Ep 108: What’s Taboo About This Work + How You or Your Kids As 5th Graders Can Help


  • In general, humans don’t want to talk about trauma and shame, and most of us don’t think we have either. Yet they’re two of the root causes for why you’re stuck, and dread parts of your life. 
  • When we don’t heal our trauma and shame, we perpetuate feeling insecure, scared, and living with perpetual stop doubt about who we are and what’s right for us. 
  • I teach how to love yourself and be in awe of your magnificence vs thinking you need to completely change who you are. 
  • When you keep thinking if I look at my trauma and shame I may need to completely change who I am, you don’t dive into understanding with curiosity and compassion which keeps these topics taboo. 
  • The solution to starting to heal some of your trauma and shame is to identify thoughts from the inner critic who says nasty things about you, and meet that voice like you’re a wise, beautiful, magical 5th grader. Yup, talking to yourself like you’re about 10 years old.

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There’s not ONE human on this planet who has escaped some level of trauma and shame.

Trauma and shame keep us small, scared, and filled with insecurities, and self doubt.

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, crime, a relationship breakup, death, or living through a natural disaster.

The shamed person doesn’t trust themselves, is always trying to fix themselves, and doesn’t know how to protect themselves from emotional harm.

And want to know part of why you’re feeling burnt out? Yup shame and trauma.

Trauma increases shame, and shame increases trauma.

Yet most of us would rather not talk about either of these topics.

They’re taboo.


Why would we not want to talk about something that everyone experiences?

Why would we not want to talk about what  keeps each of us to varying degrees feeling scared, living small lives, and not enjoying our current life. So many of us wish we were someone else with their better life?!

Here’s why.

Because talking about shame and trauma leaves us feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable. We fear our feelings.

As a shame researcher, Brene Brown started the conversation about shame in 2014 with her Ted Talk, “Listening to Shame”. Thank you Brene!

I invite you to start a movement and change the collective narrative around shame and trauma.

Embrace the discomfort of being vulnerable, and start talking about shame and trauma.  We ALL experience it. It’s a part of the human experience. You are not alone in this one.

Be brave and talk to 5 people this week about their experiences. Be kind and loving with yourself and each other as you each share.

You’ll feel more amazing love and connection in your life when you do this.

Let’s destigmatize this sh*t we carry around daily like a heavy backpack on our backs, weighing us down, keeping work and our lives feeling hard.

This week I’m offering you a brand new way to start meeting the parts of you that experience trauma and shame so you can see, love, and accept all of your amazing self.

Seeing your own magnificence will help you trust your dreams and desires for your career, and build a big juicy life you’re passionately in love with.

Learn more about my corporate coaching course The Rockstar Program. 

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Tag me @sarahlmoody

You got this, rockstar.

Loving this work? Follow me on LinkedIn @sarahlmoody for more cognitive coaching and book a complimentary workshop for your team at sarahmoody.com!

Download Full Episode Transcript

Welcome to Rock Your Brain. Rock Your Life. The only podcast hosted by a high achieving tech entrepreneur and certified coach that teaches you how to use proven cognitive tools to rewire your brain and break through the second pandemic. Burnout. If you lead a company or badass team and need a proven evidence based cognitive course to retain and develop them.

This podcast is for you. Sarah helps humans break through burnout, have insane work life balance, and feel magical at work and in their lives again. Here's your host certified coach and tech industry entrepreneur, Sarah Moody.

Hey, Rockstars, how are you doing this week? I hope you're doing pretty awesome. I am. I'm here in San Francisco and I'm actually very excited about this weekend because I will be at a music festival for two days. At Pier 80 on the water dancing with friends, lots of EDM, electronica, DJ, dancing for, I think about 10 hours both days.

So life is feeling pretty magical right now. So today I wanna talk about what's taboo about this work that I do about coaching and how you or your kids as fifth graders can 


Right. Okay. Let's dive in. So as many of you know, if you've been listening for a while, I love the cognitive tools of visualizing your future self and visualizing your past self.

So if you've not listened to episode 19, that talks about visualizing your future self and the power of that tool, feel free to start there. Or if not, we'll just dive right in. So first let's talk about what's taboo about the personal development space, the therapy space, the coaching space, this general space that I'm in. What's taboo that no one wants to talk about,

other than a few thought leaders, are two things. One is the big picture impacts on your mental health, like trauma and shame. Yes, we do have Brene Brown to thank for helping us understand shame. And if you have not listened to her TedTalk, I highly recommend listening to her TedTalk about shame.

So taboo is the impacts on mental health, like shame and trauma. And number two is some healing modalities of mental health, specifically loving yourself or self love and feeling your feelings. 

So let's first talk about, trauma and shame some of the big picture levers that can impact your mental health.

