Brené Brown, author of Dare to Lead writes: “Joseph Campbell’s lesson (The Hero’s Journey) was when you find the courage to enter that cave (your fears), you’re never going to secure your own treasure or your own wealth: you face your fears to find the power and wisdom to serve others”.
If you subscribe to the idea that the “universe” is intelligent and that everything is created for a purpose, you might be able to entertain the idea, “I was created for a purpose”. With humans, however, it never seems to be a straightforward endeavor. For some reason most of us need to struggle, fail and flail about on the way to discovering how we were meant to share out talents and gifts with the world. Why?
Conditioning, including parental and societal expectation, get in the way. You invest in a career and are loathe to leave when it does not work out even when doors begin to close. Or you dig in and try even harder make an unsatisfactory situation work (the definition of insanity).
The Hero’s Journey is taken when a situation becomes untenable and an individual is forced to venture out into new, unknown territory (or stay seriously stuck and suffering). The path comprises three phases. Inevitably, this is a journey you take alone, however, there help available along the way when you ask for it.
- Disruption – the world you know begins to dissolve, including your perceptions about yourself and life
- Liminality – the time between no longer and not yet (perhaps the scariest part) as you let go of what you are not and have not fully embraced who you are becoming
- The Return – the hero’s transformation is put into action when you return ‘home’ to share revelations discovered on your journey
If you are thinking – “that’s not me. I don’t have any particular talents and skills that the world needs and is waiting for”, think again.