Archetypes are a simple mental construct to help us make sense of the world — but they can also limit the way we express ourselves.

Whether we realize it or not, our relationships are often fraught with roles and characters that we unconsciously play.

Intimate relationships can take on a parent-child dynamic, particularly when one partner is much older than the other. Similarly, mothers can often unwittingly absorb the archetype of the martyr, where their sole focus is on their child — all too often to the detriment of their own well-being.

When we take on these archetypes, we do two things:

  1. Blindly follow a pattern of behavior that may not be in our own best interest, and
  2. Transmit information to others about how they should (or shouldn’t) interact with us.

To be fair, archetypes are a simple way to compact large amounts of complex information into easy-to-understand labels — but if we aren’t aware of these, they can compromise our ability to be authentic and open with those we care about most.

To truly show up in the world, it’s crucial to heal the split between the archetypes we play, and our real selves.

A common archetype is that of the martyr (the parent archetype) – one who is endlessly giving and compassionate, yet forgets to take time for themselves. On the other hand, if one takes on the archetype of the narcissist (the child archetype)— one who is endlessly focused on themselves, they will never go beyond to help those around them.

The key is to balance the roles we play.

In this snippet from Consciousness Engineering, women’s empowerment coach, Crystal Andrus Morrissette, explains how we unknowingly absorb and express archetypes — and how this can easily fall out of balance.

Instead, Crystal suggests that we need to reconcile the gap between the archetypes we play out in our everyday lives, and the true selves that are lying in wait underneath the surface.

All of us can relate to playing out at least one archetype in our lives: the parent, the child, the narcissist, the martyr. In fact, Crystal explains how we need to balance these roles with the ultimate archetype: that of the adult.

If you’ve ever felt limited by your “role” in your family, friendships, or intimate relationships, this short video will help you to understand how to become aware of, and balance, any archetypes you’ve absorbed, so you can really be there for your kids, your spouse, your friends — and yourself.


If this video resonated with you and you’d like to learn more about challenging your beliefs and concepts of the world, discover Consciousness Engineering, Mindvalley’s flagship program.

Consciousness Engineering is hosted by Mindvalley’s founder, Vishen Lakhiani, and is designed to hack our outdated and often-unquestioned beliefs that 

Click here to try Consciousness Engineering for just $1 >>

How have you experienced archetypes in your life? Do you relate to Crystal’s explanation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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