So trauma can be, you know, for some of us we've healed some trauma for some of us, there's still trauma that has not been healed. And you know, all of us need to decide on different parts of our journey, whether we wanna heal trauma or not. And then there's big trauma and little trauma, like big T and little T trauma. You know, big T trauma could be like a big life threatening event or situation. Like, you know, I moved to the US from outside of the us when I was 13. I mean, that was like, it was, it was really a big thing for me that caused a lot of disruption in my life, but big trauma could also be like a violent crime, a school shooting, you know, a big car accident, death of a parent, you know, ongoing abuse can also qualify as like big trauma and little trauma. Could be things like, um, like events that, you know, don't involve violence or like a disaster, but, you know, create some level of distress. So the death of a pet, losing a job, a breakup breakup, romantically, a breakup with a friend.

so these things don't, you know, necessarily, you know, threaten your physical safety, but they can produce, you know, the same level of trauma response in your body. And so trauma is something that all of us have gone through in some way, shape or form, you know, my parents getting divorced. Moving to another country.

My dad getting remarried, like, you know, my stepbrother bullying me like the list for all of us of trauma is long, but we don't wanna talk about trauma. We don't wanna think that we've experienced trauma, but every single one of us has trauma in our cells of our body, in our cellular memory. Okay. That's that's known, that's a fact like a circumstance.

And the other thing that we don't wanna talk about that's taboo in this field is shame. Yes. Thank you Brene for bringing shame into the conversation. Yay. And also too, the reason why I'm really curious about shame too, is one of my mentors, I'm doing a five week shame clinic with her to learn how to, you know, unshame myself.

And I'm teaching that to all of my clients and why this is so important is shame stops you from having a healthy relationship with. When you have a lot of shame in your body, you don't have the skills to know what's right or wrong for you. And so when you live with a lot of shame, you don't trust yourself.

And there's a feeling of like, there's something very wrong with me. And you're always looking outside of you for the answers, you know, looking to the coach, looking to the teacher, looking to the book And you don't believe that you're okay or that you might even know the right answers. Almost like, Hey, somebody tell me what to do or what to think.

As you know, there's something wrong with me, I'm defective and I can't trust my own answers. The second thing that happens when you live with a lot of shame is you keep trying to fix yourself because your inner experience of who you are, your relationship with yourself is unreliable. So here again, you're looking outside at the teacher, the healer, the movement, the book to fix yourself.

But the more you look to fix this from outside of yourself to tell your brain that now you've got the answer. The more you're telling yourself that you yourself can't be trusted. And the third thing that happens when you live with a lot of shame is you fail to protect yourself. In relationships. So, you know, a great example is, something really terrible happened with a family member of mine a couple weeks ago.

And, I have now put a boundary in place where I will no longer be in a relationship with them. Now, when you live with a lot of shame, if something really terrible happens to you, you don't trust that you are in danger. You think I, you know, and this is how I used to think before I started doing this work.

 I didn't read the signals correctly. They, you know, they're right and I'm wrong. Like, why did I do that thing that hurt them? Right. So it's always like, what's wrong with me versus ouch. Okay. This person effed up, this is a really bad thing. I know that this is a healthy boundary that I need to put in place. And the reason why it's important to protect yourself too, is you want to stop other humans hurting you with, really important ways that kind of tell you that you don't know your own reality.

So big picture. No one wants to talk about shame, hard to talk about trauma, but these two big things totally impact your mental health and kind of two levers to heal. Your mental health are self love and feelings. And these are also two things that most humans don't like, it's kind of taboo to talk about loving yourself and.

Definitely taboo to talk about your feelings, right? Like our society's conditioned us to believe that we should be smart, thinking, creative, you know, logical people, right? Like that's the more kind of value trait of humans in our society. If you are kind of too creative and not scheduled and more like an artist and all these things like, you know, there can be a lot of judgment.

And what I wanna offer to you is self love and feeling your feelings can completely heal your relationship with yourself and your life and how you show up at work and how you show up in relationships and all the things. So I talked a lot about like unintentional or negative thoughts and then intentional thinking or like thinking that serves you and, and you know, all the work that I do is helping you see the unintentional thoughts in your brain that are not serving you.

Like whatever I'm old and fat and really finding thoughts that serve you, that, you know, don't make you feel like crap. So this work about self love and processing your feelings is, as you do thought work is noticing the unintentional thoughts where you're mean to yourself and shame. Is like how, you know, there's shame in your body and in your life shutting you down is when you have all those critical thoughts about yourself.

So those thoughts, like I'm fat. I'm not getting enough done. There's something wrong with me. Um, I can't make enough money. I can't figure out how to, you know, get my work done on time at work, you know, all those critical thoughts about yourself are correlated to shame. So you being mean to yourself is not helpful.

