What is this thing that psychologists
call the Shadow?
The Shadow is a construct coined by
Carl Jung, a well respected
psychoanalyst and student of Freud.
The Shadow is the opposite of the
Persona, which is more commonly
known as the Ego.
The Persona is the version of ourselves
that we present to the world.
For most high functioning people the
Persona construct incorporates all that
we are proud to be, where as the
Shadow incorporates all we are
ashamed to be or parts of ourselves
we are not consciously aware of.
There are many reasons why getting to
know your Shadow is beneficial to
career success and life satisfaction.
• the Shadow is all that we resist knowing about
ourselves and resistance requires energy.
• Energy used to repress and resist selfknowledge is unavailable for other activities.
Will vs. Sabotage
• Yes we have will power, but the Persona’s will
(conscious self) has way less power than the
Shadow’s will (unconscious self)
• Ignoring the Shadow gives it more power.
• Pushing more of one’s self out of the Persona
and into the Shadow is a recipe for selfsabotage.
“To confront a person with his shadow
is to show him his own light. Once one
has experienced a few times what it is
like to stand judgingly between the
opposites, one begins to understand
what is meant by the Self. Anyone who
perceives his shadow and his light
simultaneously sees himself from two
sides and thus gets in the
middle.” Carl Jung
By: Charlie Birch, CDP
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