What is the Shadow?

"Hello darkness, my old friend." Simon & Garfunkel


The human shadow is an internal storage center, hidden out of view from our conscious awareness, containing all the parts­­— both positive and negative—that we refuse to see in ourselves.

Our shadow is made up of all the qualities that we reject, conceal, deny or suppress- out of shame, fear, or disapproval. It holds the parts of ourselves that we believe to be unacceptable, that we fear will be met with condemnation- by others and ourselves. It is the actions that bother, disturbs or disgusts us in other people or about ourselves. It holds all that we try to hide from those we love— and all that we don't want other people to think about us or find out about us. 

From its concealed headquarters deep within our psyche, the shadow exerts tremendous power over our daily life. It dictates what we can and cannot do, what we will be provocatively drawn toward, and what we will do almost anything to escape from. It determines our likes and our dislikes and it determines what we will love and what we will judge and condemn. Our shadow controls how much success, love, joy, and abundance we will create or how many failures we are destined to experience. 

Our shadow is the messenger that supplies all of our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, influencing the way we treat those around us—and how we treat ourselves. 

“Our shadow is the person we would rather not be." Carl Jung

See this 3-minute video of Debbie Ford & her co-authors


"The shadow is not a problem to be solved or an enemy to be conquered, but a fertile field to be cultivated. When we dig our hands into its rich soil, we will discover the potent seeds of the people we most desire to be." Debbie Ford


Receive monthly newsletters and promos