In an interview recently, I was asked a really interesting question:
How can archetypes help people get unstuck in their business or brand?
As I tried to form a response in my mind, I realised that I've become so used to using archetypes as a cure for all sorts of inflictions in my business, it's been a long time since I thought about the answer to this question.
The truth is: your Primary Archetype (and especially your Archetypal Blend, if you know it) can help you overcome almost any challenge in your business, simply by providing you with a shift in your mindset.
So often, the challenges we face are perceived challenges - not actual challenges. It's the story we tell ourselves about the situation that creates the challenge - not the situation itself.
Thinking about your challenges through the mindset of your archetypes is often all it takes to shift your mind into a different gear - a gear that's more aligned with who you really are in your heart - and write a different story.
Here are five examples of ways that your archetypes can help you get unstuck in your business:
(Please note: if you know your Archetypal Blend, apply both of your archetypes to these methods for even better results. If you only know your Primary Archetype, use that as the basis to think these examples through. If you don't know your Primary Archetype, you can take my test here - it's free).
1: When you don't know what to write about.
When you've run out of things to say, it can be incredibly difficult to break the silence in your own head. Try brainstorming different words and topics that are connected to your archetype. Use your Archetype Guide PDF to help you (there's even a section in there full of connected words to get you started).
For example: if you're an Alchemist, some of the words you write down could be 'transform', 'powerful', 'manifest' or 'connect'. What potential blog post topics can you think of that fit with these words, in the context of your business? Even if you don't use these words in your post, use them as the basis for what to actually write about. Could you help someone transform their life in some way? What could you write about that would help them step into their own personal power in some way, or manifest their dreams?
Hint: When you actually begin to write your piece, try to 'embody' your archetype as you think through what you're trying to say. Go to that place in your body where you 'feel' your archetype the most, and stay connected to that place as you write. It sounds a bit crazy, but it works wonders for me!
2: When you can't choose the right imagery.
There's nothing more frustrating than searching through hundreds of images to find the 'right one' that expresses who you are, and the message you're trying to convey (unless you're me...and actually find it intensely therapeutic).
Rather than search for images using a noun (searching for a specific object or subject), try searching with an adjective, instead.
Brainstorm a list of words that you would use to describe how your archetype makes you feel, and try using those words as search terms. For example: if you're an Explorer, you might like to search using words such as 'free', 'wild', 'expansive', or 'vast'.
Hint: Choose imagery based on how it feels, not whether or not you think it fits with your 'brand'.
Bonus Hint: My favourite place in the world to find imagery is here.
3: When you don't know what to offer.
If trying to decide on what products or services to offer in your business is stressing you out, it's likely that you're overcomplicating things. In general, the advice out there is to create offerings based around the desires and fears of your 'ideal customer' - but I often find that this is a restrictive angle to approach this from, and can lead to overwhelm and perfectionism.
Try thinking this through from a different angle. Ask yourself the following question:
What comes SO easily and naturally to me, that I just can't believe I could actually be PAID to do it?
When thinking through your answer, think about it through the lens of your archetype. If you're a Sage, for example, think about the things that come so easily for you as a Sage. This could be writing, sharing information, reading, researching, thinking rationally, asking questions...etc.
Rather than start with what you think others want, start with your inherent strengths, and work up from there.
Hint: I have a whole module on Offerings that you might inspire you here.
4: When you don't know what your purpose is.
I believe that you don't find your purpose - your purpose finds you.
But, in the meantime, it can be incredibly frustrating when you're trying to feel into your place in the world, and be met with confusion and uncertainty.
In times when you feel like you don't know what your purpose is, go back to basics and keep it really simple.
What is your archetypal purpose? What are your strengths and gifts when you look at yourself through an archetypal lens?
Use your Archetype PDF Guide to help you think through this.
Choose one 'strength', and create a simple purpose statement that has only one true intention: to keep you sane.
I am an Alchemist. My purpose - right now - is to help others transform their lives.
I am a Creator. My purpose - right now - is to inspire others to create opportunities for themselves.
I am an Explorer. My purpose - right now - is to encourage others to expand their horizons.
I am an Innocent. My purpose - right now - is to help others appreciate the simple pleasures in life.
I am a Jester. My purpose - right now - is to simply to find joy in my work.
I am a Nurturer. My purpose - right now - is to take better care of myself, so I can be of better service to others.
I am a Realist / Regular Gal. My purpose - right now - is to provide opportunities for like-minded people to connect.
I am a Revolutionary. My purpose - right now - is to ask the big questions that aren't currently being asked.
I am a Romantic. My purpose - right now - is to help others experience more passion in their lives.
I am a Ruler. My purpose - right now - is to be a leader, and set an example.
I am a Sage. My purpose - right now - is to share information as I discover it.
I am a Warrior. My purpose - right now - is to create awareness.
Hint: Don't worry if this purpose statement feels too simplistic, or too vague. Its purpose (yep, even purpose statements have purposes) is to get you unstuck, and open the channels for forward motion again.
5: When you don't know what your 'brand identity' should be.
Whether you're DIY'ing your own brand identity, or hiring a designer (like me), trying to decide what your 'brand identity' should look like can be an incredibly stressful task for even the more seasoned solopreneur.
The truth is, you can't expect to express who you are creatively if you don't know who you are to begin with.
Archetypes can help you with both of those things. They can help you get clear on who you are, and how to express the 'essence' of you in a visual way.
I recommend that you start by creating your Archetypal Blend Board - a visual representation of your brand, that effortlessly communicates who you are (even if you can't answer that question yet in words).
Once you have your Blend Board, you can use it as the basis for developing your brand identity - whether you're designing it yourself, or outsourcing to a creative professional.
Your Blend Board can provide inspiration for colours, textures, graphics and imagery choices. The amazing thing about approaching your brand identity in this way is that it feels expansive...yet your Archetypal Blend ensures there's a thread running through it the whole time, no matter how much experience (or confidence) you have in this area of your business.
These are just five examples of how archetypes can help you get unstuck in your brand or business - but the truth is, there are infinite ways that you can use archetypal information to help you move past any boundary or sticking point you may be facing.
There are no right or wrong ways to use your archetypes. All I have ever done is simply look at my challenges through an archetypal lens, and considered the potential solutions from my Alchemist/Sage mindset.
I really hope that this post has given you some inspiration for how you can use your archetypes in your business.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. How have archetypes helped you become unstuck? What is the most random, crazy way that your archetypes have showed up and given you a hand? What methods have you tried for connecting with your archetypes, so that you can tap into your intuition and find the answers you needed?