top of page

Inner Child, Part X, Archetype, Or Shadow – Understanding Who Is Keeping You Stuck And Why

Written by: Iva Perez, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Iva Perez

There is a conflict inside your mind hindering you from reaching your true potential beyond just ‘limiting beliefs’. Who is ‘good’, who is ‘bad’, and who simply needs a ‘time out’?

A photo of a kid.

NOTE: This is a true story.

When she saw what her daughter was doing, she felt triggered.

It had been a long day. She was tired and stressed. They were supposed to be sharing a moment of connection. Instead, all she felt was annoyance.

She had this urge to snatch it out of her daughter’s hand and tell her that she wouldn’t be allowed to eat that food until she was in college and out of the house.

Everyone loves a good story.

Great stories have a way of stirring emotions in us that mere facts will never do.

A compelling story drives us to feel inspired and guided, or it can warn us against something. Stories tap directly into the subconscious mind through the language of emotions and symbols. It makes sense that a powerful story creates a strong emotional connection in humans since 95% of our attitudes and beliefs are rooted in the subconscious mind.

But there’s nothing more compelling than our own story. Any good marketer worth his salt would tell you that people want to be the hero of their own life. After all, we are fully invested in what is happening to us.

However, every good story needs a villain. Villains must be exciting and appealing. If the hero is not up against a worthy villain, we won’t care much for the hero. The better the villain, the better the hero.

The villain doesn’t need to be human. Non-human villains can be conflicts or obstacles.

Outdated and limiting beliefs make the best villains because many of us can relate to feeling like something is working against us.

It might feel like an invisible force. And it is making things not work out in our life. We might call it karma, bad luck or divine punishment. Like we're living out a script that we did not write.

Where is this resistance and seeming roadblocks in our lives coming from despite our best efforts?

Who in their right mind peels the whole banana completely, discards the peel, and grabs the entire banana with her bare hands to eat it?!

Her daughter, that’s who.

Who also happened to be 4.

Regardless of her age, it was time to change this.

Inner turmoil

Dr. Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and university professor, perfectly describes what seems to happen at the core of every individual. He refers to Carl Jung’s idea of the self in which we are what we are, but we’re also what we could be because of untapped potential. You are what you are, and ALSO, you are the potential that you are.

This hero quest plays out in countless stories, myths, and narratives throughout history. The story of Beowulf comes to mind as retold by Perry Marshall. Marshall uses the story of Beowulf to explain the concept of limiting beliefs by tackling problems at their root instead of just finding solutions to the symptoms.

In this modern version of Beowulf, King Hrothgar has a castle where he and his men drink beer and share their exploits. But there’s a problem: a monster named Grendel likes to come through the door, eat a few men, and go back to his swamp. Nobody can kill him because he has magic.

So, Beowulf, comes in and gives his proposal on how he’s killed sea monsters in the past and gets the job to eliminate Grendel. When Grendel shows up, he rips his arm out of his socket and hangs it in the beer hall. Everyone’s happy. Days later, Grendel’s mother comes in, kills more men, and goes back to the swamp.

Every one of us will have to face our limitations if we want to grow and evolve. This is the Hero archetype that represents overcoming obstacles to achieve specific goals. And in a deeper sense, realizing the full potential within us.

Back to Beowulf’s story

The swamp was so evil that animals would rather die than jump into it. But Beowulf knows the only way is to go down to the swamp and kill the mother. He goes down and wrestles with her but finds his magical sword doesn’t work there. Fortunately, he sees a magical sword forged by orcs and he kills her. Now the problem is fully solved.

When he first killed Grendel, Beowulf acted akin to what most of us do when we try to solve a problem; he killed a problem but not what gave birth to the problem, i.e. the root cause of the problem.

In essence, we know what not to do with more certainty than we know anything else. But instead, we end up resorting to add-ons rather than doing elimination.

An example of this could be a smoker that wants to stay healthy.

They could try to eat more salads, work out three times a week, take their supplements, avoid alcohol, have good sleep hygiene, and the like, with possibly very little change in their health in the long run.

In most cases, removing the negative (smoking) will give better results than adding countermeasures.

All the above healthy habits are good insofar as the smoking habit is eliminated as well.

When people hear the terms shadow parts, inner child, and archetypes when linked to inner work they have no inkling what each means. This is because they’re not familiar with the two core concepts that stories like Beowulf teach about growth and achieving true potential:

  1. The root of the problem is at the bottom of the swamp no one wants to go into (HINT: it’s your subconscious mind). A hero would, though.

