Andrea Owen: Building Shame Resilience for Burnout Recovery

52m | Mar 10, 2024

“Shame is driving the bus of our lives,” says life coach, keynote speaker, author and “hell-raiser” Andrea Owen, who joins the FRIED podcast. In this episode, Andrea shares a four-step process toward building shame resilience, which she learned while studying under author and professor Brene Brown. Many of the behaviors that we engage in–perfectionism, people pleasing, control– are what Brene Brown calls “the armor”. These tactics are means of avoiding shame. 

One initial helpful step to building resilience is to become aware of how our shame manifests. Another major step toward building shame resilience is reaching out to others whom you can trust and who have earned the right to hear your story. 

Andrea and Cait have advice for those who feel they have no one to whom they can reach out. For those who have always been the “shower-upper” in the relationship, they get into the specifics of how to set the groundwork to allow people to show up for you. 

There is no escaping the feeling of shame. It is a human emotion, like joy or sadness. We all experience it and pretty regularly. Instead, we can build resilience to it, and talking about it, as we are on this episode of FRIED, is also a major part of building that resilience.


  • “Shame likes to hide. Shame is a solo-preneur It likes to be behind the scenes. It’s like a ghostwriter, almost. It doesn’t like to be named.” (12:04 | Caitlin Donovan and Andrea Owen)
  • “Largely, shame is an unconscious feeling and experience that we have because when it is that way, it’s able to do its job better. Its job is to keep us small; its job is to keep us from connecting with other humans; its job is to keep us in line.” (20:23 | Andrea Owen)
  • “That was sort of the eye-opener for me in my training of, ‘Oh, all of these behaviors that the women in my audience engage with—me, too, by the way— we’re doing that in an effort to avoid shame. Therefore, shame is driving the bus of our lives.” (22:53 | Andrea Owen)
  • “Get very, very familiar, get in bed with those [physical] symptoms so you know when it is happening. One of the goals is that you know when you’re in it, you can become resilient to it.” (31:24 | Andrea Owen)
  • “Like we can talk about joy, like we can talk about gratitude, shame is just another human emotion and experience.” (45:37 | Andrea Owen) 


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Fried. The Burnout Podcast