Belief Beyond Boundaries
Shadow Work in 4 Easy Steps
Do you ever have moments where you think back about something and literally cringe, because of how you handled a situation? Maybe you quickly pushed it out of your mind so you didn't have to confront this part of yourself. The good news is that when you are willing to confront your weaknesses. you can begin to make a lasting and positive impact in your life. Let's explore how.
Although uncomfortable, facing these dark parts of our personality and behaviors, known as "shadow work," must occur in order to transform into who you are destined to be. When you sense yourself wanting to hide from the parts of you that you aren't proud of, if you can, confront this aspect of yourself by asking what it is that makes you feel unworthy or disappointed in yourself. When you can accept that this is a part of who you are, even if it is not the ideal person you want to be, you can begin to make real and positive change. Know that this is crucial to personal growth and although you may be telling yourself that you are not worthy of forgiveness at times, it is essential to forgive yourself and use this as motivation for change. Let's look at a few steps we can take to make the most out of the guilt or embarrassment we may feel from our past mistakes.
1. Ask yourself WHY you feel bad about a situation. Perhaps you forgot about someone or took advantage of a situation and ended up hurting someone. If you feel shame or remorse, congratulations! You are actually a good person, even though you may not have handled the situation in the way you would have wanted.
2. Ask yourself WHAT you would do if you could go back in time and change your actions. If you wouldn't change anything, maybe your guilt is in the wrong place. However, if so, next:
3. Ask yourself if there is an action you can take now. Could you change your behavior going forward? Maybe you can ask for forgiveness from someone you wronged. Maybe an emotional response to a specific environment created a situation in your mind that led to you taking specific actions that you can become aware of and avoid in the future.
4. Commit to change! Given all this, what can you do from now on if faced with similar situations? This is important, because you must "know thyself" as they say. Do you become stressed out in certain situations leading you to act out in certain ways? Do you struggle with generosity, which led to a shameful action of selfishness? When you begin to know your patterns, it may be time to come up with a game plan of how you will handle this situation in the future. Use this plan to "hack" your emotional tendencies so to speak. Keep note of how the "new" you will handle that situation from now on. Remember, transformation is a gradual process!
Below are some examples of goals or habits you could put on your road map, which is just a document used to track your goals along with the subtasks in which you can review daily for progress and each week for goal updates. It's also good to start tracking habits as well. I will be creating several posts soon addressing road maps and habit journals in more detail.
Example Habits and Goals:
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