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Why Working on Your Shadow Self is Equally Important

Prabhleen Gupta

Prabhleen Gupta

Founder- Personal Mastery

Your Shadow Self is Equally Important
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Is there anything that triggers your mind but you instantly avoid it due to fear or shame? If yes, then don’t worry there is nothing wrong with you. It’s just your shadow self waiting for you to work on it. Let’s read something more about the shadow self and why it needs your attention immediately.

What is shadow self?

First of all, let’s answer the questions running through your mind about shadow self. The famous scientist and psychologist, Carl Jung defines the term shadow self as the parts of ourselves that we usually do not accept consciously or subconsciously.

Our personalities are formed from the very beginning and so is the shadow self. It composes the fears that we are not ready to encounter but they haunt us from time to time. For instance, if your mother once threatened you not to go out late in the evening, you will always have that fear in your mind even if you are an adult now. Your conscious mind has accepted that coming late annoys the person you love the most and it has taken over your mind in such a way that you are afraid to come late even if your mother is not around.

There is also another explanation for this term. Generally, it also triggers the dark side of your personality. There are certain insecurities hidden inside us that can be triggered by others’ actions or harsh words. Therefore, we react by lashing out at others while experiencing inner tension or some mental trauma.

Personality development depends majorly on the shadow self and working on it can improve our lives in unexpected ways. We might learn to face our fears and accept all those things that have been horrifying us since our childhood.

Benefits of shadow work

Let’s understand in detail the benefits of working on our shadow self.

Strengthening the intuitive powers

Our intuition is the strong pillar of our personality. But there are the chances that if due to any reason you were supposed to suppress your intuition as your younger self, then you might have thrown it in your shadow. So, working on the methods would unveil your intuition and give you a huge new confident face.

Facing your subconscious insecurities

Shadow self resides in our subconscious brain. Therefore, working on it would give you a chance to face your subconscious and transfer it all into your conscious. Resultantly, the things that haunt you in the subconscious would not have much control over your mind when revealed and faced in the conscious mind.

Freeing from the bad self

Shadow self mostly compiles of the negative things that we hide inside us. Thus, working on it would help us free our spirit and mind from holding us back from our personal development.

Feeling integrated

Feeling incomplete is a common human tendency and we seek others’ love and approval to make us whole. However, we are capable enough to make ourselves whole and integrated. Shadow-self makes us feel united with our inner personality and the lack of emptiness that we often feel is gone. Because we always hide our real nature from being socially accepted. Once, we overcome that feeling of acceptance by others, we feel whole as a human.

Master social interactions

Interacting with others becomes a challenge sometimes. But once, you have been thorough with yourself, it becomes easier to face other people. For instance, if you have been told in childhood that it’s okay to get hurt, then you might accept it no matter how unfair it is. But your shadow self would help you fight it back and stand up for yourself.

Heal the traumas

Shadow work is generally known for its ability to heal the traumas from childhood which might be given by your parent or the closest person in the family.

It is not so rare that some traumas live through the generations. So, once you get healed with your shadow work, you may help others in your family to heal from it. It will help you look at the bigger picture and your parenting styles might change completely. You will no longer raise your kid in the same way or by transferring the same trauma to them.

Work on self needs

Shadow work helps us meet our personal needs in a better way. For instance, if you were taught not to be attention seeking in a relationship even if you are, then you would suppress your real feelings when in a relationship. Consequently, you would not get what you demand which leads to the end of the relation or some other sort of destructive behavior. But if you embrace it gracefully and discuss it with your partner in the very beginning, the chances of fulfilling your needs would be higher.

Methods to work on the shadow self

We have talked so much about the shadow self and its importance. But you must be wondering how to work on it and rise above it.

These are some of the things that you should consider while working on shadow self.

Observe the things that trigger you

We often find ourselves easily getting irritated by others’ behavior. Those might be the triggers that we should look upon carefully. Sometimes, seeing others achieve makes us jealous or feel sad, the reason being our inner self wants the exact same things.

Reacting to others’ behavior says a lot about us and if we think carefully about all those things then we can work on our minds to create a better version of ourselves.

Be compassionate

Showing compassion is always a great feeling but try being compassionate for yourself. While shadow work, there might be things that you would be embarrassed about or you would feel reluctant to face. According to the experts, there are times, when people just put off the whole situation because they feel too embarrassed to accept their real selves.

But quitting would only make it worse. Learn to embrace the things that are hidden for too long inside you and you might feel quite good actually later on.

Call out for professional help

While we are talking about it, someone would be feeling drained because of confronting all those emotions at once. And it is not at all easy to accept yourself especially after facing some trauma in your life. In such a situation, seeking help from others is a good solution especially from the professionals as they won’t judge a single thing about you and the whole process becomes easy and comfortable for you. You can seek NLP therapy from professionals to make you accept your flaws.

Here we are discussing some of the exercises that might work for you.

Journaling

Keeping a journal is always a healthy way to drain out all the negative things from the mind. We are not always comfortable spitting out everything that goes inside us. So, writing it down whenever you feel too overwhelmed is a good exercise. It would help us confront ourselves and look upon the things that we need to work on for the betterment.

Meditating

It is a universal fact that meditation soothes us. It clears our minds from the various thoughts that are running and fighting inside us. And help us see things with more clarity. Once, we are free from distractions we can observe other important things about us and work on our behavioral issues.

Stop overdoing the things

You might not notice in the beginning but later on, the things you are overdoing in your life would frustrate you and trigger your shadow self. It can be your job or a relationship where you are working too hard that you forget to give yourself any attention. So, you must list down the things that you think you are overdoing and then write down its results and the reasons you are still hanging on to it. Here might be some void that you are trying to fill in your life by overdoing things for your partner or your job.

Jotting down the daily things

For this, you need a piece of paper and divide it into two sections. On one side you write about the things that you felt insecure about or you tried to avoid in your whole day. On the other side, you write down the things that made you feel integrated and you relished yourself while doing them. It will help identify the shadow self more easily.

Recognize your values

After listing down the highlights of the day in two sections, you must write down the shadow parts. These things might tell you a lot about your values, which is not very bad. You must find out the value and start living with it positively. Shadow parts are not necessarily negative; they can make your life a lot easier than before.

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