Be the hero of your own Hero’s Journey

hero's journey - the call to adventureCan you remember your favourite fairy tale or story from your childhood? What was it about that story that made it special for you? How is that story relevant to you now? We asked these questions (and many more) on a recent course where we were looking at the hero’s journey as a coaching tool – the results were remarkable.

The idea of the hero’s journey comes from the work of Joseph Campbell in the 1940’s. A professor of comparative mythology, he found that through the ages, myths and stories from all over the globe had the basic structure (the Monomyth). George Lucas credits Campbell as a major influence in the writing of Star Wars and films as diverse as the Lion King, the Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, The Matrix and Rocky all follow the same pattern.

So what is the reason for the universal appeal of these stories – well the fact is, all these stories are OUR story, they come out of our collective unconscious. They inform us about our own journey of growth, change and development. They give us a map which we can follow when life seems challenging or we want to bring about a change.

So what are the basic stages in the hero’s journey? You might experience it in the following way:

  • You receive the CALL TO ADVENTURE, you are aware something is not right or that something needs to change.
  • You are reluctant at first to do anything
  • You are encouraged by a mentor and you develop new skills and resources – you commit to making change happen
  • You are tested – You face up to a the challenge and you are rewarded
  • You feel like a new person as a result of the experience – you are transformed
  • You share your success with others

Ask yourself – what is the adventure you are being called upon to take? This could be anything from changing career, giving a presentation, doing something for the first time, having a difficult conversation, or overcoming a fear. How are you resisting? What new learning, skills, teachers or support do you need to take the first step? What will be the benefits of taking that step and answering the call to adventure?

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The Hero’s journey is one of the models explored in detail as part of UKCPD’s NLP Master Practitioner Course. To find out more about this course and other courses which could assist you on your own hero’s journey check out the website here

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