The following article is a guest post written by Chris Dayagdag, a writer and researcher from individualogist.com.
Devised by Caroline Myss, the four self-esteem archetypes are a theoretical approach in understanding the barriers of developing inner self-confidence. By confronting these archetypes, Myss points out that we will be able to develop our own sense of self-esteem.
As such, in this article, we will briefly discuss the nature of these four archetypes and how they can be broken down and understood. By doing so, we’ll be able to identify the manifestations of these archetypes in our lives, allowing us to confront them and improve our sense of self.
The Archetypal Nature
Before we begin discussing the four self-esteem archetypes, it is crucial to point out that they have an archetypal nature. As such, stressing on this key point means that these notions are not subject to subjectivity itself. Meaning, the claim that they are limited to one’s unique experience becomes irrelevant.
For instance, one’s preferences can be considered subjective. Whether you prefer neon colors over the classic black and white theme, such as a subjective choice. However, when we speak of archetypes, they are universally present across time, culture, space, and society. Thus, their value and significance will prevail.
By looking at these archetypes from such a standpoint, it will be easier to see how they can be present in our unique experiences. Despite taking different forms, what we need to look for is the essence of each archetype and how it manifests in us.
Archetype #1: The Victim
Given the nature of how we are born into this world, all of us begin from this standpoint – the victim. Having no knowledge, rationality, or even personal choice on whether or not to exist, we are essentially thrown into the world and must live in it.
As such, this vulnerable phase of our lives unfolds to us the archetype of the victim. As babies, all we can do is cry for help, and the very fact of whether or not we will survive entirely depends on the person taking care of us.
With that, recognizing this archetype means that we will be able to deal justly with the problem of being a victim or victimizing others. Realizing such by confronting the victim, we become more understanding not only of others but also of ourselves.
Archetype #2: The Prostitute
The prostitute archetype brings to light the importance of our bodies. As the vessel of our existence, our body plays a crucial role both in our physical and mental health. Upon realizing this, we usually come up with the notion that we do not need to compromise with others in order to protect our own bodies.
As such, we seek ways to provide some sense of self-worth. More often than not, these ways are done by having material things around us. Having a good car, for instance, gives others the impression that we are not someone to be messed with. Thus, leading us to protect our own turf.
With that, recognizing this archetype means that we will be able to learn the concept of compromise and even sacrifice. Realizing such by confronting the prostitute, we become more understanding of the fact that we win some and we lose some.
Archetype #3: The Saboteur
With our powers of self-consciousness, we are able to see ourselves from a distance. As such, it is possible to have a relationship with ourselves, given that we are able to identify the inner self within. However, when we don’t know this “inner self,” it can be a catalyst for destruction as it can be the very factor that prevents us from flourishing.
As such, the saboteur is an archetype that allows for self-reflection. Able to comprehend the nature of the self apart from the conscious self, the saboteur becomes a powerful resource for self-esteem as it acts as our own inner traffic light. Guiding us as we explore the world, the saboteur gives the inner consciousness the power to critically evaluate things.
With that, recognizing this archetype means that we will be able to become more conscious of ourselves. Realizing such by confronting the saboteur, we prevent self-destructive behavior and empower inner constructive criticism.
Archetype #4: The Child
Finally, the last archetype that we have to confront is the one that we’re most familiar with: the child. In general, this archetype represents our innocent and carefree desires, the ones that we aspire for as children.
As such, the child is the part of us that never wants to grow up. At some point, while this sounds a bit negative, the child is actually the archetype that empowers us to keep the balance between responsibilities and personal desires. This essentially gives us that breathing space, allowing us to remain unexhausted from life’s trivialities.
However, when the child remains unchecked and unconfronted, this archetype can lead us to have Peter Pan’s syndrome. Refusing to grow up, we settle for childish things and actions even when we’ve already reached adulthood.
With that, recognizing this archetype means that we will be able to strike a balance between work and play. Realizing such by confronting the child, we become more perceptive of our own actions and its leanings.
Given these four self-esteem archetypes, we hope to have given you a valid viewpoint on approaching life and improving your own inner self-confidence. By keeping these four archetypes constantly in-check, they will become a source of strength and at the same time, will prevent you from going overboard without you knowing it.
Thus, consistency is key. By paying attention to the effects and implications of these archetypes, your levels of mindfulness on your own actions alone would be more than enough to raise the bar on your own self-esteem!
This post is written by Chris Dayagdag, a writer and researcher from individualogist.com. Individualogist is a personal development and self-improvement platform that has guided its tight-knit community of transformational enthusiasts to make remarkable breakthroughs in their lives, all through their unique approach to Carl Jung’s theory of the 12 archetypes.