The first level of exploration begins with the most visible level of consciousness: our projections. What we project onto others on a daily basis, we unconsciously project from our deepest, darkest shadow parts.
The parts I don't like about myself are referred to as disowned parts of myself. These are the shadow parts that hide and can often be easily seen by others in our life. However, we are often wearing blindfolds and are the last to see them. We mostly see the effects of their presence (like breadcrumbs dropped on a trail) and we are left wondering how those crumbs got there and who left them.
And the shadow forms an archetypal alliance (called an autonomous complex) in order to become more powerful, with the intention of creating a better defense against being hurt, betrayed, abandoned or neglected. Sometimes “the best defense is an offense”, and so my autonomous complex is much more powerful than me, the ego. And more difficult to see because it lives not in the 10% of the conscious mind, and not even in the deeper 90% of the subconscious, but it swims in the depths of the ocean of the unconscious!