You may be wondering, what on earth do we mean when we say ‘shadow selves’? The answer is surprisingly clear: our shadow selves are simply the unknown, potentially darker sides of our personality.
However, even though the word ‘shadow’ may allude to negative connotations, it doesn’t necessarily imply that this side of our psyche is bad or undesirable- it is merely that it represents a repressed side of ourselves that we don’t usually see.
According to Stylus, we have witnessed a reversal of the trend that promoted playful escapism, and in its place, consumers are looking to challenge all aspects of themselves – the good and the bad – in their quest for deeper self-understanding.
By being more aware of their subconscious, consumers can recognise and therefore address the more difficult matters of the mind, such as depression and discomfort, as a means of self-care and healing.
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
LA based life coach, mindfulness expert and author, Ora Nadrich, told Stylus that “with the overwhelming amount of stress and worry mounting at this time, people are looking for answers, and the way to find them is not to look outside of ourselves, but to go within,”
A brilliant example of this is online learning platform Udemy’s ‘Hacking Your Subconscious Mind’ course which targets entrepreneurs and people seeking self-improvement. This exciting course explores the previously unseen facets of human behaviour and teaches you exercises to programme unconscious thinking. Essentially, Udemy is offering the chance to understand how your brain works, and then rewire it.
This opens up a wonderful opportunity for brands to cater to this desire for introspection by providing products, services and store design that appeals to the more inward-looking consumer.
Embrace discomfort. Encourage your consumer to confront their shadow self so they can be inspired to lead a more fulfilling life.
How can your brand connect with psychodynamics and neuroscience to connect with the subconscious. Look to the world of unknown to inspire brand moments.