Shadow Work Prompts

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Shadow Work Prompts

someone is writing in a dim room, while holding a compass

When you're in the middle of shadow work, it can be difficult to know where to start. That's why we have created these shadow work prompts — they will help you navigate your innate existential search by asking questions you never thought to ask before.

These shadow work prompts will help you to explore and understand one of the many branches of your shadow. It's also a great way to defuse and process old trauma. Just be sure to do it in a private space where no one will bother you while you’re participating in shadow work.

But when it comes down to it, shadow work is personal — so these prompts should be used as a guide to exploring your shadow. Change or adapt these shadow work prompts to match your current thoughts.

Inner Child Journaling Prompts

Can you remember the days when you were younger? Do you remember what it was like to explore your world, full of wonder and innocence? Take a few moments each day to connect with your inner child with these shadow work prompts. It can be healing and therapeutic.

  • What were your favorite places to visit when you were a kid?
  • Have you ever noticed that when you're at your lowest, you tend to recall events from your childhood that you had to deal with as a child?
  • Do you ever find yourself whining about something like you did as a child, instead of reacting like the adult you would?
  • Have you ever been confused about an emotional outburst and wondered where all those feelings came from?
  • What did you lack as a child, that you have too much of now? Or do you actively deprive yourself of this thing?
  • What are the differences between your values and your family’s values? And what are the similarities?
  • What activities did you enjoy as a child, but deprived yourself of, because of an adult’s reaction to it?
  • Was it safe for you to express yourself as a child?
  • Were you ever made to feel like a burden, or that your feelings didn’t matter?
  • What expectations did you feel you could never meet as a child?
a brunette standing outside, arms spread wide and eyes closed.

Self-Love Journaling Prompts

If you've never heard of self-love journaling prompts, they're an excellent tool. They can help you express your feelings, set goals, and most importantly: teach you to love yourself.

  • I am deserving of happiness because…
  • Describe three ways you can take towards your dreams.
  • What faults and mistakes haven’t you forgiven yourself for?
  • Positively describe yourself in a paragraph.
  • What habits do you have that are destroying your self-esteem?
  • What makes you feel loved?
  • What distinguishes you from others?
  • Name 5 flaws that you accept.
  • What labels have you assigned yourself? Which ones are positive and which are negative?
  • What accomplishments are you proud of and why?

Money Journaling Prompts

Money journal prompts can be a powerful way to boost money awareness and gain greater clarity on what money means in your life. In doing so, it helps you make better decisions on how to handle money. These shadow work prompts will help you to create this awareness.

  • What are your financial achievements?
  • What aspect of your current financial condition do you find most appealing?
  • When it comes to money, what is the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?
  • What can you do differently today than you did yesterday?
  • Which of your talents, traits, or skills is the most profitable?
  • What is the most lucrative talent, trait, or skill you have?
  • Explain how you feel about money.
  • How do you take care of your money?
  • How have your life's low points influenced your current financial situation?
  • When was the time in your life when you had the most positive relationship with money?
a women covering her face with black tape shaped in an x

Trauma Journaling Prompts

Trauma journaling prompts can help you create a safe and encouraging space for emotional release. By allowing yourself to describe your emotions in writing, you can come to a greater understanding. You’ll understand what caused the trauma and how you can deal with it on a day-to-day basis.

  • Describe a traumatic event in your life. Be specific.
  • Describe the major stressors in your life right now.
  • How did (specific experience) impact your relationships with others?
  • Write a letter to someone who has disappointed or wounded you.
  • Do you have any regrets regarding your life thus far?
  • Make a list of everything that makes you sad or angry.
  • Write about a trauma response you are working on.
  • List things that remind you of a specific traumatic experience, and how you are working on your reactions?
  • Write about a time when you felt a strong emotion and how it affected your body.
  •  What things do you try to have control over, that you actually have no control over?

 Letting Go Journaling Prompts

Letting go is something we are not willing to do. It's hard, but learning to let go is healthy for your mind, spirit, and body. There are many ways you can start practicing this including using these shadow work prompts for letting go.

  • Why am I finding it so hard to move on from this specific experience?
  • I decide to invest my time into what serves me. This means…
  • Why am I finding it so difficult to continue on from this?
  • Does this [individual, circumstance, memory] serve me? If so, why?
  • Rather than stressing, I know that I…
  • I often focus on everything that is negative. Today, I’m going to focus on…
  • What are you holding onto to that negatively impacts you, that you should let go?
  • What was the most difficult thing you’ve had to let go of and why?
  • When you let go of something you don’t want to let go of, how do you handle it?
  • I understand that I don’t need to have all the answers right now, I know that the answers will come when… 
Four yellow balls express different emotions

Journaling Prompts for Emotions

Shadow Work prompts can be a powerful tool used to overcome negative thoughts and change your mood. A simple shadow work prompt could help you get a fresh perspective on any difficult situations you're experiencing in your life.

  • What’s bothering me right now and what am I feeling?
  • What makes me cry?
  • What triggers outbursts of anger?
  • When I become angry, how do I process my emotions, and is it healthy?
  • What things bring you joy?
  • The feelings I’ve been experiencing a lot of lately are…
  • What feelings have you been holding on to lately, and what thoughts come along with these feelings?
  • How does holding onto negative feelings impact your daily life?
  • What makes you feel sad and depressed?
  • If I had to name one emotion that seems to be my default, it would be...

Journaling Prompts for Limiting Beliefs

Using these shadow work prompts can help you to eliminate limiting beliefs that are holding you back. It is important to release your inhibitions and open up through writing. Use these prompts to explore your innermost thoughts and feelings.

  • List your limiting beliefs.
  • What unkind labels do you give yourself, and when do you call yourself these labels?
  • In what ways do you bring yourself down, and why?
  • Write about where your limiting beliefs stem from.
  • List things you’re good at or that you enjoy doing.
  • What do thoughts do I have about myself that stops me from accomplishing my goals?
  • What if I valued myself more?
  • What behaviors do I participate in that stop me from doing what I set out to do, and what thoughts do I think when I perform them?
  • What would I do if “being too…” didn’t stop me?
  • What would I do if nobody was looking?

There are many reasons why people struggle with their shadow work. Some people don't know how to approach it or where to start, while others are unsure of what they are looking for from the process. Whatever your reason is, I hope that you can use these prompts to get started with your journey.

Why it's become more common in recent years?

There are a few reasons why this might be the case. First, social media has made it easier for people to connect with each other and share their stories. This has created a more open environment where people feel more comfortable talking about mental health issues.

Second, there has been an increasing amount of research in the field of mental health, which has raised awareness about conditions like anxiety and depression. Finally, we are now starting to see more public figures speaking openly about their own mental health issues, which helps break down the stigma surrounding these topics.

What are some of the most common forms of shadow work?

The term "shadow work" generally refers to the process of becoming aware of and integrating the parts of ourselves that we have disowned or buried. This can take many different forms, depending on the individual's needs and preferences. Some common shadow work techniques include inner child work, journaling, attending therapy or counseling sessions, and working with a counselor or coach who specializes in this type of exploration.

Why is it important to be aware of shadow work?

Shadow work is important because it's the process of exploring and integrating the parts of ourselves that we've rejected or disowned. It's often painful and challenging, but it's also essential for healing and wholeness.

And when we're able to integrate our shadow sides, we become much more authentic and whole individuals. We also become less judgemental and more accepting of others, which creates a more peaceful world.

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