  2. The weapons that work at the top of the swamp don’t work at the bottom (conscious effort and willpower alone won’t work when dealing with the subconscious).

Even in more recent times, the same story arc and themes prove true in the Harry Potter series, now a 34.5-billion-dollar media franchise. In essence, the Harry Potter saga is a ‘Rag to riches’ and ‘Kill the monster’ story.

Just like Beowulf.

These stories and many more resonate so much with us at a deep visceral level because they tap into archetypal figures. Just like this coming-of-age story that most women can identify with and which has broken box-office records this year.

Carl Jung believed they came from the collective unconscious.

Barry Michels and Dr. Phil Stutz, two LA-based psychotherapists, and authors of the New York Times bestselling book The Tools, echo Dr. Peterson by explaining that everyone suspects they could be more confident and alive and that their lives could be more meaningful and joyful. Humans have a vast amount of untapped potential. “The mistake everyone makes is thinking that it’s easy to fulfill that potential, that it should happen automatically” Michel adds.

So who or what is keeping us from reaching our true potential?

“Honey, we don’t eat bananas that way. The peel protects it from your hands and it’s the most hygienic way to eat it.”

Her daughter didn’t pay attention and continued to eat it like that.

Taking a deep breath, she realized she was using logic to exert change in her daughter. Logic would not work.

Who’s who inside your mind

  • A is for Archetype

Business coach, mentor, and healer, Alixe K. Tracey, has this to say about archetypes: “Their energy dictates what the person does, thinks and ultimately manifests. Each of these archetypes will repeat thoughts and behaviors. We are WHAT we do… so the sum of our habits defines our identity.” Just like in the movies or stories, it’s pretty predictable what a ‘good girl’s life’ is going to be like or how someone who is in victim mode will tend to behave, possibly believing they can’t control their own lives and that life is happening TO them instead of FOR them.

Some of the well-known archetypes that can hinder someone’s expansion are the self-saboteur and the victim.

Tracey shares that “archetypes are much more identities and live more in our mind and our ‘to-do list’. Pretty much if I look at someone’s to-do list and habits, I can tell you which archetype is most dominant for them.”

The good news is that according to Tracey, archetypes often just need to be ‘named’ to dissolve them because they have such strong narratives and often dissolve as soon as they are recognized and identified. Dr. Stutz shares this same idea: “If we keep sabotaging ourselves and don’t know why, we can’t do anything about it. But if there’s a force we can name, then we can fight it.”

Helping people change their behaviors was her area of expertise, and so she had to find a way to make her daughter eat bananas the right way.

As in peeling them little by little as you eat them.

  • Back to Childhood

Dr. Becky Kennedy, 1 New York Times bestselling author of Good Inside states that our triggers and pet peeves hold the key to what is faulty within us. She explains that our mind might not remember how our parents reacted to our meltdowns and tantrums, but the body does. Their dysregulation affected us as children in how they responded to us in those moments of high emotions.

A child then learns that it’s not safe to express her feelings because others get scared and push her away with time-outs. We then learn to shut down the eruptions, meltdowns, and tantrums to feel safe in our world and later continue to suppress our emotions in adulthood which further freezes them in our bodies.

Inner Child Integration Therapist, Candice Chaignat, concurs. “When a child’s need is not met by his or her parents/caregivers, the child develops a defense mechanism as a survival need.

As this survival mechanism kicks in, we create beliefs that carry into adulthood that match that defense mechanism. For example, ‘I am not worthy of being loved’. This pattern carries over into adulthood and even though we can now take care of ourselves, we still have these belief systems that have been installed in the subconscious mind that operate on automatic pilot and prevent us from growing” she adds.

The wounded inner child seems to be the one that leads to inner parts that later try to protect us or punish us in a very misguided way. This is because, according to Dr. Kennedy, when children have big emotions and their parents don’t show empathy, compassion, or inclusion, they soon realize that they need to develop a new part of themselves that shuts down the wound or hurt and this part becomes a protector part.

Triggers are tell-tale signs that an adult is seeing in someone else a part that they had to learn to shut down harshly in themselves because they were not allowed to express it fully without punishment, threats, and judgment.

What could I say that truly excites her imagination?

“Honey,” she said to her daughter as she watched her eat. “Do you want to hear a story about a naked banana?”

Her daughter immediately looked up and her eyes lit up.

Now she had her full attention.

