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Do you ever wonder who’s the Heroine of your story? Not the fictional story you might be writing, or reading, but the one you’re living, your own personal journey. Most of us know of these famous archetypes along the hero’s journey via Joseph Campbell, or Christopher Vogler’s book, The Writer’s Journey. Shapeshifters, Villains and Allies, are just a few.
Even if you’ve never heard of Joseph Campbell or Christopher Vogler, anyone can recognize the most important figure, the Hero or in our case, Heroine. Dorothy, Princes Leia, Buffy the Vampire Slayer are some of my favorites.
We are all on a journey of sorts, to find our true place in the world. We are the Heroines of our stories. Gosh, it’s challenging at times, and these other archetypes appear along our path too, not just in the latest novel we can set back on the shelf.
One materialized in my life recently. The Threshold Guardian. The name Guardian has such a seducing appeal to it. Unfortunately, Threshold Guardians are not on our side, they don’t sit behind our team in support, they do not cheer us on.
For whatever reason, they do not want you to be the Heroine of your story. To me, this is an extremely difficult person to encounter in life.
I had the chance to pursue a project in my writing life that would mean I might actually get paid to write about a topic I enjoy. The writing life is beautiful and inspiring, but it is also difficult, long and frustrating. So, to write about something amazing for money, is a dream come true.
When the response was more positive than I could have imagined, I contacted a few people in the writing world I look up to as peers, as bosses, as seasoned veterans in a career that is full of ups and downs. I sought advice from these individuals on sections of the contract and job responsibilities I might overlook in my excited, emotional state.
Do you know what kind of feedback I received in return? BIG CONGRATULATIONS, wonderful, professional advice, and so, so much support from these people. I literally felt my team cheering me on.
Except from one person. That Threshold Guardian swooped in, tore up the ground underneath me with a tornado of negative advice and warnings about the writing life, and nearly tossed me into the land of Oz. This person threw so many punches at me, I felt it in my gut. It was hurtful and confusing.
This was not the first time I have encountered a Threshold Guardian in life. My writing life, my relationship life, even my role as a mother has met with a few nasty T.Gs. The truth is that, on our journeys, we will likely encounter more than one Threshold Guardian.
Simply put, Threshold Guardians blocks our path to happiness, to success, to love. Threshold Guardians do not want good things for us, they try to manipulate, and they are not always easy to recognize like a Villain is, because they are often people we trust and look up to. It’s hard to say why they block our paths. Often, it’s because they are jealous, or so unsatisfied with their own lives that they want to drag others down with them.
Many times, and perhaps the most difficult one to defeat, is the Threshold Guardian in our own heart. Our fears and insecurities.
Every Threshold Guardian tries to make you believe you are not worth it.
But they are wrong. You are worth it. I am worth it.
One of the healthiest things we can learn to do, on our journeys, and purely for our own self confidence in life, is to rise above that Threshold Guardian—be she external or internal—and be the Heroine of our own story. Here are five ways to help you do that.
1 – Believe in Yourself
It requires strength and bravery, and there will be days you’ll feel alone on your path, but stay true to your heart. Search for the thing you’re passionate about, and cultivate that passion. When you hit those down days, do something creative, volunteer, buy yourself flowers, teach yourself how to look at challenges from a different angle.
2 – Surround Yourself with a Team of Support
Every hero needs support, and one of the most important things you can do is surround yourself with a scaffolding of encouraging, intelligent, people you trust who want good things for you. Family members, friends, peers. Once you find a few, they become easier to recognize. They help you when you fall. They cheer you on, even at times you might not realize you need it. They celebrate your successes with you, simply because they are happy for you, because they want you to succeed.
3 – Reciprocate Kindness and Generosity
Your team of support is only as strong as you make it. Think of any healthy relationship; one person can’t always be the taker. Be the net when someone else falls; be the cheerleader when your friends and colleagues succeed. The bed of roses is grand enough for all of us, and it feels damn good to hold each other up. Cultivating these positive relationships into a strong foundation will help you when those Threshold Guardians prey.
4 – Ignore the Negative
Learn to recognize and block out the negative. People who block your path, voices who tell you you’re not good enough, those who criticize with nasty words. You may try to understand why certain people are negative, but honestly, this is not the best use of your energy, because so often it’s about something in their life that you have no control over. Even though my recent encounter with a Threshold Guardian was painful, I quickly shut it out and moved on because I recognized that all the vomit this person decided to share had nothing to do with me.
5 – Be Active Towards Your Success
Focus your energy on positive action. Create goals, work towards achieving them as if you have nothing to lose and amazing things to gain. Make your own dreams come true. Be the Heroine of your own story. Because no matter who you are or what your talents are, no matter how many Threshold Guardians stand in your way, the world needs your beautiful, hopeful spirit.