18 Steps To Healing And How To Do Shadow Work
Many of us keep on suffering from our suppressed shadows throughout our lives instead of working on them. Shadows are the darker side of a person’s personality while shadow work is the process of healing and fixing that negative side of the personality.
If you have been continuously fighting with your shadows, it’s time to heal and learn to do the shadow work now. This article presents a detailed guide to healing and how to do shadow work. So, let’s start!
Table of Contents
✍️ Learn these 18 steps to healing and how to do shadow work ✍️
Here are the 18 important and magical steps to healing from the shadow self and to learn doing the shadow work.
1. Practice shadow work from conscious awareness
Most of the time, the shadows are formed in our unconscious mind and we strictly keep them there for years. Instead of facing out negative sides with courage, we make them our weaknesses and always run away from them.
A human being must need to practice his shadow work from his conscious awareness. Conscious awareness means the obvious and present state of mind where sensory perceptions are clear and accurate.
Instead of addressing your shadows from your unconscious state of mind, let’s practice fixing them with your conscious mind for the most effective results.
2. Learn shadow archetypes and find out yours!
As mentioned earlier, the shadows are the darker and negative aspects of ourselves in our unconscious brain. To address our shadow selves, it is crucial to first learn about the shadow archetypes.
There are a number of shadow archetypes and you must be having more than one of them. A few of these most common archetypes of shadow aspects are as follows:
An authoritative, ruling, and controlling figure
A loving, comforting, caring, and nurturing soul
winner, victor, rescuer, and conquerer
Pure, virtuous, modest
Swindler, cheater, deceiver
Similarly, there are many other archetypes regarding our own shadows. To perform the shadow work, it’s mandatory to figure out and know about the archetypes that are linked with your dark side of personality.
3. Evaluate your mental health
Similarly, you must devise a complete, thorough, and effective plan to evaluate your mental health. Without evaluating your mental health, it is almost impossible to perform human shadow healing work.
Self-awareness plays a critical role in deep inner healing from negative emotions. Therefore, you must dig down deep into your fears, phobias, and weak points.
See what are the things that are a hinder in your way to progress. Also, evaluate the factors that always suppress your real self and restrain you from accomplishing your milestones in life.
Unless you evaluate all those things, you can’t improve your cognitive health. When your mental health is poor, it becomes the hardest to perform the shadow work effectively and fruitfully.
4. Identify your hidden shadows
Your so-called authentic self lacks emotional richness and deep inner happiness if you have never confronted your shadow. Self-sabotage would never let you reach your desired horizons without focusing on the work shadow.
To make success and to take out the best of you, it’s important to learn to identify your hidden shadows.
For this purpose, research on psychological projection, conscious ego, and psychic wholeness will help you a lot. Not only this, but you must need to learn about the very depths of an authentic life without any mental illness and rejected aspects of shadow.
In addition, you must also read the Carl Jung and Jungian shadow work to get more insights.
These things would positively contribute to your journey of identifying and healing your shadows with greater ease and perfection.
5. Spark your inner dialogue
Your shadow self might be restricting you from engaging in productive inner dialogue conversation. The people who speak up to themselves in the loneliness usually take out the best of themselves and enjoy a relish future.
Until you don’t talk to yourself, you won’t be able to meet your own shadow. Without finding out and healing your shadow, you won’t be able to reach the heights of self-love. It’s because deep down in your heart, you would know that there are some pitfalls in your personality.
Therefore, it’s the right time to spark your inner dialogue and cultivate your real self. Don’t be afraid of staying alone in a room through the night but take this time to polish your real self.
To do so, there is no better way than to address your own strengths and weakness by initiating self-talk.
6. Must practice self-acceptance
Every one of us has some negative and positive aspects in our personality and we should be proud of what we are.
However, most of us spend our lives complaining about our inner selves, our weaknesses, our fears, and other pitfalls of our personalities. Instead of paying attention to our personal growth through focusing on our positive side, we develop a negative self-reflection due to our bad side.
Until you accept your weaknesses and shadows, you would be able to step ahead towards achieving bigger goals in life.
Therefore, make a promise to yourself that you will practice self-acceptance every day no matter what. Be grateful for who you are and never forget to praise yourself for achieving little goals instead of underestimating yourself.
7. Believe that you’re worthy and valuable
When a person doesn’t value himself, no one else would do it for him. This world is a race and here only those people win who value themselves.
Keep in mind that you are not the only one who has several weak points or incompetence. The truth is that every person on this planet has some faults and shadows.
