Adapted by Leigh Newman
In her book Archetypes, Caroline Myss has identified 10 common profiles that help you discover how you can best use your gifts. The first step? Discovering which of these best fits you.
Do you study for the sheer love of learning? Do you often respond with your head before your heart? Before making a decision, the Intellectual considers all her options and then (and only then) acts. In her mind, painful situations are ways to develop wisdom, and mistakes are opportunities to learn.
Question to ask yourself: Do I overthink relationships, career opportunities and other important aspects of my life?
Most surprising characteristic: Most intellectuals process information visually.
The Spiritual Seeker
Are you always looking for something more, something that will help you find the meaning and purpose of you life? The Spiritual Seeker trusts her intuition unconditionally and wants more out of life than material success. She follows some kind of spiritual practice or is considering it.
Question to ask yourself: Do you take care of your emotional and physical needs as well as you do your spiritual ones?
Rule for life: Speak the truth. Always.
Dedicated to making a difference in the world, the Advocate spends her life working for social, political and environmental change. Her ideal careers include: lawyer, social worker, community organizer and philanthropist.
Question to ask yourself: Does the fear of not being able to make huge, sweeping changes discourage you from making small ones?
Mistake to watch out for: confusing passion with rage.
Do you come alive when acting in front of an audience, playing music, writing every day? Do you dream of participating in these activities—even if you haven’t yet engaged in them full time? What most people don't know is that Artists/Creatives don't have to be professionals. Many of them decorate their homes with such originality that they’re using themselves as living works of art.
Question to ask yourself: Can I develop my talent and express myself, or will the fear of failure or humiliation hold me back?
Two ways you may undermine yourself: Comparing yourself with other artists and equating your success with financial gain.
Does your life revolve around physically challenging activities? The Athlete is super-competitive but always plays fair and can also express herself in other similar ways, such as through global adventures or the outdoors.
Question to ask yourself: Do I respect the strengths and limitations of my body?
Most helpful daily affirmation: "I nourish my mind and spirit as well as my body so I can be a happy, well-rounded individual."
Do you often find yourself nurturing your family, students or others? Do you work as a teacher, nurse, doctor’s aide or vet? The Caregiver often senses what others need before they ask and naturally brings out the best in others. People often tell her what a good listener she is.
Question to ask yourself: Do you know when to help—and when not to?
Deepest fear: That you’re (somehow) selfish
Do you have a knack for looking fabulous, no matter what you put on? The Fashionista uses style not as mask for old wounds, but as way to develop self-esteem, and she loves to help others find their personal expression. She treats fashion as personal art form, with her presentation as a canvas.
Question to ask yourself: Are my inner qualities developing in tandem with my external ones?
Inner Shadow: The fear that nothing can make you beautiful enough.
Do you take care of situations and command center stage without really trying? Queens/Executives are direct in their dealings with others and let people know what’s expected of them. They pour their energy into worthwhile causes and never serve as mere figureheads. True, they can be intimidating, but they use their influence to make a difference in people’s lives.
Question to ask yourself: Can you tell what’s authentic power and what’s illusory power?
Famous role-model queens: Elizabeth I, Vera Wang, Queen Rania
Are you unconventional and independent? Do you speak out about oppression and discrimination? The Rebel challenges injustice and does things in untraditional ways. She thrives on making waves and dresses in bold, daring styles.
Question to ask yourself: Am I failing to see how my rebellious acts affect others?
Unique challenge: To find your personal voice, rather than defining yourself by what you’re against.
The Visionary is unafraid to break with traditional rules and expectations. She’s driven by her imagination and ideas, and she is always reimagining her surroundings, whether that’s her home, her business, or her job.
Question to ask yourself: Can you commit to a new vision long enough to see it come to fruition?
Most common misconception: That you must reenvision the world. You can be visionary change by changing yourself.
For more information on Caroline Myss and archetypes, or to explore your archetype further, go to archetypeme.com.