Shame and Blame Smell the Same

A mentor of mine once said “Shame and Blame smell the same”. At the time, I don’t think I really understood what he meant. How could shame and blame possibly be confused?

And then one day it hit me.

I was watching a friend endure a not-so-clean break up. My friend had taken what started as a clean break and accidentally turned the whole situation into shambles. I watched from the sidelines and waited for the ownership to show up and apologies to be made. Instead, my friend managed to shift the blame to the ex.

I felt frustrated. How could this whole situation flip so completely? And then I remembered “Shame and Blame smell the same”.


When we feel embarrassed or upset at what we have done, instead of feeling healthy shame, we can sometimes shift this into blaming someone else.


Why do we do this? A lot of our behaviours are centred around survival and self-preservation. Our “Survival Self” feels that it’s easier to blame someone else so that we don’t have to own our part we have played. By avoiding this, we don’t have to feel bad about ourselves and we don’t have to endure back lash from others (as long as we can successfully keep up the “victim” role).


The really unfortunate thing about this is that we don’t actually learn from situations if we aren’t allowing ourselves to feel shame. Have a think about any time you have been embarrassed for acting without integrity. I bet that 9 times out of 10 you have not put yourself in that situation again, by choice, because you don’t want to feel that way again. Shame is how we learn and we are doing a massive disservice by not allowing ourselves to properly process this emotion.


It is HEALTHY to feel shame to an extent. But remember, it can also be a slippery slope. Some people take shame to the next level and feel guilty far beyond what is necessary. Once you have recognised the shame you are feeling and why, own it. This can look like an apology for hurting someone, or sharing how you would do things differently. Once you have made amends, IT IS OK to move on.


Some of the best advice I have ever been given was this:

“Stop. Recognise what you are doing. Learn from it. And move forward. That isn’t who you are anymore”.


So I’m telling you now:


Recognise what you are doing.

Learn from it.

And move forward.

That isn’t who you are anymore.




5 Tools to Purify Your Communication

Have you ever had an argument with your partner over something seriously silly? All because what you (or they) said just didn’t come out properly? I have definitely been there. More times than I would care to admit. This is how I learnt the hard way that communication is super duper important.

You may have heard that words only make up 10% of our communication? Well... that’s partially true. Two studies done back in 1967 found that body language and vocal tone make up more than 90 per cent of our communication*. In fact the specific break down is 55% body language, 38% vocal tone and only 7% actual words.

When you think about all of these components, it leaves us open to MANY interpretations. But another thing to keep in mind is that context is also a MASSIVE aspect of this stuff. Our context is usually very different from another person’s which means one phrase can mean something specific to you, but something completely different to them.

Often we are quick to place the responsibility of interpretation of our words on the other person. A classic “well that’s not how I meant it so it’s your fault if you take it the wrong way” (again, I have played this blame game, and it doesn’t work for anyone involved). To a small extent this is true; it is entirely up to the person how they perceive what you have said.

But what if you could take responsibility for how you communicate? If you could become much clearer in your languaging, this would allow less room for contextual issues which can injure a relationship.

Here are my five tools to purify your communication:

    If your body language is domineering (eg you’re standing over someone as you say it) then the chances are what you’re saying will be interpreted this way (remember body language is 55% of communication). It’s really important to keep your body language in line with what you are trying to convey.


    Similarly, if you are speaking loudly or with certain inflections, this can come across as anger. Be mindful of your tone when you talk. If you’re not sure, clarify with the person you are communicating with. Sometimes my words have come out with a certain tone/inflection and I have said “I realise that sounded angry. I’m actually not angry so let me rephrase how I would like that to have sounded”. This might sound a little extreme, but wouldn’t you rather nip a communication error in the bud than try and go back later? This is why it’s so easy to have a communication breakdown via text messaging!


    This is another complex component to communication. Some words can have a completely different meaning for different people. It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your languaging is not charged or running a secret agenda and that it steers away from negative, hurtful or nasty words. Take a breath and think about what you want to say. Then ask yourself if you can word it better.

    If something you are about to say has a contextual reference, clarify it with the person you are speaking to. Once my husband referred to me with a word that, in his context, meant I was cute and loveable. However, my definition of the word was not the same (in fact, I found it offensive). Here, we had the opportunity to clarify our context so that I wasn’t taking offence to his compliment. Context can often depend on upbringing, culture and life experience. If in doubt, clarify.

    This is one that I cannot stress enough. If you are authentic in what you are saying, this will always shine through. When you are authentic, it is easier to speak clearly and positively because you are in alignment with what you are talking about.

If you are able to own these tools and take responsibility for them, you are also opening yourself up to an opportunity to improve. Which only furthers your growth in this area.

