Choices March 2002


an e-newsletter for deliberately living people

March 2002

Volume III, Issue 3


The Shapeshifter

Action Guide


The Shapeshifter

"You can expect the unexpected." - Publicity for the movie Charade

"Only when you are challenged, unsafe, out of your zone, can you find self-knowledge."

- C.K. Prahalad of Praja, Inc. in Fast Company article by Jennifer Reingold.

The Shapeshifter, a supporting character in the Hero's Journey, is never who he/she first seems. We discover the shapeshifter as the femme fatale, the despised rogue who becomes the object of affection, the mentor who is waiting for the hero to become an equal adversary. The shapeshifter mirrors the qualities that the hero has been hiding or denying, and offers balance through interaction and experience.

Each character in the Hero’s Journey offers the hero a gift of self-perception. The shapeshifter bestows contrast. Just as the hero often wishes to refuse the call to adventure, we all have our default actions and beliefs to which we cling. And inevitably, situations and experiences arise that call us to go beyond our comfort zone and respond in contrast. Rather than losing our temper, we may be very calm. Rather than keeping quite, we may feel compelled to speak our minds. When we are out of touch with our own possibilities, we surprise ourselves. Self-knowledge is powerful.

Action Guide

    • In what ways could you have more balance?
    • What actions or beliefs, if changed, could open a new road to adventure?


Take a look at my resource page for a list of self development books and web sites to map out your next adventure.

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(c) 2002, Erica Wang, Coach. All rights reserved.

Content written by Erica Wang. Please do not publish or use without permission.