Archetype Descriptions to Discover Your Selves Concept

We all have at least three dominant archetypes – patterns we typically demonstrate in differing situations. They are authentic ways of being, not roles. Then there are secondary patterns we have used in the past but set aside or forgot as life took it’s turns, missteps, and victories. Secondary selves are still there for us to step into when we remember.

Here is a list of common archetypes I have used with my clients.

  • The Wanderer seeks new opportunities and freedom. You get bored easily which leads you on a continual search for “what’s next?” However, you can also lose your sense of self if constantly on the move.
  • The Pioneer is also on the move, but generally driven by one specific mission. You may become a Settler when you find a company or a community that will allow you to realize your dreams.
  • The Queen/King likes gathering people to complete a mission. You like to make decisions and are comfortable with the power you have for getting others to implement what you decide.
  • The Warrior. You use your strength and intelligence to fight for making things better. You are ready to defend your ideas and vision at a moment’s notice. When your passion turns to anger, you might overuse your Warrior strength and become a Bully who damages her relationships by forcing people to act and bluntly responding when they don’t do as you command.
  • The Rebel. If you reject both conformity and authority, you carry the energy of the Rebel. Rebel energy is needed when traditional systems are strongly set in place and transformation is past due. The Rebel rises up even when rejecting authority and traditions is dangerous.
  • The Revolutionary. Whereas Rebels break down old structures, Revolutionaries build new ones based on a clear vision of what is possible. However, if you do not earn the respect of your colleagues, you will be seen as a Rebel.
  • The Thinker. You have learned to watch with keen eyes before you speak. You prepare your presentations carefully, knowing you are right about your conclusions. However, you are sensitive to criticism and tend to respond sarcastically or with quiet disdain. If you have a strong academic background, you draw on the well-versed Scholar archetype when making your theoretical arguments using research and strong examples.
  • The Adventurer is an idea person. You love coming up with creative answers to problems. However, you are easily distracted which can make it frustrating to work with you.
  • The Storyteller loves to be the center of attention. You captivate your audiences with stories that help them learn. Sometimes your stories are irrelevant making you look more out-of-touch than wise.
  • The Driver is driven to achieve results. You accomplish a lot but you can appear as a Taskmaster if you prioritize rules and goals over the needs of people. As a leader, driver energy should only be used in emergencies.
  • The Steward. When you help others to understand their talents, strengths and dreams and then support them to use their gifts you are a Steward leader. You focus on the needs and successes of others in service of the mission.
  • The Visionary. You use stories and pictures to help others see possibilities beyond what is happening today. If you also carry Adventurer energy, you will get bored easily with follow-up tasks. You may forget the details of your promises.
  • The Inspirer prompts people into action by helping them feel they have the power to achieve significant results. You use active listening in addition to profound and encouraging language to rouse people into dedicated action.
  • The Hero likes to lay out the plan and then courageously fight the battles to help smooth the way for change. Sometimes you fix too many things on your own instead of engaging others to help.
  • The Collaborator takes an active role in making sure there is full participation by all parties involved. You take the time to listen and understand all points of view, which allows you to see the big picture solutions. Some people will marvel at your patience. Others will see your actions as a waste of time, wishing you were more decisive.
  • The Martyr works tirelessly to make changes, and then expects to be recognized for the absolute dedication and personal sacrifices given. Contributions are significant but the payment must be admiration to keep a positive attitude.
  • The Advocate serves a cause that may be achieved or not. You know you don’t have full control over the outcome and the change might not be realized during your tenure in the role, but you fight for the cause anyway.
  • The Superstar loves to be the head of the pack, outshining everyone in work and deeds. You become known for the outstanding quality of your work, which makes as many enemies as it does allies. This is a hard pattern to drop when moving into a leadership or collaborator role.
  • The Coach trusts people are capable of finding their own way even when they aren’t so sure of themselves. You become a “thinking partner” instead of a Teacher or Mentor who provides solutions.
  • The Healer steps in to help people recover from being hurt. The healer can get caught up in saving or fixing people instead of just aiding them to mend and improve.
  • The Entertainer loves to hold the attention of a group with something amusing or diverting. This can help when also being a Healer or Teacher when focused on healing or developing others. Entertainers can also be inspiring; your lightness lifts the energy and infuses hope. If you use humor as your primary form of entertainment, then you may be The Comedian.
  • The Mentor is a wise and trusted sponsor or supporter. People seek your advice and insight. You are more inclined to share your wisdom than to draw it out of others.
  • The Mother/Father serves to support, encourage, and protect those you see in “your care.” You do this from a position of power even if you show compassion. The Nurturer is a similar pattern offering encouragement and support but from a position of Helper or Caretaker. If you sacrifice yourself in the process, you may slip into being a Martyr.
  • The Magician. Based on your many experiences, you can see through illusions and achieve grand things that others could not conceive. You like making amazing things happen. You believe that if one door closes, another one will soon open.
  • The Detective has great powers of observation and sees details others often miss. You have a thirst for seeking the truth. Like the Coach, you are naturally curious, which makes you a good listener with solid intuition.
  • The Connector weaves together the tasks of people from different perspectives and backgrounds to achieve a common goal. You may use many communication platforms to give people the opportunity to connect including Internet-based options.
  • The Fixer loves to find answers and won’t give up on a problem until the “fix” is found. You are as resourceful as you are persistent, but sometimes you need know when it’s time to move on.
  • The Companion senses that a part of any life mission is to be in partnership with someone else. This can be a friend, spouse or domestic partner, or someone you are employed to assist.
  • The Idealist is the perennial optimist who sees the glass half full. You believe we construct our own realities, so why not create a good one? Without a clear vision, you might be seen as out of touch with reality and vulnerable to pitfalls.
  • The Artist tends to be visual and uses creative skills to solve problems but can be temperamental when the value of your work is not acknowledged.
  • The Gambler is a risk-taker. You trust your intuition, which can make it difficult for you to hear and accept other people’s ideas. You leap when a good opportunity shows up, often without considering the risks.

Definitions adapted from Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2010). By Marcia Reynolds.



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