What’s amazing is that it can also improve your confidence. Have you ever laid in bed at night stressing about how you think offended someone? By improving your communication with others, these kind of scenarios are reduced. It also means that if there are any “communication breakdowns”, you are more equipped to deal with them through your new tools.

“Self-consciousness kills communication”-- Rick Steves

If you could benefit from coaching around communication, send an email to

Mehrabian & Wiener, 1967 and Mehrabian & Ferris, 1967

How to Succeed at Failing 101

Your beliefs steer everything.

Good or bad, what you believe will impact what happens to you, every day.

You may have heard the saying “If you knew how powerful your thoughts were, you would never think another negative thought”. What we think and what we believe can propel us towards a particular outcome. Unfortunately, this isn’t only true with positive thoughts.

We all have unsupportive beliefs which are referred to as “sabotaging beliefs”. These beliefs create an emotion within us which drive us to behave a certain way. This is where we subconsciously use these behaviours to ensure our lives live up to the sabotaging belief (because as humans, we often would rather be right, than be happy… ridiculous right?).

A great example of a relatively common sabotaging belief is “I’m not good enough”. You may not walk around thinking “I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough” every day, this is what our subconscious behaviours (known as sabotaging strategies) are for. Instead, you may think “I’m not as good as John at this job” or “Dianne is stronger than I am, I won’t be able to keep up with her at the gym”. You might tell yourself that you feel weak today, or you feel a bit of a niggle which means you can’t do your best. These are just a few subconscious strategies. We use a lot of strategies to ensure we maintain our sabotaging belief, and the more we do, the more that belief gains traction and creates a really crappy cycle.

Here’s a common example: athletes who don’t believe they are good enough to reach the top of their competition can often find they will get injured in the lead up to or during an event. So they spend time stressing out about how this injury will hold them back in future events, not just this one. Eventually they resume training for the next competition, meanwhile thinking, “what happens if I get injured again” or “what if I’ve missed my chance?”. As the next competition approaches, these thoughts can be more prevalent and lead to another injury or poor outcome in the event.

But do you think Tiger Woods ever went to take a swing and thought “what if I don’t get the ball close enough to the hole?”. NO. And that is why he has been so successful.

How can you succeed if you are constantly sabotaging yourself??

You can’t.

So change.

Get clear on HOW you are sabotaging yourself (and to be perfectly blunt, if you have never done any personal development: there WILL be some sabotaging beliefs for you to work on). Sometimes you won’t see it because you are so enrolled in it or because it’s subconscious. With coaching, we bring the subconscious behaviours to the conscious so that we can work on changing them and create Success Strategies instead to drive you towards Success.




Done is better than "Perfect"

How often do we actually think that?

Do you know how long it has taken me to write a blog post? A ridiculously long time.

A while ago I decided that I had to plan my blog posts in advance before I started writing them. But I also wanted to have a chunk of them written in advance for a smoother transition. It was logical, I thought. Better for business. And whilst I still believe that, it was actually getting me nowhere. I hadn’t sat down and coordinated my perfect grand plan. I wrote and re-wrote blog ideas too many times over. I wanted to perfect one before moving on to another. I would add content for more depth. Then I would subtract for simplicity. I would add more for clarity. And then subtract to reduce confusion and repeating. It was exhausting and as I said, it got me nowhere.

Which leads me to a coaching call I had. I expressed my frustration and my coach said to me (gently but also with enough oomph to let me know my excuses were not being accepted) “Kristina, done is better than perfect”.

It took a while for that to sink in. But it made sense. Writing doesn’t have to be perfect. No one will scold me for writing a crappy blog. The world wouldn’t end and I wouldn’t die if my blog was just average. So why would I waste precious energy trying to perfect something that would never be perfect?? I have great content to deliver to you guys and getting that information across to you is far more important (even if it’s imperfect), than not delivering at all!

When we hold back like this, we aren’t just affecting ourselves. We are also affecting our immediate friends and family, as well as the people in our community. How many people could you positively impact? How much energy would you save if you didn’t worry about being perfect? How much more authentic could you be with your family and friends if you weren’t trying to be perfect?

What if you could be accepting of yourself and your efforts and have confidence in yourself that you are doing your best, and that that is good enough? How much more success would you achieve and more importantly, how much happier would you be?

Whether you’re stepping into the Crossfit Open or doing a marketing plan for work or redoing the backyard at home, “Done is better than perfect” and you have the potential to feel “good enough” in knowing that.

So challenge yourself. When you catch yourself trying to do more, trying to be perfect, trying to lift heavier, go faster or whatever it may be, stop and check in with yourself. What are you trying to achieve by being “perfect”? Will it ever actually be “perfect”? Probably not. So breathe, and remember “done is better than perfect” and I bet you will see the truth in that statement.

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously”