Why Releasing Shame and Leaning into Fear Are Worth Focusing On THIS Year

line drawing of a woman with a skirt with flowers growing out of it, kicking forward.

The transition into a new year is a beautiful time to pause, reflect, and set your intentions for the year to come. 

Retrospectively: What are you saying goodbye to and leaving in 2022?

Intentionally: What are you bringing in or focusing on in 2023? 

Go inward, be honest with yourself, and embrace whatever answers come to you. It’s not about looking back and seeing a perfect year, or looking ahead and having an endless list of ‘improvements’.

Rather, it’s about cultivating compassionate self-awareness that will allow you to make choices that will support your well-being moving forward. 

If you’d like some inspiration, here are some beautiful responses from the end of the year episode of The Recovery Warrior Shows:

Listen to this episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastPodcast AddictPocket CastsCastboxGoogle PodcastsStitcherAmazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.

RELEASING FEAR

When we are scared, anxious or intimated by something, our instinctive reaction is to shy away from that feeling of discomfort at all cost. To try and resist it. 

The thing is that the more we avoid fear, the deeper we get trapped in it. Like a snow globe that has been shaken up, it clouds our judgment and reinforces the fearful patterns in our brains.

When we can lean into fear and simply accept it for what it is, the snow begins to settle and we can act from a place of greater clarity. 

The more we avoid fear, the deeper we get trapped in it.

LEANING INTO FEAR

One of the ways you can begin to embrace those difficult emotions is to consistently and continuously reassure yourself. Speak self-affirming words, remind yourself how far you have come, and let that help you trust that you have what it takes to keep moving forward. 

That inner voice is the loudest when it doesn’t feel heard – the more we can lean into the feeling and face it with empathy and love, the quieter that voice becomes. 

Of course, this can be very uncomfortable, and something that needs to be practiced.

A wonderful way to do that is to simply allow yourself to feel that fear and anxiety when you’re exposed to something that stimulates it. You are aware of the discomfort but choose not to act out on the behavior, reminding yourself that emotions are like a wave that will come and go. They do not define you, and they will pass. 

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Awareness and self-compassion are two fundamental keys to the healing and recovery journey. 

RELEASING SHAME 

A voice that often comes along with fear and anxiety is shame. The belief that we are unlovable, flawed and unworthy. And just like fear, shame grows in silence, secrecy and resistance.

It becomes bigger and louder until you feel utterly trapped and chained by it. Your whole life becomes a performance, trying to prove that you are worthy of love and validation.

And yet, just like any pain we carry with us, it’s when we begin to shine light onto these shadow aspects of our human existence that they lose their power over us. When we are able to face those painful parts of ourselves with loving compassion rather than hateful resistance, we become free of them. 

EMBRACING THE DARKNESS

Embracing your darkness probably won’t happen overnight. Maybe it won’t even happen in a year. But little by little, step by step, choice by choice, its grip will soften, and you will begin to feel a sense of clarity, liberation and peace. 

The more you practice, the easier it will become, and the more your inner world changes, the more your outer world will reflect those changes as well. 

The more your inner world changes, the more your outer world will reflect those changes.

So take off your armour and allow yourself to soften. Lean into your fears, and face yourself with acceptance and compassion. You are inherently worthy and whole, simply by being alive in this human experience. You don’t have to do or be anything else.

MOVING FORWARD

An invaluable tool to bring on your healing journey and into the new year is consistency.

Daily growth habits that are achievable and that provide you with a container to reach the goals you set for yourself – be it recovery, personal growth, or anything else. 

They are a commitment to showing up for yourself and prioritizing your self-care and well-being. They are your toolbox for finding a greater sense of alignment and purpose in your life. 

When you focus on the process rather than the results, you are much more likely to follow through. Setting huge, unattainable goals only sets us up for failure.

When you focus on the process rather than the results, you are much more likely to follow through.


The more you engage in these small growth habits that allow you to feel centered and aligned, the more likely you are to be able to reach the bigger targets you’re aiming for in life. It’s not about lofty vision boards, but about consistent, daily actions. 

It’s really about the process, not the overnight result. Recovery is a process. Healing from trauma is a process. Embracing emotions is a process. Becoming the fullest expression of ourselves is a process.

And with the right mindset and tools, we can learn to fall in love with that process. 

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