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August 10, 2009


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Erika Awakening

Well, I was just blogging about the Shadow Self this morning. I really enjoyed how you put it -- to recognize the "good" aspect of every seemingly "bad" quality, thus collapsing the duality. The Trump analogy was very vivid for me, helped me picture some people I tend to distance myself from, thinking "I'm not like them." But of course I am ... :)

Robert Middleton

Thanks so for many comments on this Blog. I highly recommend the book. It goes into great depth. And in the Marketing Club interview, we go into this in some depth.

More of this juicy kind of stuff to come!

Cheers, Robert

Matt Baier

Boy, this one really got my attention. I've been reading your ezine for years and I've never felt so challenged. As a professional organizer, I find my client's challenges really come down to priority management, but this exercise really forces me to take a hard look at MY priorities. There are so many goals that I am not achieving because of certain holes in my personality. You have helped me realize that I need to take a closer look at the traits I despise to discover a fresh perspective on those holes. Great post. A real eye opener! Thanks.

Jeff Meyer

Nice piece Robert!

Hit home on several counts. I did remodeling for years and long ago saw Trump boasting on some show about how he got all his buildings done for 80% of cost by screwing the contractors out of their final payment with endless callbacks - this hinge squeaks, this doorknob doesn't latch right, etc. until the just gave up trying to collect. Crap like that can put a contractor out of business. So I'm long-time Trump despiser.

The "two ends of the same stick" analogy is a good one. Stephen Covey has used that in talking about how all our choices come with consequences attached (the other end of the stick). We've about run our country into the ground by allowing corporations and financial institutions to grab one end of the stick and throw the other end of the stick in the taxpayers lap - something you can't do with a real stick - the consequences are attached to the choices in the real world.

Thanks for offering a way to turn some of this stuff around and get it headed in a positive direction

Pamela Jaye Smith

Thank you so much, Mr. Middleton, for this really accessible and immediately useful article on the shadow side.

As some of the commentators have noted, this is a staple concept in psychology and well worth exploring at a deeper level, but I very much appreciate how you have made it instantly applicable in today's email.

Hopefully we'll all be inspired to explore it further via the books and authors recommended.

And to that end, I'd also recommend my own book, THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE which gets into what is also called the "Dweller on the Threshold" - our own inner foibles and demons that stand in the way of our goals and aspirations.

The more versions of this principle we have out there there better, so thanks also to the other commentators for their suggestions.

Rolf Kenmo

Well, I agree with Dave, but I like also to add that therefore it is wise to search for constructive and truthful feedback.

Moreover, you can simplify your analysis about the shadow. See the negative behaviour as an exagerated good behaviour... A mature person delivers his resources in the right quantity for the situation.

You can learn more on my website (look below) or buy my book "Let the Personality Bloom";-)


Hallo Dave,
how do you suggest one finds the shadows inside oneself? Is it looking at the things we don`t like about ourselves and then deal with them the same way we deal with what we see in our Trump?

Dave Bull

The concepts of the persona and Shadow are not new; Jung articulated these in his work on the several layers of personality.

The formula above scratches the surface, but there's deeper work to be done on the Shadow, and it's not for the squeamish! The Shadow is not only that which we try to hide from the world, it's often also that we hide from ourselves (i.e. denial) and in hiding it we fail to learn to control it and so it bursts out from time to time as "uncharacteristic" behaviour.

Jung says that to master the Shadow we must first embrace it and acknowledge that it is a part of our self, no matter how abhorrent its contents!

So, don't only project your shadow onto your own personal Trump, you need to acknowledge all those things inside yourself before you can move on.

Looking forward to the interview!

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