The Hero's Journey

How To Embark On Your Own Journey As A Tool To Get What You Want

By Joshua Wayne, MA
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Campbell said that all of these stories were always about a heroic character who was fighting for truth or justice, or to find their passion and true purpose in life.

Campbell’s greatest contribution, though, was the realization that the tales of all the great heroes were ultimately just metaphors- metaphors for your life and mine.  He said that each of us is the hero on our own journey- a journey (and often a struggle) each of us is on to find our truth, our passion and to create what we really, really want in life.

Here’s always the catch though: in order for the hero- meaning you or I- to have the life we deeply desire, we inevitably come upon a threshold- a “glass ceiling” if you will.  Campbell calls this “The Threshold of Adventure” and in order to really claim the life we want, we have to get across it. 

This can be tricky, though, because in order to get across it we have to change.  To at least some extent, we have to leave behind what is comfortable and familiar.  Think about this a bit.  What is comfortable and familiar is exactly what has gotten us to exactly where we are today.  It’s not what is going to get us the new result we want. 

Campbell says that when every hero gets to his or her threshold of adventure it’s always scary, because what lies on the other side is the unknown.   The hero almost always experiences the desire to retreat, quit and seek comfort in what is more comfortable and familiar.

Think about this in terms of your struggle to lose weight and keep it off.  How many times have you tried to make changes, but you keep bumping into that same glass ceiling over and over again?  Maybe you do great for 3 or 4 weeks, but then you get stressed at work, lose your focus and go right back to your uncontrollable night snacking.  Maybe you do great for a few months, lose 15 or 20 pounds, but then for some inexplicable reason you just start sabotaging your success and find yourself back at square one.  You hit that darn glass ceiling again! 

In many ways, I think of the weight loss struggle as a classic Hero’s Journey scenario (and it’s one of the central ideas that week 12 of our program is built around). There is something you deeply, deeply want.  I know this, because you wouldn’t be reading this article if it wasn’t true.  Maybe you want your health back, or a sexy body and to start dating again; maybe you just want to feel ‘normal’ again and not constantly plagued by the fear that you’ll binge and eat all night.  Maybe you want to go home for the holidays and not be anxious about what your parents or siblings are thinking.

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Joshua Wayne is a Personal Development Coach and Trainer who focuses on weight loss, fitness and optimal mind/body health.  He is the co-creator (with PEERtrainer co-founder Jackie Wicks) of the “Point of No Return” training program that helps people adopt the thinking and behaviors necessary to finally get “un-stuck” and overcome frustration and hopelessness in their weight loss efforts.