How to Find Your Shadow Self

If you’re new to shadow work, here’s a quick guide on how to find your shadow self.

Before we get into it, let’s go over some key concepts.

What is Shadow Self & Shadow Work?

Your shadow self, or shadow, is the side of yourself you have no awareness of. It holds all the qualities you disowned during your formative years.

Although you learned to repress these qualities and push them outside of your awareness, they still live underneath the surface.

They unconsciously guide your actions and are the unseen cause for many of the troubles in your life.

Shadow work is the intentional practice of becoming aware of your unconscious shadow and integrating these neglected qualities into your being—becoming whole.

This is a process of building self-awareness, self-acceptance, and universal Love.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Carl Jung

How to Find Your Shadow Self

The first step to discovering your shadow self is to admit that something else is acting within you.

You aren’t the only one in control. A backseat driver is taking the wheel for those brief moments when you’re looking away.

Shadow vs Ego

Your ego is who you think you are—or moreso, it thinks that it’s you. It can even be what you refer to as your mind.

The mind is what creates stories, whether past, present or completely made up. And much of these stories are entirely made up.

Especially when your psyche is contaminated with unacknowledged, shadow material.

It’s decided its own biases (what you prefer and disfavor) and has shaped your values and judgments around this.

Your own biases, when put against anyone else’s biases, are what makes perspective so subjective. It’s what makes the stories your mind creates just that—stories.

Your stage in life and your formative influences determine how much your mind distorts what your eyes see and your ears hear.

A die-hard religious man, an entrepreneurial woman, a tree-hugging non-binary person, each value completely different things.

They each believe that they know better than the others. And that people who don’t align enough with their own views are mistaken about Life.

Each of them is living in a delusion.

Believing that their way of life is the way of life. While judging other ways of living as any more or less important than their own.

But Life is too massive to fit into any framework or theory. Because it’s Infinite, and you can’t hold infinite in the mind of a finite person.

Their theory of how life works is only practical to their current life situation (until it isn’t).

Difference Between Ego and Shadow

Shadow is present in all of these cases. Wherever there is a judgment of another person’s way of living, shadow resides.

This is because your ego has determined that they are “other.”

They are not you because, based on your biases—their existence is somehow beneath your own, and/or yours is above them.

This is called arrogance.

You are sure your limited view of the world is absolute. So your mind is closed off to other ways of living and thinking, to the point that you are proud of your own ignorance.

“I am not the problem with this world!” 

*points finger at another*

 “They are!”

This is your shadow being projected onto another group of people, or individuals, who hold qualities you don’t identify with.

Because you have denied these aspects within yourself (despite still having them), you often antagonize it when you see them on other people—to an exaggerated degree.

In other words, you don’t see these people as they are.

Beyond what’s objectively observable, you are projecting stories onto this person—

Believing you know what they think, why they are how they are, and whatever painful experiences caused you to disown the qualities you are projecting onto them.

Your lack of self-awareness for the entirety of your being has you lacking an “inner point of reference.”

So you demonize or dehumanize “others” because they hold the qualities about yourself that you learned to disown.

You are often attacking the parts of yourself that you don’t even realize you hate.

All of this is thanks to your mind building up a delusion of how your life “should” be. While creating stories of how “other” is in your way.

This is what evil is—the clashing between two or more perspectives with opposing ways of life. This antagonizing is instinctive, similar to how an animal fights for its survival.

Understand that there is no “good” or “bad,” only selfishness. Moralities are relative. And society has laws that allow all these perspectives to live in tolerance with each other as best it can.

A “higher perspective,” or Consciousness, is needed to viscerally understand how everyone is doing the best they can with the cards they’ve been dealt, who they are, and what they know.

Which leads to acceptance—but that’s for later.

To find your shadow self, you must admit it exists.

Everyone starts off being utterly unaware of it. And by admitting its existence, you are giving it permission to rear its head into your life without instinctively attacking it.

Finding your shadow is counter-intuitive because, by its very nature, you can’t be conscious of the unconscious.

This is why you must admit that it exists.

By doing so, you are giving it a place where it can be observed, albeit indirectly, with “containment” made of recognition.

Understand that when the concept of “shadow” was introduced, it was poetically intended to explain the evils and devilry in the world.

And in many ways, it does just that.

It’s when you neglect your shadow that it contaminates your psyche.

It distorts the way you see yourself, humanity, and the existence of the world.

It uses each of your judgments as a stepping stone to infiltrate your mind in hopes that you will acknowledge it.

Because that’s all your shadow self wants.

It wants you to admit that it’s a part of who you think you are too. Because it is. You’re just in denial of it.

All it wants is Love—being accepted and recognized—as part of your entire being.

In the worst cases, the shadow is willing to inject itself into your ego from your wounded psyche and consume it.

All for the sake of being accepted, but at the risk of overpowering the ego and ending it all.

Your shadow is not evil. It’s only different. And it’s a part of who you are, whether you like it or not.

By learning to identify and accept the entire spectrum of your being, you will mend your psyche.

And you will realize that everything in here is actually all being put out there.

You will see yourself, humanity, and the world, as it truly is—Perfection—because you’ve learned to accept your Self as a Whole being, not just what your mind wants you to believe.

Here are some resources I recommend:

Shadow Work for Beginners is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This resource gets updated at no additional cost.

A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This series goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for anyone dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.

Shadow Work for Relationships teaches you everything you need to know about attachment theory, practical inner work, and your dysfunctional behavior. By the end of this, you will have developed your earned secure attachment style so you can put an end to your cycle of bad relationships.

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Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Shadow Work Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

Self-Love Subliminal for self-hypnotism that will help you change your behavior and gain self-love, self-awareness, better relationships, greater health, and improve your creativity.

Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.

Mindful & Mending is a small website that’s about self-hypnosis, affirmations, auto-suggestion, and more techniques & tools to help you shift your unconscious mind. Check it out here.

Inner Shadow Work on TikTok and Instagram.

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Subscribe to get your free ebook 30 Shadow Work Prompts
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