115+ Shadow Work Prompts for Healing and Manifestation


David Em

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Shadow work is about discovering parts of yourself that you hide. Use shadow work prompts to build self-awareness and compassion.

Person sitting and journaling.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Your shadow self is the part that you repress.

It’s hard to deal with trauma, pain, and shame. But shadow work can help you heal and grow.

It takes self-awareness to recover from distress and painful memories.

An excellent way to begin is to create a journal.

The following are shadow work prompts to help you heal, grow, and thrive.

Related: Mindful Questions to Ask Yourself

What’s shadow work?

Shadow work is a type of psychotherapy. Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung was a pioneer of the practice.

It dives into your dark side to stop self-sabotage, addiction, and bad habits.

Shadow work helps you heal from trauma and suffering as you confront things you repress.

While it’s not easy, it can help you live with inner peace, self-love, clarity, and confidence.

Your shadow is a part of you. So, approach it with gentleness, patience, and love.

Shadow work prompts for beginners

Shadow work prompts for beginners.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

1. What makes you angry and why?

2. What’s an emotion you try to avoid and why?

3. What’s something you try to hide about yourself? What would happen if someone found out?

4. What’s the biggest lie you’ve told someone? Why did you say it?

5. What’s your biggest regret and why? Do you think you can forgive yourself?

6. What scares you the most and why?

7. What are things you need to forgive others for doing? Why’s it hard for you to do it?

8. What causes your body to become tense? Why do they trigger you?

9. What does self-love mean to you?

10. What’s something about other people that annoys you? How does it reflect a part of yourself?

11. What makes you anxious and why?

12. What do you think is your worst trait? Why do you think it’s bad? What’s a good thing about having the trait?

13. What do you need to forgive yourself for doing?

14. What promises have you made to yourself and broken? How does it make you feel?

15. How do you feel about your future? Do you know the direction you’re going? What worries you about tomorrow?

16. When are moments you’ve felt shame? What caused the shame?

17. What painful memories do you avoid? What would happen if you took the time to confront them? Can you do it? Why or why not?

18. What do you change about yourself to be loved and accepted? What would happen if you didn’t change it?

19. What negative patterns keep repeating in your life? When, where, and how did they start? What triggers the pattern?

20. How can I share more compassion to myself?

21. What family patterns do I want to avoid repeating and why?

22. What’s something you wish you were better at doing?

23. What’s the worst thing you’ve done to another person? Why did you do it? Can you accept it and forgive yourself now?

24. Think about the last time you felt sad. What was it about? What did you do about it?

25. How does your self-talk sound? What do you say to and about yourself and why?

26. If you could let go of a fear or insecurity, what would it be?

27. When have you been too hard on yourself? How could you be more compassionate?

28. Think about the last time you felt at peace. Where were you? Who was around you? What were you doing?

29. Is there anything about yourself that society or someone doesn’t understand? How would you like to be seen?

30. Do you allow yourself to be sad when negative events happen? Why or why not?

31. Does your value as a person root in your achievements? Why or why not?

32. How will my life be different if I let go of my grudges?

33. Is it easy for you to ask for forgiveness? Why or why not?

34. How often do you lie to yourself? What are you lying about? What are you afraid of revealing?

35. What trait in others do you wish you had and why?

36. What would you change if you could start your career over?

37. What does it mean to be good or evil? What’s the root of your beliefs? Where did you learn them? Do you still agree with them?

38. Are you prejudiced against people that are different from you? How can you be more compassionate and understanding?

39. Do you feel safe expressing your opinions? Why or why not?

40. Who causes you to feel jealous, and why?

41. Think about the last time you felt defensive. Who or what made you feel that way? Why did you get defensive?

42. Are you comfortable asking for help? Why or why not?

43. If you could go back five years, what would you do differently and why?

44. What do you hope to achieve with shadow work?

45. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

46. When things go wrong in life, do you blame yourself or others? Is your approach constructive or destructive?

47. Do you feel deserving when you receive praise? Why or why not?

48. In what ways do I self-sabotage?

49. What bad habits do you do to dampen the pain in your life? Are they working? What are the consequences of these habits?

50. Do you have recurring nightmares? What are they about, and why do they scare you? Are there any ways to confront your fear?

51. Are there privileges in your life that you take for granted? How can you start being thankful for them?

52. In what ways do you feel stagnant in life? What can you do to move on?

Shadow work prompts for healing and manifestation

Shadow work prompts for healing and manifestation.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

1. What do you need to let go of to move forward?

2. Who has hurt you in the past? What would you say to them now?

3. How would you describe your ideal self? What can you let go of and do to achieve it?

4. What are three characteristics you would love to have? Write them as “I am” statements and read them for 30 days.

5. What problems do you encounter daily? Can you see any as an opportunity?

6. Are there instances where you feel like a victim? Did you do anything wrong at that moment? Can you take responsibility for it?