  • Parts and Part X

However, Dr. Stutz and Dr. Michels are referring to what they call Part X. They call it Part X because it “x’s” out the person’s potential even though it’s only part of you, not all of you. Its strategy is to make someone give up on their most cherished dreams. When they don’t get it, the person feels devastated and crushed and Part X makes sure the person feels permanently defeated.

“Parts are much more hidden, harder to find, very much subconscious, emotional, and live deeper in our emotional body. Parts need to be validated and heard a lot more than an archetype,” Alixe K. Tracey adds.

A part may make you tired or avoidant.

“A part might repel money and success ‘just because’ it remembers that ‘money’ hurt you when you were 6,” says Tracey.

They can have more protective, punishing, or controlling roles versus an archetype which can be recognized based on what the person does or believes.

“Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a banana that was very sad.”

Her daughter looked at her with wide eyes.

“It was sad because a little girl would always get her naked before eating it” she continued. “The banana didn’t like people watching it be all naked.”

  • Shadow and Shadow Parts

Candice Chaignat explains the shadow aspect of ourselves as a part that we completely reject and it triggers us to see it in others. Is what we feel is our greatest weakness, so much so, that we completely reject it in our consciousness and it resurfaces when we see it in others.

For Tracey, all parts are essentially ‘shadows’ and some archetypes can be considered ‘shadow archetypes’ but the ‘shadow’ label is not needed as the goal is to have unconditional love and openness towards them. Not to fear them or label them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

“Every archetype, or shadow parts are essentially looking for love. Even the worst of them,” she says.

So what to do?

The Beowulf story metaphorically shares a master strategy:

While some people only deal with the surface level of the problem but not the root – those who have a bottom-of-the-swamp mindset or approach will have a total advantage compared to everyone else. This is because whatever tools worked at the top of the swamp won’t work at the bottom of the swamp- and many problems are very deep.

Her daughter smiled as mom made a silly voice, saying, “Oooh, I want to keep my clothes on. I don’t like people watching me without my peel on.”

She turned to her daughter. “Are you gonna help the banana stay fully clothed as you eat it?”

Her daughter nodded. She went to the kitchen, got another banana, and peeled it just a bit, enough to take one bite. “Thank you for helping the banana keep her clothes on.”

Depending on what is coming up for someone, different techniques and approaches are advised. When looking to reprogram or override unhelpful or limiting beliefs, a bottom-of-the-swamp tool like Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT®)- Hypnotherapy is an effective and evidence-based modality that rapidly rewires the brain’s neural pathways and delivers extraordinary change from physical, emotional, and psychological pain by reframing our core beliefs, values, habits, and emotions deep in the subconscious.

As an RTT Hypnotherapist, most of my clients have deep-rooted beliefs such as “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t connect”, “I am unlovable” that were installed, usually between the ages of 0 to 6, and in most cases, unintentionally, by well-meaning parents. Those limiting beliefs seem to be the invisible force that keeps someone feeling stuck or helpless not knowing why they keep repeating the same patterns in their lives.

But there is no need to stay stuck in a repetitive loop.

Dr. Stutz said it best when he shared that “although the battle against Part X, (or any other archetype or shadow) is inside each individual, the consequences are collective. If enough people give in to Part X, our whole society declines. But if enough people fight back, it can lift society at large.”

To be the hero of your own life means finding fulfillment in your growth and evolution knowing you are forging ahead and improving your life while improving the life of those around you at the same time.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – Carl Jung

Have a taster of what an RTT Hypnotherapy session is like and Uncover the Biggest Belief Holding You Back in Life – Bypass the guesswork and the online quizzes. Your subconscious mind already knows what is holding you back. This audio helps you uncover core limiting beliefs in minutes using soothing 396 Hz frequency background music. It includes a Re-Patterning Session to lose blockages and negativity. Instructions booklet included.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Iva Perez Brainz Magazine

Iva Perez, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Iva Perez is on a mission to help 1,000 women and entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success, confidence and freedom. She has successfully merged 20 years of corporate experience with her studies on the Science of the Mind into her role as a Licensed Transformational Hypnotherapist and is endorsed by UK’s No. 1 Therapist, Marisa Peer. She helps women and entrepreneurs drop the overwhelm and anxiety and, instead, create new subconscious beliefs to facilitate powerful transformations. This way, mothers can successfully navigate the overlap between work and family life. Iva is the co-host of the Top Ranked podcast, Mom Bosses Abroad as well as an avid speed reader and matcha evangelist.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page