From Shame to the Slopes: How One Teacher's Mistake Fueled a Lifelong Passion

Author: Crystal Clear Transitional Care Inc. | | Categories: Clinical Practice Research


Turning a negative experience into a positive force can be incredibly empowering. Today, I, Donna Sirr Collins, want to share a story about shame and how it ultimately became the fuel for a personal journey of growth and adventure.

Like Brené Brown, the renowned shame researcher, I, too, have a story to tell about the impact of shame. Back in junior high, a new teacher's flippant question about downhill skiing exposed a deep-seated insecurity. Coming from a large family with financial limitations, skiing wasn't part of our reality. In that moment, the weight of poverty and exclusion settled heavily.

But shame, as I discovered, doesn't have to be the end of the story. The experience planted a seed of determination. Years later, with a family of my own, I refused to let my children experience the same sting of shame. The opportunity arose when I worked at an insurance agency offering free ski passes. I seized it, learning alongside others who were kind enough to include me.

This newfound passion for skiing led to countless family trips across breathtaking mountains: Panorama, Lake Louise, and even Polley Mountain, a "hill" as my husband jokingly called it. My initial impatience with the bunny hill melted away in the face of my children's enthusiasm. We fell, we laughed, and we kept going.

Shame may have tried to hold me back, but it ultimately became the catalyst for a lifetime of adventure. This experience begs a crucial question: Can shame be transformed into motivation? My journey is a resounding "yes!"

This is just the beginning of a global conversation on shame. Let's explore its complexities together. Can we learn to use shame as a force for positive change? Share your stories in the comments below!

Reach out to me at Crystal Clear Transitional Care Inc.!

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