7. Do you feel worthy of great things? Why or why not?

8. What’s something that’s holding you back from achieving your dreams? How can you overcome it?

9. How do you define failure? When have you failed? How can you change your perspective about those events to be compassionate and kind?

10. Did anything happen in your past to hurt your self-confidence? What happened, and how did you react? Can you look at it differently now?

11. What does success look like to me? Would I feel the same way about life if I achieved it? Why or why not?

12. Does past trauma have negative effects on you today? Why or why not?

13. What’s your saddest memory? Why does it make you feel that way?

14. What’s your biggest missed opportunity? How do you feel about it now? Can you succeed without it?

15. Think of a time you didn’t speak up. Why didn’t you have the confidence? How did you feel?

16. Do you put your needs first or neglect yourself for others? What would happen if you put yourself first?

17. What’s the purpose of your life?

18. What’s something you wish you could do but are too afraid to do it? How can you overcome that fear?

19. What do you feel you must do to deserve love and happiness? What’s the root of this feeling?

20. If you could have everything you desire, how would your life look?

21. Do you completely accept and love yourself just as you are?

22. What are your core values? Are you living in alignment with them?

23. Do you feel better or less than others? Why and how does that affect you?

24. When was the last time you felt betrayed? What happened? What outcome did you want? Is there anything you can do now?

25. What makes you feel valued?

26. Have you hurt someone else to get ahead? How did it make you feel?

27. What triggers envy in you? Why do you think it makes you feel that way?

28. What does freedom mean to you?

29. What do you feel most guilty about? How can you forgive yourself and overcome this?

30. How do you respond to compliments? Why do you react that way?

31. In what ways are you hypocritical?

32. Are you happy?

33. If today were your last day, what would you regret not doing?

34. Think about the last time you were wrong. How did it make you feel? What did you do? Did you take responsibility?

35. What would you do if no one could find out? Why do you want to do it?

36. What emotions are difficult to feel? Where in your body do you feel them? What can you do to cope?

37. What topics do you think about each day?

38. What makes you feel empty? How do you fill that void? Is it helping or hurting you?

39. Do you trust your gut? Why or why not?

40. Think of your contributions that didn’t get recognition. Do you expect others to recognize your efforts? Does it make you upset? Why or why not?

41. Who has the most influence over your life? Should they have that much power?

42. How do you respond when someone is angry with you, and why?

43. What does your family mean to you? How have and do they impact your life? What can you do to improve that relationship?

44. What makes you stay in relationships that aren’t good for you?

45. What have you done to cause yourself the most pain? Why did you do it?

46. Is there a time you agreed to something you didn’t want to do? Why didn’t you set boundaries?

47. What words to describe you would hurt you the most? Why does it cause so much pain?

48. Which of my dreams feel possible and which feel impossible?

49. Do you expect the worst to happen to you? Think about the root of this type of thinking. Did something traumatic happen in your past?

50. Who are you? Ignore what others believe about you. Think about who you are, your true essence.

Shadow work prompts for your inner child

Shadow work prompts for your inner child.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

1. When didn’t you feel safe as a child? Do those situations cause you to stress today? What can make you feel safe?

2. While reflecting on your childhood, what makes you extremely angry or sad?

3. What made you start doubting yourself as a child?

4. What values do you have from your childhood? Do you agree with them? Why or why not? What do you believe now?

5. What were your favorite activities as a kid? Why did you stop doing them?

6. Who did you look up to as a child, and why?

7. What advice would you give your younger self?

8. Who was your least favorite teacher in school? Why didn’t you like them? How did they make you feel?

9. What’s one thing you wish you could change about your childhood and why?

10. What memory from your childhood makes you feel shame?

11. What words did others use to describe you growing up?

12. What’s something you felt everyone else had that you didn’t have as a child? How does it make you feel? Do you wish you had it?

13. How do you feel about the way your parents raised you? What would you change?

14. What was your biggest fear as a child? How do you feel about that fear today?

15. What did you worry about as a child?

16. What’s your earliest memory of feeling alone? What were the events surrounding that moment? How do you feel about that memory today?

17. How did your parents respond to you being emotional? How did it make you feel?

Final thoughts

Shadow work is a powerful tool for self-exploration, healing, and growth.

You can shine a light on your shadows to free yourself from self-sabotage and bad habits.

When doing it, create a safe and supportive environment. Approach yourself with compassion, patience, and curiosity.

Shadow work is a journey. So, start a journal to dive into your dark side and thrive.

Related: 7 Chakra Colors and Symbols

Featured image by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

David Em.

David Em

David Em is the Founder of Relaxation Hero. He created this site to provide tips and resources to help you relax. Outside of Relaxation Hero, David is the CEO of Everyone Media Group. He also enjoys hiking, running, and traveling.