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Winning in the Dark: Shame and Anger

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Recently, I was speaking with an owner who was opening a second location.

Despite this being an exciting time for her school, she was drowning in shame.

“Chanie, I keep starting and stopping, starting and stopping,” she told me.

I asked her what she meant.

She told me she felt ashamed that she couldn’t be consistent with her decisions. “I keep creating policies, implementing them, then getting pushback, and changing the policy again. I feel like I’m always backing out of my commitments.”

First of all, there’s wisdom in flexibility, and sometimes updating a policy is the right step.

But in this owner’s case, she needed to build her self-trust so she could banish the shame.

And she was taking the perfect next step by exposing her difficult emotions in a conversation with me.

Shame thrives in the dark, but it withers in the light.

When you share your shame with a trusted mentor or community, it doesn’t seem so insurmountable anymore. This is what it means to win in the dark when it comes to shame.

Join me in the podcast this week for a conversation about:

  • Why shame and anger are common emotions for school leaders
  • What promotes the growth of shame and anger, and conversely, what loosens their grip
  • What your anger is telling you and to what extent you should listen
  • How to win in the dark by finding constructive ways to proceed around your anger
  • Real-life examples of how school leaders have overcome shame and anger, and managed to cultivate community and collaboration


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

If you want the guidance of a caring, experienced mentor as you navigate challenging emotions, I welcome you to work with Schools of Excellence through a Leadership Day Intensive. You’ll get a full day of on-demand, in-school training and discussions with me, plus various accountability check-ins, to help you and your team build a stronger, healthier center.

Don’t let shame thrive in the dark. Shine a light on it by joining a genuinely supportive community. You’ll loosen shame’s grip on your heart as you learning it’s safe to be vulnerable with like-minded school leaders who truly get it. Please apply for our Owner’s HQ and Director’s Inner Circle membership programs, where you’ll gain access to tools, resources, coaching, and community that will help you as you work toward building a school of excellence.

Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts

Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

More about the show:

If you are an Early Childhood director or owner, prepare to transform your school and life with the Schools of Excellence podcast. Tune in each week to learn from Chanie Wilschanski, the founder and host of the Schools of Excellence Podcast and a mom of 4 little kids. Each episode will be packed with tools and strategies – equipping you to build schools with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, collaborative culture, and beautiful quality of life.

Every week, Chanie shares the truth about the journey to excellence, the strategies that are working TODAY, and the mindset about the critical decisions and choices that you make every day which impact yourself, your teachers, parents, family, and children who you serve every day.

In addition to weekly solo episodes, she’ll also be inviting industry leaders and the changing makers of the landscape of education to give listeners the inside knowledge of what it takes to sustain excellence.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today for everything you need for your leadership journey!