Shadow Work Prompts for Beginners [How to]

If you’re a beginner on your spiritual journey, shadow work prompts can be a challenging but transformational technique to practice. Answering shadow work prompts in a journal will help you to access the subconscious mind and unearth repressed emotions and trauma particularly from childhood. This release can lead to adeep emotional release, healing and transformation. 

    What is the Shadow Self?

    We all have a “shadow self”; this is the part of the subconscious mind where we store all of our deepest shame, regret, denial and desires. It’s the part of us that we hide from the world. The more we repress these parts of ourselves the darker our shadow self becomes. These emotional blockages lead to self sabotaging behaviour and negative emotions. Shadow work helps to access these parts of yourself to experience a release of these repressed feelings. 

    What is Shadow Work?

    Shadow work is a simple but powerful practice where you answer questions relating to your childhood. It was first derived by renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung who believed that our shadow self is predominantly developed during childhood. Prompts about childhood are integral to the practice to understand where your behaviour manifests from. 

    These prompts will help to access parts of the subconscious brain that store your deepest memories, beliefs and assumptions about the world. These are the traits that are deeply programmed in the mind that you barely even recognise in yourself. As you answer the prompts you will unearth answers that you might not have even been aware of.

    Is Shadow Work Dangerous?

    Shadow work isn’t dangerous but can be quite confronting. You will essentially be remembering and confronting painful past memories and trauma; some being things you’ve ignored for so long that you forgot about them. You may come to realizations or epiphanies about your childhood and how you developed certain behavioral patterns as an adult. This release of stagnant emotion will help you to heal and move on. 

    Tips for Shadow Work Journalling

    Shadow work journaling can be quite an emotional experience so we recommend practicing in a safe and calm environment. You can answer these prompts using paper and a pen or by typing them out. 

    1. Find some time when you can be alone
    2. Set up your space so that you feel calm and safe
    3. Choose 10 prompts that resonate you - if they make you feel uncomfortable then they're usually the ones you should answer
    4. Go into as much detail as you can when writing your answers
    5. Don’t hold back - this journal is just for you, there should be no shame or fear when practicing
    6. Don’t share it with anyone - knowing that someone is going to read your journal will subconsciously hold back the truth 
    7. Be kind to yourself - if it feels overwhelming take a break 

    Shadow Work Prompts for Beginners 

    The following shadow work prompts for beginners will access parts of the subconscious mind from childhood. This will help you to identify where your self sabotaging behaviour and limited beliefs come from. They will delve into love, relationships, money, confidence, self-esteem and more. 

    Love & Relationships

    1. What is your earliest memory of feeling loved? Who was it that loved you and did it feel unconditional? If not, why not?
    2. Describe yourself as a child. What was your energy like? How did you act? Why did you act this way? Were you happy? Why did you feel this way?
    3. What was your parent’s dynamic like? Were they happy? Was their love language healthy or unhealthy? Why? Do you see yourself repeating any of the same patterns?
    4. How did your parental figures communicate with each other? What was the power dynamic in the relationship? Do you see yourself reflected in one or more of your parental figures?
    5. Were your parental figures open and honest with you? Did you feel close to them as a child? How did they show you their love? Was it enough or even too much? 
    6. As a child were you able to communicate or be vulnerable with your parental figures? Did you 

    Self Worth 

    1. How did your parental figures talk about their physical appearance and self worth? Were they confident or self deprecating? What did you see them doing or hear them talk about when it came to their physical appearance? How did this change the way you looked at yourself?
    2. What was the first memory of finding a physical flaw that you didn’t like? Did this become an obsession? Why did you think it was a flaw? Did anyone tease or ridicule you about it? Can you figure them and yourself for the pain you felt as a child?
    3. What is your first memory of feeling betrayed or hurt? Who hurt you? Why did they hurt you? How did this affect the way you acted? Can you forgive this person?
    4. When is your first memory of feeling rejected? Who rejected you? Why do you think they rejected you? How did this affect the way you acted? Are there any patterns in your behaviour that came from this rejection?


    1. What was your parents’ relationship to money like? How did they talk about money? Do you remember them speaking about money troubles, hard work or great wealth? 
    2. As a child did you get everything you wanted or did you want for things? How has that affected your relationship to money and work? 

    Final Thoughts 

    Shadow work prompts are the perfect place to start for spiritual beginners. While this practice isn't "fun" it is certainly extremely powerful and can help you to confront trauma that lays dormant in the body causing mental and physical hardship. This journaling technique is an incredible self healing technique. This is an incredibly rewarding practice, please kind to yourself during this practice.

    If you found healing in this practice and would like to share your story or have any questions we'd love to hear from you. Contact us or dm us on Instagram.

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    Author Bio

    My background is in law and journalism. As a lawyer I was stressed out and struggling through life, I discovered spirituality through meditation and breathwork in my late 20s and love to share what I've learned here.