Instead of being stressed up about your shadows or living in a fantasy, you must learn to accept yourself as a worthy and valuable person. To do so, you must also need to work on your low self-esteem and self-sabotaging behavior.
8. Tell your inner self that things will get better
For healing and performing the shadow work effectively, you must also practice telling yourself that things will get better.
Keep in mind that nothing is for forever. Different phases and different times come in life at various points. Similarly, people don’t always remain the same but their habits, behaviors, and other aspects of personality keep on changing over their lifespan.
Therefore, a person must be optimistic and should have a firm belief that things would get better over time. Your conscious self should not be an affair of your shadows or your shadow side. Instead, an individual’s conscious life must have a constant ray of hope, light, betterment, and happiness.
9. Learn the difference between unconscious conscious states
Sometimes, the biggest mistake that people make while doing the shadow healing work is that they intermix the conscious and unconscious states. When they fail to differentiate one from another, they fail to perform the shadow work.
Therefore, you must know the difference between your conscious and unconscious states of mind.
The conscious mind contains all the thoughts, feelings, and emotions to which we are fully aware.
In contrast, the unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, emotions, and thoughts to which you are unaware but can recall them easily if you want. Recalling and addressing them is important because they sometimes play a powerful role in our behavior, actions, and decisions.
This invisible bag of unconscious thoughts sometimes also hinders us from taking effective steps in life. Therefore, it is important to differentiate your unconscious state from the conscious one to confront your shadow and heal yourself.
10. Pay attention to all your emotions (positive/negative)
Focusing solely on a few emotions while keep ignoring the other ones can affect your overall wellbeing and hurt your own psyche.
To experience deep healing, you must pay attention to all your emotions as Carl Jung stated in his work. Human beings are usually more inclined towards their positive emotions but they want to escape from the negative ones.
When you decide to perform the shadow work and healing, addressing the negative emotions becomes even more important. As shadows are formed of a person’s negative side or negative emotions, they are easy to find out and fix by paying deep attention to them.
11. Assure objectivity while evaluating your hidden shadow side
To work on your shadow part, you must practice objectivity and loyalty that is often the hardest part. Almost all of us start bashing other people for our own faults and hesitate to evaluate ourselves for the pitfalls.
However, you must practice objectivity while evaluating your hidden shadow side because it will yield the most effective results for quick healing.
Here, being objective means that you must learn to see your higher self with fairness. You should take the blame on yourself for your wrongdoings instead of making others responsible for it.
Until you get the courage to accept your own mistakes, you won’t be able to do the shadow healing.
12. Don’t forget self-compassion while evaluating your feelings
Another important thing to strictly follow and keep in mind is that you have to assure self-compassion while evaluating your feelings.
Self-compassion is actually the self-care/empathy while evaluating one own self. It is the same thing that we do with one of our loved ones or with our best friend.
Just like we are so humble and kind to our loved ones in every situation, we must also learn to be kind and empathetic to ourselves.
If you start hating yourself while evaluating your dark side and emotional reactions, you would ruin your shadow healing process.
13. Face your darker aspects/ shadow self with confidence
In addition, keep in mind that you have to face your dark side with courage and confidence to enjoy your future and present moment.
For this purpose, make sure you pay attention to every minor aspect of your work shadow along with performing spiritual practice. This is because it will boost up the healing procedures and result in making you indulge in self-love.
When you keep on hiding or ignoring your shadow self and don’t face it, it will keep impacting your life in numerous ways.
Therefore, it is the best time to devise an effective plan on how you will heal your shadow self. To get the best results, all of these steps would help you a lot in achieving your mission.
14. Dig deeper for inner work
Developing a strong sense of digging deeper for the inner work would create dramatic results within the shortest possible time.
When you make a firm decision to go down into your unconscious nervous system for inner shadow healing work, you get it done easily.
To get detailed insights about how to dig deeper into your unconscious shadow side, you must read Carl Jung or Jungian shadow work.
They have very well explained all the processes for everyone who wants to perform the shadow work from the scratch. In other words, it is a complete guide for all men and women regardless of their age or other factors.
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15. Engage in shadow work exercises
Keep in mind that you won’t get the results by only reading how to perform the shadow work. Instead, it is crucial to engage yourself in several shadow work exercises to defeat your shadow side.
In the beginning, you will feel as if it is not producing any results but over time, you will see noticeable before and after differences.
When you keep performing these shadows work exercises with determination and consistency, you will get a good command on your shadow side.
At this point, it will become easier to start the healing process by identifying all the problems causing aspects of your personality to which you were not aware before.
16. Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is very effective for a number of things. It doesn’t only good to practice yoga and meditation but it leads you to many other winning benefits.
For example, deep breathing helps in boosting immunity, calming down anxiety and stress, improving energy levels, and serves as a natural painkiller.
Along with these benefits, it also does wonders in boosting the shadow work as well as the shadows healing processes.
17. Nurture the broken/hidden parts of your inner child
The children are the ones who frequently create intense emotional reactions and throw tantrums in their everyday lives.
If you notice, all of us have a hidden child in our personalities that we keep on suppressing throughout our lives. Sometimes, we are not actually aware of our inner child and sometimes, we purposefully ignore it.
That inner child in every one of us has so many broken parts from the old memories that need immediate fixing. Until you fix those broken parts, your inner child would keep in creating intense reactions by you.
For example, you may speak up rudely with one of your relatives and later on regret it. It was your inner child who created this reaction out of you at that time and you regret it when you realize it.
Therefore, performing the healing and shadow work is very important to create a better version of yourself for the rest of your life.
18. Explore your shadow
There are various techniques to explore your shadow and you can choose either one or all of them. The more you explore your shadow, the more quick results you will enjoy.
The techniques to explore your shadow involve journaling, meditation, or writing a letter to yourself.
If you choose to journal, you will write your feelings and thoughts and you will feel each one of them while writing. During this writing procedure, you will engage in self-evaluation about those feelings that pinch you hard while writing.
Similarly, writing a letter to oneself offers you the same opportunity to feel your inner thoughts and feelings to work on them.
In addition, meditation would enable you to address and focus deeply on your inner shadow self and heal it through the shadow work.
⍟ Ways to Face Your Shadow ⍟
To overcome your darkest sides and to live with self-confidence, it’s crucial to face your shadows. Here are the following ways to face your shadows and to get done with the shadow work.
▶ Banish the element of shame
When you decide to face your shadow, the first step is to banish the element of shame. If you fear or are ashamed of facing your shadow, you would never be able to face or fix it.
For banishing the element of shame, tell yourself that you are not the only one with shadows.
Almost every single person has these shadows but very few lucky people face and fix them.
▶ Start writing a journal
Writing a journal about your shadows would help you in confronting them.
While you were working on them and writing them on a paper in the form of a journal, you would be actually facing them. It would give you the courage to bravely and confidently identify and heal them.
▶ Laugh at your flaws so that you don’t fear anymore
When you learn to laugh at your flaws, you get the courage to face them with your head up and with no shame.
Although it’s not easier to laugh at ones own self but if you learn to do so, you won’t let others laugh at yourself by healing yourself before others notice.
▶ Feel proud by encountering your positive side
Don’t only look into your shadows or negative points because they will lower your self-esteem and take out the courage to face them.
While looking into your negative side, make sure to consider your positive side at the same time to feel proud and motivated.
▶ Make the unconscious conscious and stay self-aware
Making your unconscious completely conscious and staying self-aware also gives you the power to face your shadows and heal them effectively.
When you are not aware of yourself, you would never be able to face your shadows or fix them.
∎ Shadow or Negative Archetypes ∎
Just like all of us have positive aspects of our personalities, we also have a shadow or negative archetypes. Some of the most common negative or shadow archetypes are as follows:
⫸ Caregiver archetype as a slave or victim
A general mindset is that a caregiver is a person who is very caring, loving, soft, and humble who takes greater care of you in every situation.
However, some circumstances make people develop a negative archetype about their caregiver. For example, suppose that the caregiver of an orphan child mistreats him on almost every single thing.
Over time, that orphan child will develop a negative image of that caregiver. He may start assuming him as a person who has enslaved the child or make him the victim.
⫸ Everyman archetype as being ignored or left out
Every man wants attention and special treatment in his group of favorite people. However, there are times when we start feeling left out and this feeling badly impacts our minds.
It doesn’t only affect our thinking processes but also makes a shadow in our unconscious part of the mind. Upon growing up, we develop the everyman archetype as being ignored or left out due to our own personal experience.
If you are mature enough to understand it, you must start work on your mental processes to heal from this shadow and step into self-growth.
Make sure to keep in mind that you don’t need approval from others if you are worthy or not. You are a valuable and worthy person who has the full right to enjoy his life as others. So, believe in yourself and perform the healing work to fix your shadow.
⫸ The trickster archetype as deceiver and liar
As tricksters play tricks, some people can develop a negative archetype about them. For example, a person may start thinking that he is a deceiver and a liar because he plays tricks.