And it's actually making you feel worse. Of course. And so. I have a new kind of little twist for you around thought work and finding new believable thoughts to kind of help you shift how you feel about yourself. So what I wanna offer to you today is that I want you to start practicing that it's not okay to say mean things to yourself.

Okay. It's not okay. It's not okay to say I'm lazy. I'm fat. I'm not making enough money. I will never find love because I'm a loser. I can't figure out my job. It is not okay to be mean to yourself. So make a declaration. This is not okay. Okay. And by making this declaration, you can start healing some of the shame that's in your body.

So what I want you visualize right now is visualize your past self or maybe it's your child or it's someone in your life that you love and who loves you, who's about 10 years old. Okay. Who's in fifth grade and I want you to visualize that human right now, and then what I want you to do. There's three steps that I want you to do the next time you notice that you look in the mirror and you're like, I'm old and fat or I suck at work.

There's three things I want you to do. I want you to state the unintentional thought, like I'm fat and lazy, and I want you to visualize saying I'm fat and lazy to your child, who's 10 years old or that human who's 10 years old, who really loves you, who really like you can feel that loving kind relationship.

So step one, state that unintentional thought to the human who's 10 years old, like your kid or yourself, and visualize saying that unintentional thought like I'm fat and lazy. and then I, and then step two is what does the 10 year old say back to you? What do they say back to you when they hear this? So close your eyes and really visualize hearing and feeling their response.

Like when I talk to my 10 year old, Sarah, who's 10, you know, when I say that to her I'm fat and lazy, here's what she says to. Oh, my God, you are so beautiful and incredible. And I love you so much. That's literally what she says back to me. And if that's too much of a stretch, then maybe the first thought is I love you.

Or maybe the first thought is I don't agree with you. I don't think you're fat and lazy. And I love you. What does that 10 year old? Say back to you. I want you to visualize and hear and feel their response in your body. That's step two, step three is we've talked a lot about like yourself talk, you coaching yourself.

So step three is talking to yourself and coaching yourself. So what I want you to then say back to yourself is I'm no longer gonna say that to myself anymore. Whatever the thought is like I'm fat and lazy. I'm no longer gonna say that to myself anymore. I'm a perfectly imperfect human. Or I'm no longer gonna say that to myself anymore.

I know that my body is enough or I'm no longer gonna say that to myself anymore. I know that I'm not lazy. I logically know that I'm not lazy, but the thought has to be just a feeling of, of peace, a feeling of some level of acceptance of who you are. And even when you talk back to yourself, I want you to visualize, like, for me, it's very easy to visualize my loving kind 10 year old me.

So visualize that little 10 year old, like talking back to you, right. And then you, and then you saying to yourself, I'm no longer gonna say that to myself anymore. I want you to do this three step practice for one unintentional thought for 21 days every day. So identify an unintentional thought. That's on flipping repeat it's on spin cycle in the washing machine

whatever that thought is for me three years ago, before I start, like when I hired my coach, Brooke and started doing thought work, that thought was, I'm not that smart. I'm not smart. Like that was on repeat every day around everything I did. So find one of those that's like your dog that chews on the bone, you know, he just keeps chewing and chewing and chewing and then let's unravel that for 21 days. So step one, state it, state the thought state, the unintentional thought, visualizing saying it to your 10 year old. Step two. What does the 10 year old say back to you? When you say this, I want you to visualize and feel their response. Step three, self talk, coaching yourself. Tell yourself

hey, listen, I love you. We are no longer gonna say that to ourselves anymore. I'm a perfectly imperfect human or my body's. Okay. I'm thin enough. I'm smart enough. So 21 days.

 I invite you to change the collective narrative around shame and trauma.

Embrace the discomfort, do the hard thing and be vulnerable and start talking about shame and trauma. We all experience it. It's a part of the human experience. You are not alone in this one. So I invite you to be brave and talk to five people this week about their experience with shame and trauma and be kind and loving with yourself and each other, as you share, you'll feel more amazing love and connection inside of you for yourself and in your life.

When you do this. Let's destigmatize this shit we carry around daily, like a heavy backpack on our backs, weighing us down, keeping work and our lives feeling hard. 

All right. I love you all so much and feel free to send me a note on LinkedIn or Instagram or email us, at sarahmoody.com

let us know if you have any questions, and have a beautiful rest of your day. And I can't wait to talk to you next week.

 If you're loving what you're learning in the podcast, you have to come and check out the rockstar program. It's my coaching program, where we take these neuroscience based cognitive tools and we use them daily to break through burnout. So you can fall passionately in love with your life and your career again.

So join me over at SarahMoody.com/rockstarprogram. I would love to have you join me. You can also follow me at Sarah L moody on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I can't wait to see you.



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