We all have those days when keeping the head above water, surviving yet another day seems like a victory. Survival is part of our nature as humans and it has become a companion that we feel quite comfortable with. We have become masters of survival and evolution has been an exemplary template to follow and equipped us with survival instincts and strategies that we can call upon at the drop of a hat.
From the day we are born we are have certain survival mechanism which, while following the same pattern across all humans, they can be expressed in as many different ways as we count people. These patterns show up in all works of life and therefore make a remarkable entry in the business world too.
These patterns, also referred to as archetypes, are the Saboteur, the Victim, and the Prostitute. Archetypes are collective behaviours, drives, instincts and core motivators that are grouped under a descriptive name. We are all very familiar with these patterns and use them often and intuitively going about our everyday life. Understanding these archetypes and in particular the way the express themselves in a person gives us insights in how to develop personal stamina, integrity and self worth.
The Saboteur – The Guardian of Choice
The little voice in our head, that we are all too familiar with, can lead you down a destructive path. It is the one that makes suggestions as to why you deserve that piece of chocolate now, why you should not put hand for that new role, why starting that new venture is a scary thought … and before you know it you have done it again. We all have given in to that seductive voice that wants to keep us save and therefore stifle the uptake of new opportunities outside of our comfort zone.
The Saboteur archetype may be the one most intimately connected to your ability to survive in the physical world. You can silence the Saboteur with acts of courage and by following your intuition. It serves you brilliantly as a gut instinct that directs you to take action based on hunches rather than on rational thought.
If you are not moving steadily in the direction of what you say you want, you can be certain that you are sabotaging yourself somewhere. As we come to understand the mechanisms and patterns that underlie self-sabotage, we begin to free ourselves from this constraint and we begin to allow ourselves to interact the world with greater confidence and stamina.
To nip the Saboteur in the butt, start observing yourself and get to understand the strategies of your Saboteur. How does it show up, when does it show up, what types of challenges or people does it usually attract?
Take small steps towards your own empowerment of choice, so you can be ready when the big opportunity comes your way. It is all about awareness and practice. There is no such thing as overnight success; before you get the big break a lot of small and often invisible steps have been lined up. Success means being ready when the opportunity shows up. Don’t let your Saboteur steal the show.
Learn to harness the incredible power of the Saboteur to your advantage. Once you have broken through your initial perceived blockage and have kicked off your new venture, you have created enough momentum to draw you in and push you forward.
Agent of Change
The Saboteur is an agent of change and brings new opportunities into your life. To be able to take on something new, the old ways need to be abandoned and the Saboteur can be used to accelerate this process. We can see this in today’s business world that is challenging and transforming some of the existing and out-dated systems and ways of operating in business. An example of the expression of the Saboteur can be seen in the contemporary disruptive technologies.
The Victim – The Guardian of Boundaries
Business and technology is moving fast and doesn’t wait for anyone. There is no doubt that things can be tough and out of our control or sphere of influence. So where have you fallen victim to this development and more importantly how did you react?
The core issue of the Victim is whether it is worth giving up your own sense of empowerment to avoid taking responsibility for your independence. Many people describe their Victim as their most vulnerable aspect. Being a Victim is a common fear.
The lessons associated with the Victim archetype demand that you evaluate your relationship to power, particularly in your interactions with people with whom you have control issues and need to construct personal boundaries. A strong Victim is one that is clear on their boundaries and has practiced to set the expectations straight from the beginning of an interaction.
Playing the Victim Card
And then there is the hidden power of playing the victim card and haven’t we all been there at some point or other? You may suppress your outrage at the injustice if the victimiser is bigger and more powerful than you. And then there are moments when you made acquaintance with the advantage of playing out the Victim when it suits and discover the benefits of sympathy of others. Developing a strong Victim with clear boundaries will empower you to solder on, when others try to manipulate you into something you disagree with.
The Prostitute – The Guardian of Faith
How much faith does someone like Elon Musk have? Bucket loads. And how to you get this? You need to be clear on who you are and what your purpose is in life. If you have no or very little doubt over your direction in life you will not fall into the trap of selling yourself out for the sake of comfort and safety. In return you will get an exciting rollercoaster experience.
Yes, it does mean there are ups and downs and the experience will be intensified for all sections of the ride. In one of his many interviews, Elon Musk mentions, that he does experience anxiety quite strongly but it doesn’t stop him to continue on his mission. Prostitute interactions make us confront our fears of survival, they can be terrifying and humiliating experiences; but they can be overcome.
The Prostitute can seduce you to sell your vision out to the highest bidder in return for security and the Prostitute can keep you going on your path no matter what. It is your choice and only your choice how to use the Prostitute in you. Either way it is a strong elixir.
Survival vs Creation
The survival archetypes are about challenging you to develop your stamina, your faith in yourself and your healthy set of boundaries. So while they can be acting in a mode of ‘survival’ they can also help you to accelerate your life in the direction that is most aligned with yourself. These archetypal patterns are here to challenge you to conquer the lesson and proceed within the face of courage.
Escaping Ground Hog Day
Survival Mode = Ground Hog Day
If you respond to the triggers of the environment you will only create what is already there. As a matter of fact the outcome of this interaction is predictable and limiting to only past experiences.
Staying in this mode will keep you running an exhausting loop of ground hog days. Your response in survival mode is based on an already existing situation (past) which will determine the outcome based on the past … and so your past becomes the future and this future just creates more of … you can guess it … the past.
Creation Mode = new Experience
If you want to create something new you need to be able to gain new experiences. This is also one of the ways the brain learns, by experiencing something new. The intensity of the new experience will make it a lasting memory in the brain.
Have you ever wondered when travelling to a new country how every experience is so much more intense and the memory of your trip can last a life-time. The scents are new, the nature strip looks different, people are different, food tastes different. Your senses are enhanced, your brain is stimulated and you create a new experience. Similar is true for unpleasant experience, hence learning from negative experiences is such a good teacher.
In archetypal terms it means you need to practice to step outside your comfort zone to enable the creation of new experiences. You new to practice to make new powerful and conscious choices, one small step at a time, which will lead to a new future. The future being: more of you, more excitement, more passion, more aliveness, new possibilities.