Shadow Work Prompts

  1. How judged do you tend to feel on a daily basis? Explore how much of that perceived judgement is real and how much is imagined.

  2. Take a look at the best and most enjoyable aspect of your life right now. What is your underlying fear in that area and why?

  3. Write about the last time you tried to manipulate a situation to your advantage and examine how you feel about that in hindsight.

  4. Describe a scenario in which you feel that competition could be healthy and productive. Then describe a scenario in which competition could be toxic and unproductive. Finally, write about your emotional response to this exercise.

  5. What does it feel like to have your emotions belittled or downplayed? Be as descriptive as possible and try writing about specific examples from your own life too.

  6. Pinpoint something that's really frustrating/upsetting you at the moment. Then try writing an uplifting, beautiful poem about it!

  7. Write about the last time you ran away from your responsibilities. Consider why you did that and what the results were.

  8. How can you begin to give other people more space and acceptance to be themselves around you?

  9. Where do you tend to expect other people to conform to your beliefs? (And what scares you the most about allowing people to have their own beliefs in that area?)

  10. If you could say one thing to the person who's hurt you the most right now, what would it be and why?

  11. Consider yourself at your worst - at a point where all of your most negative and disruptive traits have come to the surface. Capture that version of you in your mind. Then write a letter of love, understanding and compassion to that version of you. (For extra credit: Read the letter aloud to yourself whenever you feel like you've turned into a bit of a monster!)

  12. Write about the different ways in which people have expressed their anger or resentment in front of you over the last few months. What do you notice about their different modes of expression for these emotions? What sensations or feelings come up for you surrounding this?

  13. What's the one thing you know you need to do but keep avoiding? Write it down. Then write a step-by-step description of actually doing it. Include every action which would need to be involved in order to get it done. At the end of the exercise, explore how you feel.

  14. When was the last time you witnessed distinctly self-destructive behaviour, either in yourself or in someone else? Describe it and the emotions you had at the time.

  15. What was the last cruel thing you wanted to say to someone in order to make them feel bad about themselves or their actions? Write it down and then explore your feelings about it.

  16. Where do you currently feel isolated and how are you dealing with that emotion?

  17. Write about the biggest experience of loss for you so far this year.

  18. What do you currently envy in someone else's life and why? (For extra credit: What kinds of emotions come up when you imagine yourself having access to the thing you envy?)

  19. At the top of a blank page write the following words, 'My insecurity is my teacher.' Then fill the page up with your responses to this sentence.

  20. What does it feel like to be completely discouraged by someone's words? Be descriptive and consider writing about personal experiences of this in your own life.

  21. Why is it sometimes difficult to tell the difference between someone saying something intentionally mean and someone just saying something accidentally thoughtless?

  22. Which emotion do you tend to deal with in unhelpful/destructive ways? Write about the way you usually deal with this troublesome emotion. Then write about what your life might be like if you dealt with it differently.

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