NOTE: If you have not yet seen, the editor in chief of Max Sports & Fitness Magazine LaRue V. Baber will be attending FITposium 2015 to discuss what models need to know about pitching to magazines. The publication will also be casting for talents at the event. Be sure to sign up today to attend this event in Arizona on October 17.

I was in attendance of a non-profit storytelling organization a few weeks ago where six or seven people stood up in front of an audience of just over a hundred people to share a 10 minute story about their personal life and journey. All the stories this evening had a similar theme – but each was unique in that they were exclusive and of the private life of the storyteller.


One storyteller spoke about the illumination of traveling down various paths which guided her to where she is today which reminded me of a speech I gave to my Toastmasters group about all the unknown roads I’ve walked down and how they culminated to bring me to this point in my life.


However she also stated something that both shocked me and has been on my mind ever since. She said that this was the year of “no shame” for her. I think she actually said “hash tag no shame.”


The reason that got me concerned is I believe that is a dangerous stance to take. Shame is extremely important and vital to our growth and development. I would go as far to say that shame is a blessing that we have as it tells us when we need to make a course correction.


For example, consider the old adage of touching a hot stove. The sensation of heat and pain clues us in that we need to revise our approach moving forward and not touch the stove again while it is still hot.


Thus shame is a necessary barometer to know when we are in the wrong and need to redirect us.


There have been projects that I have looked at in hindsight and been ashamed of. Perhaps I could have organized it better, been more creative or put a better approach together. That sensation is shame clueing me into the fact that I need to adjust what I did before moving ahead. If I lacked shame, or felt no shame, I would continue providing a bad service or a bad project to my future clients.


Now when I say that shame is important – I am not trying to indicate that we should avoid pain from doing difficult, challenging and important work. There is no, nor should there be, shame in the pursuit of a higher level of excellence.


However without shame we run the risk of hubris and we become too confident, secure and comfortable in our positions and ourselves.


James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto