Getting to Know Your Shadow Self- How To Acknowledge, Transform and Monetize The Authentic YOU!

We all have inner demons. Sometimes we can catch a glimpse of them, while other times, we have the opportunity to view them in all their chaotic glory. However, these are parts of ourselves that we choose to ignore and bury due to fear, shame, or guilt. These frightening and shameful aspects of ourselves are referred to as the Shadow Self: the darker elements of our nature.

As author and psychiatrist, Steve Wolf noted:

  • “Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore. The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and authentic life.”

Learning about our Shadow Self, stepping into our worth, and owning the darker aspects of our nature is essential to creating an authentic and fulfilling life.

What is the Shadow Self?

Our Shadow Self is what we consider the negative or darker pieces of ourselves but to me, this is a misconception. All of you are beautiful and serves a purpose. Think of the Shadow as the aspects or qualities [of ourselves] that we have associated with pain, shame, or guilt. Our Shadow Self is, therefore, a representation of the qualities we possess that we may classify as “bad” but in reality, these can include positive attributes as well.

These aspects can be repressed and locked away in our subconscious and cause discomfort socially. However, they are always present, showing up in our everyday lives and becoming the unconscious driving force for the patterns and behaviors throughout our adulthood.

A failure to acknowledge the existence of our Shadow Self is asking for trouble, and a lack of awareness and separation from our Authentic Selves can be dangerous. By denying and avoiding your inner Shadow, you are permitting it to grow, consuming you in the process. This denial of your darker Self will inevitably lead you down a path that will impact you emotionally, mentally, physically and affect your relationships. Essentially, what you don’t own will own you.

How the Shadow Self form?

The Shadow Self is formed during childhood. Children are dependent beings that rely on the nurturing, love, and security of their caregivers. Qualities or aspects that threaten these fundamental needs are associated with being “bad” and subsequently rejected. The root of the shadow is a shame, so anytime you were shamed for something in your childhood or observed someone else being shamed, those aspects of Self were tossed into your Shadow.

For example, if you were reprimanded by your parents as a child for showing off, you may have started to suppress that behavior to please them. As an adult, that could subconsciously manifest itself as you believing that talking about your success is a bad thing. It may even show up as you playing small to make those around you feel better about their “lack of success.”

As children, when our security and safety were threatened, we adjusted our behavior to adapt to our environment. This also includes wanting to fit in with our peers and seeking approval from our teachers. All the parts of ourselves that are discouraged and not accepted are tied together and thrown into our subconscious, which is carried into adulthood.


As poet Robert Bly so eloquently notes in A Little Book of the Human Shadow – “The child puts all of these unwanted parts into an invisible bag and drags it behind him.”

Ways your shadow may present itself

Once you’ve grappled with the idea that everyone, including yourself, has a Shadow, it’s important to become conscious of what these Shadow aspects are. A great and useful method for pinpointing your Shadow so you don’t succumb to toxic behavior such as addiction or self-sabotage is to become aware of how it presents itself and shows up in your life. Here are a few ways it may manifest:

Projections: A common way in which our Shadow presents itself is through unconsciously taking those unwanted emotions or aspects we hide within ourselves and attributing them to someone else. This is referred to as projects. When we’ve spent most of our lives learning that it’s not safe or acceptable for us to express certain parts of ourselves, our ego protects us by transferring these emotions and placing them on someone else.
Unfortunately, this is not without consequence. By doing this we create a reaction or charge within ourselves. This charge can manifest as judgment, annoyance, anger, feelings of inadequacy, jealousy – anything that creates a strong emotional reaction within us. What we judge in others is an unconscious reaction to what we have rejected in ourselves as a result of having viewed or experienced feelings of shame, guilt, inferiority, or pain.

When we feel these strong emotional reactions, it’s an excellent time to take a look at our Shadow Self and learn about what we could be denying within ourselves or what we are afraid of. We tend to project on others our fears our act out in order to dodge them instead of confronting our fears head-on. For example, someone who is afraid of disloyalty does the cheating first.

Triggers: When you’re triggered by something or someone, you’re letting out an intense emotional response. It’s a great way to discover where there is lack, shame, or insecurity [denied aspects of yourself = Shadow]. This can take the shape of repeating unhealthy patterns by acting the same way in various situations and getting swept up by the dramatics. When aspects of our shadow are triggered, we may find ourselves reacting in an unflattering, unreasonable, or self-righteous way. Perhaps you offer a less than a flattering response to a friend that calls you “lazy” or a certain image on social media causes you to dissolve into a puddle of snot and tears.

  • It may not feel like this at the time, but these triggers are a blessing in disguise. The Universe is merely mirroring what you still need to work on, offering you a chance to turn inward and use your intuitive compass to help navigate you towards your whole, authentic self.
  • Triggers cannot be avoided, as they will continue to show up in your life. Therefore, a great first step is to consciously become aware of your trigger and acknowledge your reaction. This will help minimize its charge. Remember, when you’re being reactive, what’s escaping from your Shadow is unresolved and unacknowledged wounding.

How to work on your Shadow Self?

Coming to terms with the rejected aspects of ourselves is the basis of shadow work. It’s the process of reclaiming and learning to love the repressed and rejected pieces of Self that we’ve hidden away, enabling us to become the authentic, whole, and powerful version of ourselves.

As psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who is credited for popularizing the theory of “Shadow,” notes:

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn the literature of the whole world – all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls. Thus the soul has gradually been turned into a Nazareth from which nothing good can come of.”

Digging into this work is not easy. It requires a desire to educate yourself, a willingness to truly look at those “ugly” and unlovable pieces of yourself, being ready to amend your previous programming, and learning to embrace these aspects instead of shaming or denying them. Until you do that, your power will remain plugged into external sources.

Doing this work will get uncomfortable, so it’s always a good idea to do this in conjunction with therapy or a life coach. If that’s not possible, having a supportive friend that’s willing to help you unburden when things get too heavy is recommended.

Here are a few ways you can get started with shadow work:

  • Create A Mindful Practice: Meditation is an excellent way to deepen your spiritual practice, allowing you to quiet your mind and gain deeper insights into why you feel a specific way. If you’re willing to look at your thoughts objectively, adding a few minutes of meditation to your daily routine enables your mind to relax, which can be beneficial when trying to loosen the subconscious. You’d be surprised at how easily your mind is willing to provide you with answers when it’s not being bombarded with a thousand different thoughts. But be patient with yourself, cultivating a mindful practice won’t happen overnight. If you’re still struggling to understand your Shadow Self, there are excellent guided meditations online that will help you better understand your Shadow.

  • Allow Compassion and Objectivity to remain at the heart of this work: It’s often easier to blame external sources for our circumstances or behavior than holding up a mirror and looking at ourselves. When doing this work, you must develop a sense of compassion for yourself and hold space for the emotions that will inevitably arise.
    When emotions do present themselves, take a moment to explore them and ask yourself the following questions:

    ● What is the emotion that I’m feeling?
    ● Why am I feeling this?

You may not receive an answer straight away, and that’s okay. Again, be patient with yourself. The right answers will present themselves when the time is right.

As children, when our security and safety were threatened, we adjusted our behavior to adapt to our environment. This also includes wanting to fit in with our peers and seeking approval from our teachers. All the parts of ourselves that are discouraged and not accepted are tied together and thrown into our subconscious, which is carried into adulthood.

Journaling: Writing your thoughts on paper will allow you to let go of any emotion you may be holding onto or any thoughts that need to be released. Journaling is an excellent way to do this, provided that you don’t allow your inner critic to steal the pen. Spend a few weeks documenting both the negative and positive emotions, thoughts, epiphanies, and habits that arise. As you’re going through this work, take some time to read over old journal entries. It may help reveal aspects of yourself you’ve never noticed before. Get your Feel The Merge Journal Here to support your evolution and healing journey.

How Shadow Work Can Be Used To Embrace Your Purpose?

Integrating your Shadow and learning to love those previously denied aspects of Self can transform more than just your soul, behavior, and patterning. When harnessing the power of Shadow alchemy, you have the opportunity to convert your shadows into something profitable that can benefit yourself and others.

You can do this by transforming the incredible lessons you’ve learned through shadow work and creating products or services that others can purchase from you. Choosing to share your unique gifts with the world thanks to aspects of yourself you once thought were shameful or ugly is not only crucial to empowering yourself but to raising the vibration of the collective. Once you’ve determined which shadow work you’d like to monetize, it’s time to get into some alchemy.

Plan and Organize: Plan the details of your product. Have a little brainstorming session to determine what you’d like to offer the world. Will it be coaching sessions, an online course, an e-book, or all of the above? No matter what it is, get clear on what you’re offering and package your content in a way that demonstrates and educates your audience on the product or service they’ll receive from you.

Get Started! Once you’re satisfied and clear on the product or service you’re offering, it’s time to create. One of the biggest reasons for procrastination is fear of the product/service not being perfect or the way you envisioned it. Therefore, be patient with yourself. Take your time when creating. If you’re developing an e-book, create a first, second, and third draft until you’re satisfied. When you’re done, Canva is a useful tool when creating aesthetically pleasing templates for your incredible new e-book. If you’re offering a service, make sure that you’re clear on what’s on offer and how you plan to deliver this service.

Reflect Once you’re ready to gift your product or service to the world, reflect on what you’ve created. Are you satisfied with the result? Does it need any tweaks? And finally, is it something that you can stand behind? Throughout this creative journey, you will need to keep marketing at the back of your mind. Who is the product or service for (your target audience)? And where will you find them (which social media platforms)?

Pricing and Shadow:

While we all wish that we could give and receive products or services at no cost, that’s unfortunately not the way the world works. Therefore, it’s so important that your product or service is priced in a way that reflects your hard work, but most importantly your worth. Take a moment to listen to your intuition with this one. However, if you still need a little direction, here are a few questions that you can ask yourself:

    • How much work did I put into creating this offer?
    • Does anything like this already exist in the world? How unique is my offer compared to my “competitors?”

    • What do I believe I deserve in return for people accessing this offer?
    • What does this shadow work deserve?

Each individual has a shadow that transforms into a passion project that can make money. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone should follow through. The key lies in the word “passion.” If you’re not passionate about the work that you’re thinking of offering, then it’s best to let go. Anything that doesn’t set your soul on fire is not the project for you. Ensure that you’re not operating from a place of ego and a mindset that only seeks financial gain is never a good thing.

In Conclusion:

Remember, this is deep and powerful work will allow you to learn how to embrace those “unloveable” parts of yourself you judge yourself for, uncovering what makes you beautiful and unique, and allow you to step into the highest version of yourself. The journey through Shadow can be difficult and may sometimes feel as though you’re trekking up Mt. Everest. But if you’re willing to do the work, the view will be well worth it. We are here to support you make it up that mountain.

Book A Consultation Today And Get Started! Your energy is your currency and you deserve to attract all the goodness life has to offer, but you have to do the work!