We’ve talked a lot in this space about the mythical hero’s journey, and how it applies in our day-to-day lives. One of the common hero journey myths is slaying the dragon. In European mythology, the dragons in these stories signify greed. (This is often portrayed by the dragon guarding great treasure which he can’t spend, or a beautiful virgin he can’t be in a relationship with.) Our hero must slay the dragon which represents his or her ego.
Still today, the great preponderance of self-help and psychology is centered around controlling the ego. This is based upon the premise that we become greedy, vain, and narcissistic in a futile attempt to placate our uncontrollable ego. We all know people this is true for. But most of the people who come to me seeking advice on living a prosperous life are not the victim of this scenario. Quite the opposite…
The dragon they have to slay doesn’t represent issues of conceit, but issues of worthiness.
Their issue isn’t that they think they’re better than the rest of the world – but that they believe they are not worthy of the world. True, they have an ego problem. But the problem they have is that their ego is not strong and healthy enough. Meantime all the self-help and personal development resources they’re studying keep telling them they must subdue their ego yet more. This creates more anxiety and guilt, leading them to mentally beat themselves up more. Instead of traversing the hero’s journey, they’re led further down the path of the victim’s journey, a self-fulfilling prophecy of lack and limitation.
Which journey are you on?
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