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Episode 157 Transcript: Shadow Work Part 3: Resilience

Nancy: So many of us think that the reason we don’t have what we want is about discipline and willpower and it’s not. The reason we don’t have what we want is that our commitment is misaligned.

Nancy: Welcome to the Nancy Levin Show. I’m Nancy Levin, Founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, best-selling author, master coach, and your host. I help overachieving people pleasers set boundaries that stick and own self-worth, anchored in empowered action, so you can feel free. Plus, if you’re an aspiring or current coach, you are in the right place. Join me each week for coaching and compelling conversations designed to support you in the spotlight, as you take center stage of your own life. Let’s dive in.

Welcome back to another episode of the Nancy Levin Show. I am thrilled that you’re here to join me on our journey through the stages of shadow work. And in the last couple of episodes, I introduced you to stages one and two, awareness and surrender, and then stages three and four, responsibility and authenticity. And today we will be diving into stage five resilience. 

And all of this is in support of my brand new book. Embrace Your Shadow to Find Your Light, A Shadow Work Journal full of prompts and exercises and meditations to support you in diving in to the shadow.

And essentially, simply put, your shadow is the place where the parts of yourself that you reject reside. So we all disown parts of ourselves, parts we don’t like and don’t wanna be as well as parts of us that we do wanna be but don’t think we are. So we tend to reject these parts of ourselves and the shadow is like a receptacle for them. And the shadow’s also then a breeding ground for what we believe about ourselves and what we are most committed to. So today we are continuing this journey through the stages and today we’re gonna hit stage five, as I said, resilience. But first I wanna remind you, you can grab your copy of Embrace Your Shadow to find your light at nancy levin.com/journal. And when you go there, you can also get a bunch of free bonus gifts that I am providing you so that you can use them as you are doing your own shadow work. 

Alright, so let’s dive in now to resilience. This stage is really about inner strength. Resilience is about inner strength in the face of life’s inevitable curve balls. And shadow work is about realizing that you are a phoenix with the power to rise from the ashes of your former self. And this stage involves testing your authenticity in the real world, recognizing that you still might encounter some cringey moments that can kick up some dust of shame or fear. And resilience really requires a commitment to owning and expressing your truth even when old fears and shadow beliefs resurface. So it’s likely that you might still experience some self-doubt or some stuckness, but resilience is what supports you in moving through these barriers. And one of the ways we can really tune into moving forward is by first looking at our shadow commitments. 

Let me lay it out for you this way. Whenever there is a discrepancy between what you say you want and the way your life is going, whenever there’s a discrepancy, whenever there’s a gap between what you say you want and what you’re experiencing instead, it usually means there’s an old outdated shadow commitment just beneath the surface. Shadow commitments are promises we made to ourselves in childhood for survival. They kept us safe as children. And these commitments while they kept us safe, they hold us back in adulthood. So the very thing that’s kept us safe as a child becomes a seed of self-sabotage as we become an adult and we feel held back from expressing the truth of who we are.

So for example, you might wanna start a business aligned with your authentic self, but your shadow commitment to staying safe and small sabotages your efforts. And these shadow commitments were created for a good reason. They are your coping mechanisms, your survival strategies. But we need to overcome these shadow commitments and recognize that they’re no longer serving us and actually they’re taking us away from what it is we truly want and we’re out of alignment. So we want to dismantle them. And as grownup conscious versions of ourself, we get to now create new empowering commitments that serve what it is that we want instead of what we don’t. 

And the reason I love exploring shadow commitments is that so many of us think that the reason we don’t have what we want is about discipline and willpower, and it’s not. The reason we don’t have what we want is that our commitment is misaligned.

Nancy: Hi, it’s Nancy interrupting my own show. I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024, including a brand new book plus a group coaching opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever offered before. To make sure you are in the know, pop on over to my website now and sign up for my free weekly newsletter at nancylevin.com/newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Okay, back to the show. 

So if you begin to reflect on where you feel stuck in your life, first, take a moment to recognize what are the stories you are telling yourself about your own challenges around being authentic. So where do you feel stuck and how is hiding your authenticity keeping you stuck? 

Now, one of my favorite ways to get into these shadow commitments is to look at filling in the blanks. I say I want X, but what I’m experiencing instead is Y. So let yourself see that discrepancy. Let yourself see the discrepancy between what you say you want and what you’re experiencing instead. 

I say, I wanna save money. 

What I’m experiencing instead is spending it the minute it comes in. 

I say, I want to lose 10 pounds. What I’m experiencing is eating all the cookies.

I say, I wanna start my own business. What I’m experiencing instead is not putting myself out there. 

See what it is for you. And ultimately what you’re going to discover is even though you think you’re committed to what you say you want, you’re more committed to what creates your current reality. So you’re more committed to whatever it is that you’re doing that has the money go quickly, or has you sitting on the couch eating cookies or has you staying safe and not putting yourself out there. You might be committed to comfort or struggle. You might be committed to procrastination, you might be committed to immediate gratification. All things that pull us away from what it is we say we want not. 

And ultimately what’s happening is our shadow commitments cause us to abandon ourselves and our sense of wholeness and building resilience involves aligning with what we truly desire and making new conscious, empowering commitments that support our authenticity. So instead of being committed to immediate gratification, what is it that you’re gonna be committed to that will get you what you want? Instead of being committed to struggle or comfort? What can you shift your commitment to so you will get what it is that you want? 

So for example, I’m committed to visibility instead of hiding. I’m committed to action instead of safety for yourself – identify a simple affirmation of your resilience that you are going to be able to take out into the world as you stay true to you. 

So as you consider the ways you feel held back in your life, you can look at the ways in which you are not presenting or expressing yourself with authenticity and the ways that you’re not embracing your own resilience.You have the power to rise. You have the power to change. You have the power to carry your own truth out into the world regardless of what’s happening around you. And the missing piece, the key, is alignment – making sure that what you are most committed to completely aligns with what it is you want most. Once those two pieces are in alignment, and as I mentioned I think in the last episode, once you are in alignment with you, once you’re in right relationship with yourself, once you’re telling yourself the truth, once you recognize your authenticity, fear of external judgment, fear of external criticism will no longer be alive in you because you will no longer be criticizing yourself or judging yourself. Whenever we fear external judgment, it is originating from within. So I always like to say part of the resilience is no longer having any Velcro for any criticism or judgment from the outside world to stick to. 

So as I was saying earlier at the top of this episode, I look at resilience as the way we bring our authenticity into the world. Resilience is what allows us to be fully embodied, fully present, and trusting ourselves. And in order to do this, we must be willing to look at the parts of ourselves we’ve been denying and give them airtime and give them light. 

Thanks so much for joining me today. Once again, my new book, Embrace Your Shadow to Find Your Light is available. You can go to nancy levin.com/journal so that you’ll get your free bonus gifts. Join me next week where we will be diving into the sixth stage of shadow work nourishment.

Nancy: Thanks so much for joining me today. I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com to check out all the goodies I have there for you. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. I’ll meet you back here next week.