Stage 3 Refusing the Call
Following a Call to Adventure, dazed Heroes find the events difficult to comprehend.
A SEPARATION from all or some key aspects of your old life has commenced. Sadness and fear have set in. For those Calls to Adventure that are intentional or serendipitous, heroes are motivated and so keen to move forward and address the new problem created by the Call.
For unwanted Calls to Adventure however there is no motivation. An unwanted call is onerous. It creates havoc. Heroes struggle to understand what has happened. At the Refusal stage, Heroes with an unwanted Call, are preoccuppied with one thought, ‘This can’t be happening!’. Denial kicks in. Rather than thinking about what action to take, heroes in denial are stuck in neutral or, worse still, reverse. They try to turn the clock back. It’s only natural to feel daunted by the events of the unwanted Call, but it may be courting disaster to get stuck in Refusal for too long.
A dazed hero may go to great lengths to reverse the events of the Call.
Heroes will have to learn the hard way.
There is no going back.
Reluctant heroes have other means of Refusing the Call. They will blame others for the choas in their lives. Sometimes their claims are true. Others may have wronged you. Events may have knocked you down. In the end however, none of this matters.
Reluctant heroes have yet to realise that it does not matter what has happened to you, no matter how unjust or unfair. This is your problem to resolve.
- Who do you blame for the current state of affairs? Is blaming someone else making the situation better or worse?
- Have their been times in your life when you thought ‘This can’t be happening!’ Did you fall into denial?
- What coping strategies did you use? Blame? Distraction? Carried on as before? Numb your feelings with alcohol, drugs?
- What were you really frightened of? That you did behave badly? That you might share some of the responsibility? That you might be rejected?
For more information on the Hero’s Journey, including examples from real life, how to recognise each stage and progress to the next, buy the workbook here.
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