Inherent Worth and Remorse

Hey there! Today I want to talk about another one of Dax Shepard’s podcast videos. His podcast if you don’t know it is called The Armchair Expert. I’ve already done one video on a topic that came up in another episode of his, but this video was the one in which he interviewed Anna Kendrick.

So in the episode, he tells a story about when he was having work done on his house and he came out in the morning and yelled at the workers (I can’t remember why.) And then he berated himself for yelling at the workers and by the end of the day he went back to the workers to apologize.

This, to me, was a really good example of shame turning into remorse. So, if you remember from any of my content that I show a circle near my core with my hands; this symbolizes inherent self worth.

Inherent self worth is:

I have worth just because I was born.
I can hold myself in warm regard despite my flaws and imperfections.

When we cannot get into the statement of: “I am equal to all”, we go into either a Better Than position (I show one hand above the core of inherent worth) or the Less Than position (below the core.) Berating ourselves is in a Less Than position.

Keeping in mind also that the emotion behind both Better Than and Less Than is the same. Some people call it “contempt” and I like to think of it as either contempt or judgment. If you are in a Better Than position, you are judging others, and if you are in a Less Than position, you are judging yourself.

So again, the emotion is the same, it’s a question of, “Where am I pointing it? In or out?” Sometimes there are words to go with it:

“Oh, I suck.”
“You suck.”

And sometimes it’s just an icky feeling.

So after Dax yelled at them he then berated himself and went into a Less Than ashamed of himself position. (Dax and I are not friends, so I’m just assuming as a therapist.) He could have been telling himself, “What’s wrong with me? I’m such a jerk.”

For me, I would not have words. I’d just be like feeling icky and closed in for the rest of the day. Feeling like I suck without actually having the thought.

When we are in Less Than or Better Than there are two places we can go from there. We can bounce from Less Than to Better Than. “Well, it’s not my fault for yelling at them. It’s their fault for messing up.”

Or, we can get into remorse. Remorse is that Healthy Center. It’s optimal. Which, again is where he went. It’s, “I can hold myself in warm regard despite my flaws and imperfections. I messed up. Bad on me.”

And remorse is:

“I can now focus on you. And what my behavior did to you. And I can come to you with my apology.” And it’s a clean apology. “I am sorry for what I did to you. How can I repair this?”

Now, we can’t control the other person’s reaction. He said that when he came back later in the day, the workers didn’t really know what to do with him. Not everyone in today’s society knows how to handle an apology. Frequently what I hear is someone apologizes and the other person says “It’s okay.” But it’s not okay. I am teaching my children (I try to model this in my house) that if someone apologizes, the best response is “thank you.”

I want to praise Dax for being able to get to his Healthy Center of inherent worth (without even using my lens!) Into that spot within him where he knows he is a decent person who just made a mistake.

My hope for everyone out there is that you are able to embody this lens of self esteem. And like me, you will start to hear it when you are out there in the world. Do you need help getting back to your core of inherent worth? Schedule a free call with me and let’s talk about coaching!