Connecting Shame to Productivity

Connecting Shame to Productivity May 24, 2017

Is all productivity motivated by shame, or fear of shame? I’m not sure, but I’m intrigued to learn more about this phenomenon.

Our roadtrip mascot.
Our roadtrip mascot.

One of the things we’ve doing on this roadtrip is listening to Brene Brown’s audiobook The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection and Courage. I’ve written about Brown’s work on vulnerability in posts processing vulnerable feelings, and I’m enjoying hearing more about her research.

Lots of what she’s saying resonates with me. I’m especially curious about the links between productivity and shame, since she implies that those of us who are compelled to be productive do so in order to silence our internal “shame tapes” about our sense of self-worth.

I write a series called Workaholic Missives in which I mostly jest about the not-so-glamorous life of a workaholic. I don’t perceive myself as motivated by a desire to avoid shame, but then, I know humans trick themselves into believing all sorts of things.

What do you think – are productive people generally trying to out-work their sense of shame? Or are there multiple ways to read productive impulses?

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