Similarly, a person may also develop a negative image of a trickster as a cheat man or fraudster. Based on a man’s perception and thinking process, it’s normal to develop such negative archetypes.
However, it’s not normal if you spend your whole life with these negative archetypes. Instead, you must start the healing processes as soon as you realize them.
⫸ The creator archetype as being unjust
There are times when we lose hope due to some critical factors ongoing in our lives and start blaming the creator.
Let’s suppose that there is a group of 6 friends who graduated from a top-notch university two months ago. Five of them immediately get the job due to their high-ranked institute and good grades. The 6th student also has these two plus points (good institute for graduation and good grades). However, he failed to get the job regardless of his deepest struggle to find the one in the past two months.
Now, he will start thinking that his Creator is being unjust because He has given the jobs to his friends but not to him. However, there are higher possibilities that the Creator is bringing someone more fantastic for him than his friends but just testing his patience.
So, he must keep struggling instead of being impatient or start blaming the Creator. He shouldn’t let the shadow archetype develop in this mind as it would cause disappointment and stress in his life.
⫸ Innocent archetype as lack of responsibility and living in a fantasy
Let’s take a minute to imagine the mindset of a child. A child is an innocent soul whose lack of responsibility is always on the top and who loves to live in fantasy.
It’s absolutely normal when a child is behaving like this but it’s alarming when an adult behaves like this.
At the same time, it is also not normal if you start believing in the innocent archetype as lack of responsibility and living in fantasy because again, not everyone is the same.
Therefore, make sure you start work to fix these broken assumptions and darker aspects of your brain because they impact your life without letting you know. Let’s take a step forward to healing and doing shadows work for an ideal life ahead.
◈ Integrating Conflicting Parts of Self ◈
To live a happy, contented, and fulfilling life, it is important to integrate the conflicting parts of yourself. Here are a few simple steps for integrating conflicting parts of self.
⊳ Find out the overlying conflicts
Almost all of us have underlying conflicts that tear out our whole self into several broken pieces. To integrate the conflicting parts of yourself, the first step is to find out the overlying conflicts of yourself.
For this purpose, you must take a deep analysis of the situation where you were bothered or reacted badly for any reason. Go for meditation to focus deeply on your mind for finding your underlying conflicts.
⊳ Figure out the ways through which they are impacting your life
The second step is to figure out the ways in which these conflicts are impacting your life. See if your negative shadow is affecting your current performance at your job or ruining your personal life in any way?
Until you draw a clear picture of how these conflicts or shadows of yourself play their role in your life, you won’t be able to fix them or integrate yourself.
⊳ List out the benefits of overcoming these conflicts
An easier way to keep yourself motivated is to start listing out the benefits of overcoming these conflicts. For example, you may write that fixing a particular shadow would increase your productivity and focus on the job.
Similarly, you can write multiple benefits of overcoming your self-conflicts. These benefits would motivate you to fix the weaker sides of your personality.
⊳ Start from healing inner darkness first
The rule of thumb here is to always start by healing the inner darkness first. If you start from fixing your apparent self first but ignore fixing your shadow/shadows, you won’t get 100% results.
Therefore, make sure you look deep down yourself to find the broken conflicting parts and heal and integrate them first.
⊳ Work on your conflicting parts one by one
When you find more than one issue in yourself, don’t think that you will fix all of them at once. Otherwise, you would fail to heal a single one of them and lose hope.
Therefore, make sure to work on them one by one and see the positive results coming your way.
⊳ Work on your limiting beliefs
Similarly, you must work on your limiting beliefs and try to widen up your mental processes, knowledge, and rationality.
Think broadly and explore the new perspectives and modern areas of knowledge to defeat your limiting thoughts/beliefs. It will greatly help you in integrating your conflicting self in a much stronger way.
⊳ Take help from spiritual teachers if necessary
If you find it difficult to work on yourself without any help, you must take help from a professional or spiritual teacher.
He will help you in focusing on your shadows and conflicting self and help you in overcoming these shortfalls of your whole personality.
⊳ Ask for help from your partner and others who are closer to you
Not only the teacher or professional, but your partner can also help you in an amazing way. Ask him for constant support and help in integrating your conflicting self into a better and perfect human.
⊳ Practice, practice, practice
Keep in mind that this is not a game of a few minutes, hours, or a day. Instead, it will take time to get and enjoy the resulting self.
Therefore, make sure to be patient while keeping on practicing to see the results.
⊳ Say Hello to a beautiful and contented life ahead!
Once you see that you are no more the same person but there are many positive apparent changes in yourself, you are ready to rock!