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21 Powerful Shadow Work Journal Prompts

We all have a shadow side, a part of ourselves that we hide away from others out of fear of shame. We might refer to this as our dark side or hidden side, it is unconscious in nature.

This aspect of our being contains all of the negative traits, habits, and tendencies which we suppress in order to seem like ‘good people. It also contains positive attributes which we are hesitant to show or express due to how others might respond.

How this dark hidden side doesn’t simply cease to exist if we ignore it, instead it manifests in more subtle ways. Through projection, deception, passive aggression, unhealthy habits, and a general lack of authenticity.

In this post, I want to explore what shadow work is, provide journal prompts you can get started with today, and share guidance on how you can go deeper with your practice.

What is shadow work?

The shadow self or shadow side is a concept that was coined by psychoanalyst Carl Jung, he describes this as the unconscious parts of the personality that our conscious ego doesn’t want to identify in itself.

Shadow work is the practice of acknowledging these hidden aspects of our psyche so that we can bring them to light. When we work with the shadow rather than pretending it doesn’t exist, we bring increased clarity and peace to all areas of our lives.

So shadow work is any practice that brings these hidden unconscious aspects into awareness. Meditation can be a form of shadow work, so can mindfulness, and traditional therapy. Anytime we confront ourselves honestly, we get to know and integrate the shadow.

Shadow work journaling

Journaling is one of the most powerful shadow work exercises because it unites both our conscious and unconscious minds.