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From Self-Doubt to Self-Love: How Shadow Work Can Change Your Life

Shadow work, also known as inner work, is the process of bringing awareness to our unconscious thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It involves delving into our past experiences, traumas, and suppressed feelings in order to better understand ourselves and make positive changes in our lives. As a mental health coach, I have seen the transformative power of shadow work firsthand. It can be a challenging and uncomfortable process, but the value it brings to one’s life is immeasurable.

The concept of shadow work was first introduced by the famous psychologist Carl Jung, who believed that our “shadow” is the dark side of our personality. It consists of the parts of ourselves that we reject, deny, or disown. These could be emotions like anger, jealousy, or shame, or aspects of our personality that we perceive as negative or undesirable. We often push these parts of ourselves into our subconscious as a defense mechanism, but they still have a significant impact on our behavior and relationships.

Shadow work is important because it allows us to be more authentic and whole individuals. When we suppress our shadow, we also suppress our true potential and limit ourselves. By confronting and integrating our shadow, we can become more self-aware, make healthier choices, and have better relationships.

Journaling is an effective tool for shadow work as it allows us to access our thoughts and feelings in a safe and private space.

Here are ten journaling prompts that I have found to be helpful for my clients:

1. What parts of myself do I struggle to accept or embrace? Why do I think I reject them?

2. How does my shadow show up in my daily life? How does it affect my relationships?

3. What emotions do I find difficult to express? Why do I think I avoid them?

4. When was the first time I remember feeling this emotion? What triggered it?

5. How do I think my past experiences have shaped my current beliefs and behaviors?

6. What limiting beliefs do I hold about myself? Where do they come from?

7. How do I project my shadow onto others? How does this impact my relationships?

8. What is the biggest lesson I have learned from my past mistakes or failures?

9. What values or traits do I admire in others but struggle to see in myself?

10. How can I integrate and honor my shadow in a healthy and constructive way?

It’s important to approach these prompts with an open mind and non-judgmental attitude. The goal is not to fix or change anything, but to simply observe and acknowledge our inner landscape. You can also try writing a letter to your shadow as a way to establish a dialogue and deepen your understanding of it.

Shadow work is not a one-time process; it’s an ongoing journey of self-discovery and growth. Some days will be harder than others, but every step you take towards integrating your shadow will bring more peace and authenticity into your life. Remember to be kind to yourself and seek support from a mental health professional if needed.

In conclusion, the value of doing shadow work is immense. It allows us to break free from our self-limiting beliefs and patterns, improve our relationships, and ultimately live more fulfilling lives. As a mental health coach, I highly encourage my clients to incorporate regular shadow work journaling into their self-care routine, and I hope these prompts will be helpful in their journey towards self-awareness and healing.

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Hi love, I’m Silvia!

I’m a specialist in starting over. 

Trauma revealed truths that took me to some faraway places for healing and wisdom. In Bali, South America, New Zealand, Australia, Laos, Hawaii and Malaysia, I soaked it up, took bold actions, and expanded what was possible for me.

Through all of this I learned something profound; the power of resiliency can be taught and even making a 5% change can change the future dramatically.

Now I teach women like you to access the power within you to change your life, celebrate your genius and start over to create any life you dare to dream.