The Shadow: The Origins ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and Denied Parts
This is part two on ‘How to Share your Light in a Grey World’. Here is part one: Shine Shame: How to Share your Light in a Grey World.
Do you ever get really annoyed at happy, successful people?
Do you notice you get really critical around people who are out in the world visibly winning in life?
Welcome to your LIGHT SHADOW.
But, before we get to the light, we need to understand where this concept came from in the first place: The Shadow.
You may or may not be aware of the term ‘shadow’ to begin with. This article will be about your Shadow, and the next part will be about our Light Shadow (Part 3).
Here’s a little lesson in Shadow Parts or our Shadow Self.
Carl Jung, one of the leading contributors to the field of Psychology, observed that we tend to not really see other people, but mostly see our own projections about ourselves mirrored by the person in front of us.
In real life, this looks like completely rejecting aspects of people “just because.” This can include things like racism as well. But mostly, in day to day life it’s the little judgements that cloud us from really seeing the full, spectrum humans around us. Therefore, not being our full spectrum selves in the process.
“That person is fat; that’s disgusting.”
- This is a projection of self disgust onto another person. It doesn’t even have to do with body size, but the person projecting will rarely see that without a willingness to look within themselves.
“That person is dumb, I don’t like them.”
- At some point, you probably felt dumb, or were told by teachers, adults, parents never be dumb, so you reject any idea of “being dumb” anywhere, especially yourself.
Basically there are aspects that are unloveable, and we reject the idea that these aspects exist within ourselves. This is simply a defence system we develop. We have within us, all of us, all aspects of being human in ourselves, of course we do.
It would be as silly for a dog to say to another dog, “That’s so gross, I don’t lick my butt, look at how despicable that dog is licking his butt in public! Does he have no shame?”
And of course, this dog licks his butt, he’s a dog. But, he hides it from public view thinking it’s not acceptable, therefore not loveable, and cannot come to terms with the depth of that discord within him so he just judges other dogs and continues to deny his own truth for fear of being rejected.
Being rejected is the worst. So we deny parts of ourselves we see unlovable. We deny to get by. We have not been shown other options.
Here’s the problem, when we live without questioning our projections, and denying parts of ourselves out of fear of rejection, we will never feel good enough. We will constantly be in fear of “being found out.” No matter the accomplishments, there is always this nagging voice knowing you are hiding parts from the world that might be found out! This is where the newly popular term and phenomenon, Fraud Syndrome, came from.
Impostor or Fraud Syndrome⏤it’s not a syndrome, but people thought this term was snazzier if it was called a syndrome I suppose.
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his or her accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. – Wikipedia
When we deny our nature, the parts of all of humanity that live within us, we will have Impostor Syndrome.
When we embrace the parts we have believed are not acceptable, from years of social conditioning, we are free to also experience our LIGHT.
Most people spend most of their life trying to hide their unloveable parts from the world. The tragic thing is they never experience their worth, their light, their talent, their value, or their Truth in the process.
By spending your life hiding what is unlovable, you spend your life constantly not knowing your own worth, and also creating walls between yourself and the world.
The walls we create to “stay safe” become blocks to love, acceptance, self-acknowledgment, and deep inner peace. While trying to stay safe, we rob ourselves of true connection. We can never experience the peace of BEing; just being yourself and knowing that is good. We can access our BEing when we embrace all parts of our humanity, the light and dark, good and bad. This is not giving permission to be a jerk, this is accepting and loving ourselves for our full spectrum of humanity so we stop wasting energy and time.
“Do not let your shadow walk you. You are not a slave of the past.” -Dodinsky
How to Stop Hiding so you Can Experience Your Own Light
- Notice judgements you have about others.
Where did this thought come from?
(The answer might be your Dad, Mom, or someone else from childhood.)
DO NOT TRY TO FIX OR ANALYZE.
Just notice for now.
2. Keep a Journal of noticing “Is this Mine?”
Once you start writing, and practice writing without an agenda about what you should write or how to do it right, you will just flow with words that arise from your subconscious. These little nuggets are the whole point, you want to just write what comes up for you without analyzing or perfecting. Don’t bother with grammar at all, just flow.
3. Then write: “Who would I Be Without this Thought?”
Let your imagination roll with it.
Who would you be if you weren’t constantly afraid of being dumb.
How much lighter might you feel?
What if you were never dumb, but it was just an old judgment from someone else you picked up to be part of the family or group.
If you weren’t so afraid of being dumb, what might you do?
Maybe you’d take a class, or ask for a promotion?
If you weren’t afraid of being laughed at or rejected, what would you do?
The whole point of writing this down, and exploring your inner thoughts, is to shake loose the thoughts that clog up your system and keep you in a psychic straight-jacket of should and must and have-to’s.
When you allow what is NOT your real truth to arise, you allow your full expression to take up that space. These parts or thoughts that come up are not the full truth of you, just parts of you.
Honestly, you won’t get all of your projections handled after reading this article. This is where working with professions is helpful. But, you can get started.
The point of this “work” is not to only dive into all the crap and darkness you feel you need to hide, or can’t face alone, the point is FREEDOM.
The freedom to not have to use all your energy to hide and do the society dances or where the masks to feel liked and accepted.
The point is to just BE.
To wake up and know your worth,
I call this knowing your Truth.
Because, to me it is our Truth that we were already always worthy.
We do not have to convince or prove anyone in this life.
Simply, return back to the truth that we are all in this together.
We all lick our butts so to speak 🙂
And once we stop judging how we need to be to be loved or accepted, we can let go and live.
We can live a full spectrum life, fully realized, fully connected and alive.
Read Part One: Shine Shame: How to Share your Light in a Grey World.