Do you ever feel like an unseen part of yourself is running the show? Preventing you from living as your best and brightest self? You’re not alone.
We all have a shadow – a part of our psyche where we hide away parts of ourselves we deem undesirable. We can illuminate and integrate these disowned aspects through shadow work and unlock greater fulfillment.
I’ll provide you with over 100 insightful and transformative shadow work prompts to aid you on your journey. By digging into these journal prompts, you’ll understand what makes you tick, release old patterns that no longer serve you, and step into the full expression of who you truly are.
Shadow Work Prompts for Beginners
- What are your top 5 values in life? Do you live by them?
- What are some habits or routines that no longer serve you?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- What brings you the most joy in life?
- What are you most grateful for right now?
- What is a dream you’ve always had but never pursued? Why not?
- What limiting belief is holding you back from something you want?
- How could you bring more laughter and lightness into your life?
- What new perspective could change everything?
- What does your ideal life look like? How does your current life compare?
- When do you feel most like your true, authentic self?
- What is something you could do today to positively shift your mood?
- What could you give yourself permission to do or be if you felt free?
- What do you wish you had more courage to say or do?
Shadow Work Prompts for Trauma and Inner Child Work
- What events or relationships from your childhood still affect you today?
- If you could speak to your childhood self, what would you say?
- What old angers, hurts or disappointments need reconciliation?
- What did you have to suppress as a child to gain approval or affection?
- What do you need to forgive yourself or others for?
- What boundaries might your inner child need you to set?
- How could you comfort or nurture your inner child today?
- Was there a loss in childhood you still grieve?
- What toxic messages did you receive growing up? How have they shaped you?
- What qualities did you have as a child that you could reclaim?
- If you feel stuck, what old story might need to be rewritten?
- What did you enjoy most about being a kid?
- What makes your inner child feel safe, seen, and loved?
- What does your inner child most want or need from you today?
Shadow Work Prompts for Relationships
- When have you felt rejected or abandoned in relationships?
- Whose approval do you most seek? And why?
- What do you complain about most in your partner? Is this a projection?
- How could you communicate more honestly in your relationships?
- What boundaries do you need to set for healthier relationships?
- In what ways do you self-sabotage intimate relationships?
- Whose attention do you most desire? Why?
- In what ways could you be a better partner/friend?
- How do you handle conflict? Is there a healthier way?
- How could you cultivate more empathy in your relationships?
- What past hurts are you bringing into your current relationships?
- What type of affection makes you feel most loved?
- What positive relationship qualities could you further develop?
- What hidden relationship fears or insecurities do you carry?
Shadow Work Prompts for Work and Career
- When do you feel most alive at work? Doing what activities?
- What dreams have you abandoned for the “practical” path?
- What work histories or skills could be uncovered and rediscovered?
- What limiting beliefs about success do you carry? Where did they originate?
- How do you self-sabotage at work? What do you fear?
- If you could change careers, what would you do?
- When do you feel most confident and capable at work?
- How could you bring more creativity into your work?
- What energizes you most in your career? How can you do more of that?
- What doubts or insecurities get in the way of your best work?
- What gifts and talents are not being fully utilized?
- What brings you meaning and purpose through your work?
- If time and money were no obstacle, what work would you choose?
- What compliment about your work would you love to hear?
Shadow Work Prompts for Deeper Self-Reflection
- What part of yourself is hardest to love? Why?
- When do you feel most ashamed? What is the source?
- How could being radically honest change your life?
- What do you pretend to believe that you doubt deep down?
- If this was your last day on earth, what would you regret not doing?
- What makes you feel most defensive or vulnerable? Why?
- What harsh judgments of yourself could you release?
- How did you learn to silence unpleasant emotions?
- What addictions or distractions numb your true feelings?
- What might your anger, mistrust, or cynicism be protecting?
- If a dear friend described you, what would they emphasize?
- How could you cultivate more self-forgiveness?
- What have you outgrown that is ready to be shed?
- What unwanted parts of yourself do you try to hide or reject?
Shadow Work Prompts for Manifestation
- What negative beliefs block you from fulfilling your potential?
- Where did you learn limitations around abundance and success?
- How could re-imagining your future change your reality?
- What greatness are you denying within yourself? Why?
- How would embodying self-love change your manifestation potential?
- What dream are you ready to turn into reality? What’s the first step?
- If you knew you could not fail, what would you create?
- How can you expand your vision to include more possibilities?
- What intention could you set that would change everything?
- What would make today feel like a success?
- What limiting belief around money holds you back from abundance?
- How could you cultivate more gratitude for what you have?
- What past hurts stop you from allowing good in?
- In what areas of life do you deserve more?
Shadow Work Prompts for Self-Love
- What parts of yourself do you reject? Why?
- How do you sabotage happiness, health, or success?
- If you were your own best friend, how would you treat yourself?
- What critical voice do you carry? How could you soften it?
- What gifts could you share with the world if you honored your true self?
- What do you most need to forgive yourself for?
- How could you better comfort yourself in moments of pain?
- If self-love was easy for you, how would you live and love?
- How would your inner dialog change if you felt deserving?
- Imagine you love everything about yourself – how does that feel?
- What is the kindest thing you could do for yourself today?
- How could you create healthy boundaries aligned with self-care?
- What simple self-care practices could you engage in daily?
- When do you feel most grateful for who you are? Seek out more of that.
Shadow Work Prompts for Anxiety
- What worst-case scenarios does your mind predict? How likely are they?
- How could you be gentler with yourself when anxious?
- What core beliefs make you feel unsafe? Can they change?
- What control strategies ease anxiety short-term but hurt long-term?
- How could you reframe anxious thoughts with curiosity over catastrophizing?
- When do you feel your anxiety spike? What precedes it?
- How does your body feel when anxious? What helps you feel relaxed?
- If your anxiety whispers, what does it say? Could you write a different story?
- What irrational stories fuel your anxiety? Challenge them.
- How could you cultivate a greater sense of safety in your body?
- What positive mantras could you repeat when you feel anxious?
- How could you shift from asking “what if” to asking “what is”?
- If anxiety is an exaggerated concern for the future, how can you find peace right now?
- What brings you a sense of calmness or contentment? Seek that out.
How to Create Your Own Shadow Work Prompts
While the prompts above can help guide your shadow work journey, creating prompts tailored to your unique needs can be even more powerful. Here are some tips for crafting your own shadow work questions:
- Reflect on a specific challenge, relationship dynamic, or pattern you want to explore. Turn this into an open-ended prompt.
- Complete the sentence: “I want to understand…” Take time to dig into whatever arises.
- Examine what makes you feel defensive or brings up strong emotions. Craft a prompt to uncover why.
- Look at areas in your life that feel stagnant. Ask questions to reveal what’s holding you back.
- Notice when you feel triggered or overreact. Ask, “What old wound does this touch?”
- Tell a half-truth about yourself. Then complete: “What I haven’t shared is…”
- Reveal something that feels risky or vulnerable to uncover why it feels unsafe.
- Consider when you feel inauthentic or mute a part of yourself. Ask, “What am I afraid would happen if I was fully self-expressed?”
- Look for contradictions between your values and actions. Ask, “Where am I not living in alignment with my truth?”
- Notice what you complain about or avoid. Turn this into a question like “Why do I resist ___?”
- Pay attention to your dreams and intuition. Ask, “What message or metaphor stands out to me?”
Get creative and let your inner wisdom guide you. The more personal the prompts, the deeper you can go in your shadow work.
I hope these prompts support you on your journey of self-discovery through shadow work! Remember to be gentle with yourself. The light is worth the excavation.