top of page

The Hero's Journey: Turning Life's Challenges into Epic Storytelling

Earlier this year, I wrote about Act 1 of The Hero’s Journey and how I applied to my job loss experience. I referred to a study that found people were more likely to be resilient, have a stronger sense of meaning, and can reappraise problems more positively with the Hero’s Journey mindset. By thinking heroically, we can become more like the heroes we admire the most. I’ll be referencing the Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell in his 1949 book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

In Act 1, the hero decides to take on the quest and accept help when needed. In Act 2, Initiation, we see more of the actual journey, where the hero faces challenges head-on and makes difficult decisions. There are six stages within Act 2 of the Hero’s Journey, and I will give examples for all of them.

TL;DR regarding the Act 1 blog post: I lost my job, and I was super mad about it. I felt like I’d wasted my entire life, a coach helped me shift that mindset, and I moved several states away to a place I’d never seen before to start my own business.

Stage 6—The Road of Trials. This is a particularly long stage. The Road of Trials is a series of tests, missions, or goals the hero faces. And because the hero is still learning, these tests, missions, and goals fail. In my journey, my top three failures were 1) launching a business, 2) adjusting to a new location, and 3) maintaining a workout routine. Epic fails one after another.

Stage 7—The Meeting with the Goddess. I’m going to be honest, this stage subscribes to some extremely binary (and downright sexist) gender roles. Since that’s not how I roll, there will be some creative interpretation here. In the original text, “goddess” refers to the woman who inspires the male hero to continue his quest. Since heroes and goddesses come in all shapes, sizes, and genders, I’ll say that the “goddess” is any character who motivates the hero. For me, this turned out to be my accountability buddy turned business partner. Once we had an aligned vision for my journey and how it could intertwine with hers, I felt the fire to keep fighting for my business.

Stage 8—Woman as Temptress. Again, gender stereotypes have no place here, so the "woman" is just someone or something who tries to convince the hero to give up on their quest. And to be clear, this doesn’t have to be out of malice. My dear parents clearly want the best for me, and in their view, that looks like a stable 9-5 job with benefits, not entrepreneurship in the unregulated coaching industry. Honestly, some days, the idea of a job is delightfully tempting.

Stage 9—Atonement of the Father. Stage 9 is about assurance from a mentor figure. At this point, the hero feels pretty beat up and needs someone (a little further along in their journey) to say that they’re on the right path, even though that character has the power to completely eviscerate the hero. Now, my coach has known me for a long time. She has seen me through highs and lows. I trust her insight as much as my own. She could’ve given me more tasks and higher goals or said to my face that I wasn’t trying hard enough. Instead, she pointed out how I was doing everything right, and now is the time for patience. I didn’t have to try any harder. I was doing enough. I was enough.

Stage 10—Apotheosis. Apotheosis is a big word meaning culmination or climax. It’s when the hero realizes, with clarity, that they are at their full potential. It’s when the lesson is learned, and the hero is finally capable of the initial goal. For me, this was the moment before I opened my group coaching Zoom link. I couldn’t possibly be more prepared, my group had sold out, and I was doing something that I absolutely loved.

Stage 11—The Ultimate Boon. This is when the hero wins, when they do what they set out to accomplish in the first place. My goal was to have a coaching company, work for myself, and help people improve their lives through the power of games. After my first group coaching session, I felt amazing. My mission was over, and I could relax… until Act 3.

But Sarah, where are the Core Competencies per the International Coaching Federation?

Let’s take a look.

Cultivates Trust and Safety - Definition: Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust. When the coaching relationship is strong, it’s a safe space for the client to admit failure. It’s also a chance for the client to see everything they have already accomplished. The client can gain insight during the coaching process by reflecting on failures and successes.

Facilitates Client Growth - Definition: Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process. When the client has a mindset shift and/or completes their goal, it is important to integrate that shift and/or accomplishment into the future. The client has officially leveled up, and that’s worth celebrating.

In my experience, coaching with the Hero’s Journey is an excellent tool. The world needs more heroes, and when we act heroically, we lift others up as we go. Coach Kierra Asnauskas likes to say, “The longer I wait to do what I'm called to do, the longer good people will suffer.” Heroes are people who step up to the plate and help others, and we can all become heroes.

And with that, I’m ⅔ of the way through the Hero’s Journey with you all. Reframing myself as a hero has helped me immensely, and I hope it helps you, too.

If you found this interesting, there are three ways you can support me:

  • Share this post on your social media, it would mean a lot.

  • Connect with me on social media, let’s get into a conversation.

  • Book a 15-minute call with me to see if we would be a good coaching fit.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page