Have you ever thought of yourself as a hero of your own life?
The term hero's journey was coined by Dr Joseph Campbell after studying numerous myths, fairy tales and legends around the world and discovered there is one story arc common to them all - and it's just like our real lives.
Once you know this arc, you will see your life in a new light, especially the challenges and opportunities along the way.
If you're facing a tough time right now, it's very empowering to know that there's proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, and a reward at the end of your trials and tribulations. That you are the Hero (or Heroine) of your own life journey and not just randomly thrown around by fate.
That's what mapping your own journey on the model of the Hero's Journey can do for you. It gives you perspective, hope, and strength to keep going. It helps you look for resources where you might have only been seeing challenges so far. And it helps you focus on your strengths and available support where before all you saw was shortcomings and chaos. It gives you access to power to get through and even steer the journey your way.
There are a number of stages of the Hero's Journey, which take the Hero from the known world, on an adventure into the unknown world, and back again, profoundly changed:
➊ Living in the Ordinary world
➋ Call to Adventure
➌ Refusal of the Call
➍ Meeting the Mentor
➎ Accepting the Call (cross the threshold of Adventure)
➏ Tests, Challenges, Allies and Learnings
➐ The Reward
➑ Return with the Elixir (Gift to share with others)
Along this path, we first recognise what we're not satisfied with in our lives (symbolised by the "Ordinary world"), we commit to change (Accepting the call), go through the numerous trials and tribulations and in the process build strengths, gather new learnings, as well as allies, and prepare for the journey ahead.
Once we're through the hardest part of the journey we reap the rewards (all the positive consequences of having made the journey), and eventually we travel back, enriched with all the gifts (new experiences, strength and learnings) we've gained along the way. We come back profoundly changed ready to share our Elixir (gifts) with others.
Think of a significant situation in your life right now, and place yourself on the Hero's Journey map.
Are you sensing that something needs to change, but you haven't committed to doing anything about it (yet)? You may be hearing the call to adventure but have been refusing it.
Or are you going through a very difficult situation, not seeing the end to it? You are probably beyond the threshold of adventure, in the thick of tests and challenges, but don't forget you're also gathering strengths and allies along the way, preparing you for the journey ahead.
Remember to keep your eye on the purpose of it all - you will get through this, and reap the reward that is rightfully yours once you're done absorbing all the learning that this particular situation is offering you.
Try reframing your life's challenges as a purposeful journey this way, and notice how it makes you feel. Do you feel more powerful? Do you feel more motivated to make a bold life move? Does it help you accept yourself and your life more easily?
I hope this perspective serves you. I'd love it if you shared it with someone who needs a powerful re-frame of their own life too.
If you'd like help to navigate your own Hero's Journey more skillfully, let me know by emailing me HERE or booking a call below.