering.

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