Here are 3 powerful actions steps you can support your clients in taking when they feel called to move in a new direction in their lives
As life coaches we know that life is an ongoing and transformational journey through which we realize our greatest dreams and take action to attain them.
One of my very favorite authors, Joseph Campbell, dedicated his life to studying comparative mythology and writing about the archetypal hero’s journey.
In one of his most powerful texts, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Campbell explores the 17 stages of the hero’s journey. As life coaches, there’s a lot to be learned by taking a closer look at some of these stages!
In the hero’s journey, an individual rises to a calling, undergoes a series of challenges and experiences extraordinary transformations
The hero’s journey involves building discipline, persevering, and seeing goals through to attain an ultimate dream.
And once you’re familiar with the hero’s journey, you’ll see it everywhere! Many of the greatest films and stories of all time depict a hero’s journey.
Take Star Wars, for example: Luke Skywalker is called out of his ordinary world of Tatooine by a hidden message from a mysterious princess. He then adopts the wisdom of mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi.
He gains a mystical understanding of The Force, and with the help of companions in the face of countless trials, he crosses the galaxy and rescues Princess Leia!
The hero’s journey is so universal because it reflects a such a wonderful truth about life: That it’s never just about reaching a goal or dream, it’s about who you become in the process of reaching that goal or dream.
So it makes sense that drawing lessons from the steps of the hero’s journey can be largely helpful to you as a life coach working with those seeking to transform their lives!
Over the course of this year, we’ll be studying 12 of the stages of the hero’s journey – one per month – and drawing wisdom and action steps from each stage that will help us become the most effective life coaches we can be.
STAGE OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY: The Call to Adventure
The first stage of the hero’s journey is what Joseph Campbell describes as “the call to adventure.”
This stage is all about finding and realizing your dream.
During the call to adventure stage, your routine, day-to-day life gets shaken up in some way.
You’re going about your life as you always have, and then suddenly, a new piece of information or opportunity presents itself to you.
Perhaps this is what happened when you first heard about life coaching!
Where were you in life when the possibility of becoming a life coach presented itself to you?
Do you remember that feeling of something stirring within you as you contemplated taking this new path?
The call to adventure is an event that ignites a spark in you, that beckons you to step through a new or different doorway into the unknown.
When we feel this initial call to adventure, a sense of excitement and fear can come over us, and we may not take action immediately.
Sometimes the call to adventure seems so fantastical that we push it out of minds, dismissing it as impossible.
Joseph Campbell refers to this as “refusing the call to adventure,” which is quite common at first.
Or sometimes it takes a persistent message coming to us over and over again before we rise to this new endeavor.
And sometimes we have to sit back and contemplate this new calling until it comes into greater focus…
…and we are able to see that in fact we now have a dream to pursue!
Here are some action steps that you can share with a client when they start having the inkling that major life changes are in order…
Perhaps your client is feeling the intense desire to do something new, but they aren’t sure quite what yet.
Or perhaps a new opportunity has presented itself to them, but they don’t know how to start taking the steps to answer the calling.
Either way, here are some action steps you can support your clients in when they begin to experience their own call to adventure.
1. Tune into your longing and discontent
The Universe sends each one of us powerful messages about our deepest desires and how to achieve them through two primary feelings: longing and discontent.
We may tend to think of these as negative feelings, but in reality, they’re wonderful resources to tune into because they reveal to us the areas of our lives that we’d most like to change.
So encourage your clients to pay attention to where they are feeling longing and discontent in their lives.
Are they unhappy at their job?
Do they deeply desire a loving and committed romantic relationship?
In whatever areas they feel longing and discontent, encourage them to be especially open to new opportunities to grow and change.
Longing and discontent are often the first sparks to realizing their dreams and starting the profound journey to achieving them!
2. Be open minded
There are no coincidences or accidents, so encourage your clients to be open-minded to all information and opportunities the Universe presents to them, even if they initially seem random or out of their comfort zone.
Perhaps they’ve met a great new friend who could become their mentor or they’ve stumbled across a class that piques their interest and ends up opening a door to a whole new passion.
Support them in paying attention!
Seemingly small occurrences can end up being the call to adventure for big journeys.
Simply by staying open, willing and ready to rise to what the Universe presents is the first step to attracting the right energy to move toward our greatest dreams.
3. Re-frame fear
When a new situation or opportunity presents itself to us, we may tend to feel fear or hesitation.
This is because our comfort zones are exactly that – comfortable!
Our paradigms, the systems of thoughts and beliefs we have in place, are strong-willed and will resist us when we try to change them.
So when an amazing call to adventure presents itself to your clients, one they may feel they’d love to answer but feel nervous about, help them to reframe their fear as excitement.
You see, the physical responses we get from fear or nervousness – sweaty palms, increased heart-rate, the “jitters” – are the same ones we experience when we’re excited!
Your brain doesn’t actually know the difference, only your mind does.
And we can control the thoughts our mind thinks.
So when your client is feeling nervous about something they’d rather be excited about, have them say to themselves,
“I’m not nervous, I’m so excited!”
Olympic athletes are trained to do this, and look at the enormity of their accomplishments.
They wouldn’t be able to rise to their highest callings if held back by fear!
And once you approach a call to adventure with excitement, your clients will be off to a great start!
The call to adventure should be noble
Most importantly, be most receptive to the calls to adventure in life that will both bring you joy and help serve others.
The worthiest of dreams are those that help put good into the world and help elevate as many people as possible.
Your hero’s journey should be noble, so look for the first signs of noble beginnings!
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