In my book, Prince Charming Isn’t Coming, I likened the process of financial independence to a Hero’s Journey.
However, as I have since discovered, Heroines follow a somewhat different path. And those differences are significant.
In traditional accounts, the male Hero, responding to “The Call” (something’s missing or was taken), sets out in search of treasure (the holy grail or helpless maiden). As he travels (outside his comfort zone), he battles dragons and experiences ordeals (his fears), ultimately finding the treasure (something outside of himself).
In this traditional telling, the man is the savior; the woman is the passive princess.
The Heroine’s Journey also begins with “The Call” (she’s unhappy or dissatisfied). Unfortunately, women too often respond by waiting to be saved.
Hence, there are two kinds of Heroines: Those who undertake the journey through their own volition and those who are forced by a crisis. Obviously, it’s highly preferable to take the journey voluntarily rather than procrastinate until disaster strikes.
Just like the guys, Heroines then travel into the wilderness (their discomfort zone) where they also battle dragons and experience ordeals (our fears personified) before returning to safety.
“All this dragon killing has to do with getting past being stuck,” says mythologist Joseph Campbell.
We slay the dragons by letting go of limiting beliefs, parental messages, all the stories we tell ourselves that hold us back, or as Campbell says by “throwing off the old and coming into the new.”
Ultimately, Heroines, too, reach the treasure, but it’s neither a handsome prince nor anything external. The treasure, the holy grail, is a lost piece of herself—her Power. And retrieving her Power is precisely what saves her.
Perhaps you’re getting the Call (feeling unhappy or dissatisfied), signifying it’s time to journey outside your comfort zone and take your Heroine’s Journey. I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below.