It’s no surprise that some of the most transformative work we can do on a spiritual level is also some of the most challenging. This is especially true when we start to unpack who we identify as, what we’ve been conditioned to believe about ourselves, and who we actually want to be. One of my favorite methods for addressing these questions around identity is Shadow Work (I go in-depth on exactly what this is in this Channel Collective exclusive blog post!). When we start to identify the aspects of ourselves that we don’t like, we can start to look at why we resist these traits and learn how to accept them, perhaps reframe them, and love them so we can fully step into our most authentic selves.
Here are four steps your can take to start unpacking pieces of your identity that you’ve been resisting:
1. Become aware
The first step sounds simple – but it can actually be pretty challenging! Start by asking yourself what pieces of yourself – traits, emotions, or desires – you are currently resisting. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, look at where you get the most triggered! Are there any character traits, titles, or descriptors that people may call you that make you feel defensive, sad, angry, or uncomfortable?
Maybe you want to build and grow your own business, but you feel really uncomfortable when people label you as an entrepreneur. Or maybe you get extremely defensive when someone calls you controlling. As hard as it is to confront these feelings, awareness is key to being able to work through these emotions!
2. Make a list
As you start to identify the traits or labels that evoke a negative response in you, write them down! List the exact words that make you feel triggered, and next to them, write any emotions that those words elicit.
Take your time making this list as robust as you possibly can. For at least a week, notice where any feelings of resistance come up around your identity in your thoughts, your conversations, and your interactions with others. Sometimes the pieces of ourselves we resist the most are the least obvious to us!
For each trait or label you wrote down, ask yourself why the associated feeling was your response. What conditioning or stereotypes might there be around that word for you? What experiences did you have as a child or adult that taught you to perceive those traits as something “bad”? Get to the root by journaling it out!
Now that you’re clear on why you’ve been resisting each of these aspects of your identity, it’s time to decide what does and does not still serve you.
Some aspects of ourselves are meant to provide contrast. For example, maybe you get defensive when people call you “slow”, but really, you just enjoy savoring every moment in life. If so, you might just want to work on allowing yourself to fully embrace and appreciate this trait!
Other aspects may trigger us because we don’t want to embody them. Maybe you get upset when people call you a jealous person, and that’s because it’s a trait that no longer serves you, and you are truly ready to work through it and release it.
In other instances, an aspect of our personality might trigger us because we don’t feel worthy of embracing it. For example, maybe someone calls you successful and it makes you feel uncomfortable, but you realize that it’s because you don’t feel deserving or like you’ve “earned” the right to that label yet. This can highlight the need to do some deeper work around self-worth!
I hope these four steps help you get clear on the pieces of yourself that you may have been resisting! Now that you’re aware of what aspects you’re resisting and you know what you’re ready to release or embrace, you can start to embrace the version of you that you want to become.
If you love going deep into all things personal development and inner work, be sure to check out all of my exclusive content around limiting beliefs, shadow work, and inner child healing in The Channel Collective! In addition to hundreds of bonus video lessons and blog posts on all things spirituality, manifestation, and intuition, you also get direct access to me during our monthly live group calls and healings! I can’t WAIT for you to experience the magic of this incredible community!