Living an authentic life is about aligning our actions and decisions with our true values. However, it’s not just about recognizing our positive values; it’s also crucial to acknowledge our shadow values. Shadow values are the hidden, often subconscious, drivers of our behavior that can influence our decisions without us even realizing it. In this article, we will explore the concept of shadow values, their impact on our lives, and how understanding them can lead to living a more authentic and fulfilling life.

What are Shadow Values?

Shadow values are the underlying, often unacknowledged, values that guide our actions and decisions. They are the flip side of our positive values and can sometimes lead us to behave in ways that are not aligned with our conscious beliefs and aspirations. Understanding our shadow values is essential for gaining a deeper insight into our motivations and behaviors.

The truth we are a mix of what we would consider positive and negative traits, and it’s crucial, to be honest with ourselves and have the courage to admit the reasons behind our desires

Uncovering our shadow values requires introspection and self-awareness. It involves delving into our motivations and understanding the deeper reasons behind our actions.

For example, a person may consciously value wisdom and growth, but their shadow value might be the desire to always be right. This underlying need to be right can influence their decisions and interactions, often without their conscious awareness.

There is so much freedom and empowerment in owning up to our authentic values without feeling ashamed or guilty. It is always shame and guilt associated with our authentic values that ever hinder our success. When you honour and align tasks with your highest values, you essentially eliminate the need for external motivation, as tasks aligned with your values naturally inspire and drive you. It’s as if wild horses can’t stop you from getting up in the morning eager and willing to get straight to them. That is intrinsic motivation and it is way more powerful than any external form of motivation.

How to Use Our Shadow Values to Create an Authentic Life

Living authentically involves embracing both our positive and shadow values. It’s about recognizing the interplay between our conscious and subconscious motivations and aligning our actions with our true values.

To accomplish this, we need to neutralize our values by not reacting when they are unfulfilled and not overreacting when they are fulfilled. In doing so, we use our values to drive success without being controlled by them .

The concept of the “5 Freedoms” is extraordinarily valuable as a framework for living an authentic life. These freedoms talk about individuals having the freedom to see and hear what is, express their true thoughts and feelings, ask for what they want, take risks, and be true to themselves without waiting for permission. Aligning with these freedoms can lead to a more authentic and fulfilling life.

Embrace the Journey

Understanding your shadow values and aligning actions with your authentic values is a transformative journey. It requires self-reflection, honesty, and a willingness to delve into the deeper aspects of your motivations. Anyone willing to embrace these principles can live a more authentic and purposeful life, driven by their true values rather than societal expectations or external influences.

If you want to work with your values, elicit your shadow values, and explore how you can leverage them to help you live a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life, guided by true joy and inspiration click here to book your discovery call and take the first step towards authentic living.