A dear friend of mine recently sent me a podcast about vulnerability that was part of an hour-long TED program created by NPR (a good remix if you're tired of listening to TED talks that rely heavily on visuals). In this talk, Brene Brown -- a woman I had heretofore avoided because I saw she had been on Oprah and, well, that made me doubt how uncheesy she was going to be -- focuses on shame and vulnerability. She defines shame as more ore less this fear: "is there something about me, that if other people know it or see it, that I won't be worthy of connection?"
She tells the story about her struggle with vulnerability and the research she's done around people who are willing to be vulnerable.
It's a great listen: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/11/174030515/making-mistakes