The absence of self-love lies at the very core of every form of anxiety, depression, loneliness and emptiness that we feel as a species.
In fact, low self-esteem is such a pandemic problem, that we get at least a handful of emails, Q&A’s and comments on this website about it every single day!
Everyone in life at some point experiences issues with low self-esteem and poor self-confidence. In our world that teaches the preeminence of material wealth and accomplishment over soulful depth and wisdom, it’s no wonder that so many of us feel internally weak and fatally flawed.
If you feel as though you’re lacking self-confidence and respect, I can’t stress enough how important it is to become self-aware of the inner archetypes within you. And not only that: but to love and fully accept them as they are. This will allow their hold over you to cease.
What Are Archetypes?
Father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, once proposed that we all share a universal unconscious mind, called the “collective unconscious.” The collective unconscious is a layer within the mind that possesses all of the spiritual, symbolic, and mythological experiences and knowledge of existence. When we are born, we all inherit these ancient ancestral patterns. Archetypes then, are essentially patterns that aid our physical, mental and emotional growth as humans.
7 Inner Archetype Examples
Since Jung, many authors, psychologists and thinkers have identified a large number of archetypes that exist within all of us to some degree. While many archetypes are positive or neutral (e.g. the visionary, the warrior, the engineer, the companion, the artist, etc.) some are destructive.
Every archetype we have within us has, at some point in our lives, served a purpose. Whether that is to gain attention or acceptance as children, or simply to make friends, every archetype has aided us in some way. However, as adults many of us “grow out of” certain archetypes. Gradually, instead of benefiting us, these archetypes actually undermine and wound us.
Unfortunately, many of us drag around these old and irrelevant archetypes with us for our entire lives. Little do we know that these very archetypes are secretly depriving us of the faith, self-trust, and willpower we need to experience joy, creativity and peace.
The more self-aware you become of these archetypes, the better equipped you’ll be to release their hold on you.
So now the question is, which of the following archetype examples are you still holding on to?
1) The Addict
Other names: workaholic, consumer, gambler, glutton, hedonist
Addictions come in many forms. You can be addicted to physical things such as food, alcohol, tobacco, drug, money, and sex. You can be addicted to concepts such as fame, success, and beauty. And you can also be addicted to emotions such as the approval, love, and acceptance of others.
Addict archetypes are places within us that believe that people, emotions, situations, and objects outside of ourselves can make us happy. Unfortunately, this deprives us of our personal power, and makes us enslaved to whatever we are pursuing.
Lesson to be learned: Nothing outside of you can bring you love, happiness, approval or acceptance — YOU must find these things inside for them to truly last or bring you peace.
2) The Beggar
Other names: outcast, vagrant
The Beggar archetype within us approaches life from a place of destitution, neediness, and impoverishment. When The Beggar is ruling your life, you will find yourself constantly dependent and reliant on others for your security, happiness, and well-being.
The Beggar within us is ruled by the following mistaken core belief: “I don’t have anything of value. I need others to help and support me.” Thus, when we approach life from a place of inner poorness, we are constantly propelling ourselves towards situations that reinforce this feeling.
Lesson to be learned: Your thoughts influence your reality. If you believe you are poor and have nothing to offer, your existence will reflect that. On the other hand, if you believe you are already rich and have gifts to share with the world, your existence will also reflect that.
3) The Fanatic
Other names: perfectionist, worrier, control-freak, bigot
The Fanatic archetype is both passionate and driven, but also prone to stubbornness and neuroticism. If your inner Fanatic is imbalanced you might be an obsessive worrier, perfectionist or “control-freak.”
The Fanatic’s main concern is control. This can create a lot of tension, health issues, and relationship problems.
Lesson to be learned: The only thing you can control in life is how YOU perceive and approach life. You cannot completely control external situations, and you can never fully control other people. Realize that life is more than safety, security and success. Learn to loosen up and introduce more spontaneity into your life.
4) The Judge
Other names: critic, examiner
As humans, our natural instinct is to judge. We judge situations to assess whether they’re dangerous or not, we judge to find our ideal partners, we judge to find clarity and discernment in daily life. This is all natural. But often our lives revolve so much around the mind that we neglect the heart.
When The Judge within you is imbalanced, it will always be analyzing and condemning you. Negative self-talk is often strongly linked to rogue inner Judges that don’t know when to stop. A major cause of low self-esteem are Judge archetypes that are fueled by negative core beliefs and cognitive distortions.
Lessons to be learned: Judgement is normal, but is your self-judgment harming you more than helping you? Remember to show yourself leniency, kindness, objectivity, and forgiveness — just like a proper judge would.