Inside Modern Archetypes: Dissecting the Advocate
What is an Archetype?
The Advocate is an archetype. Archetypes are part of a philosophical belief originated by Plato that was based on the idea that we all have recurring patterns or behaviors in our lives that define our fundamental characteristics as a human being. The concept of psychological archetypes was looked into more deeply around 1919 by Carl Jung, a famous Swiss psychiatrist.
Jung believed that every person consisted of a combination of a few main archetypes that comprised their personality. By knowing your archetype, you could transform your life - master your strengths and learn to take advantage of your weaknesses. Once you identify your particular archetype, the possibilities are endless.
The Advocate—Basic Characteristics
The Advocate is one of the new modern day archetypes, one that describes a person dedicated to social, political, and environmental change. This archetype has a life journey of being an advocate of change and has a strong commitment to advancing humanitarian causes. The largest weakness of the advocate is their fear that their work will be for nothing - that they won't leave a lasting impression on this world. Their mission is to make the world a better place.
The Various Advocate Archetypes
Those who fit the description of the advocate archetype can typically be described as either a devoted advocate, a compulsive advocate, or a hobby advocate. These are the three subcategories within the Advocate Family.
- The Hobby Advocate- this describes a person who has a strong desire to make a difference but has yet to connect to the cause that will drive them and help them reach their highest potential; often these person is young, just starting to learn about the injustices facing society
- The Devoted Advocate- this advocate knows the cause that fuels their passion and strives to make changes pertaining to that cause; devoted advocates are the healthy balance between the hobbyist and the compulsive
- The Compulsive Advocate- this person is passionate to a fault about a certain cause; their desire to change makes them vulnerable because they become so emotionally attached to the cause they are fighting for that they lose sight of reality; their priorities can become skewed, almost by an obsession to make a change
The advocate knows that they are an advocate. They have a zealous personality that draws them to social issues, feeling like they were born to make a difference. Whether their passion is environmental based, politically driven, or otherwise, their life's mission is to make a lasting impression on society.
Common occupations of advocates include:
- social workers
- community organizers
- media professionals
Advocates make great public speakers, are typically charismatic and often march to the beat of their own drum.
Their Unique Challenges
Advocates face many challenges throughout their life - confrontations with authority, those with opposing viewpoints, and more. They do their best to improve the world around them, but for every brick they put back in place, they feel like three more fall down. Their purpose in life is to make society better, and their passion is mixed with wisdom, talent and an abundance of hope which creates an undefeatable alchemy of the soul. Their passion is their greatest strength, as well as their greatest weakness. It can be hard for this type of person not to go the route of the compulsive advocate - a person who can no longer see beyond the injustices that eat at them.
Understanding that their strength is also their weakness can help balance the advocate.
What They Need to Learn
The lesson that the advocate needs to learn is that there will always be problems to solve, injustices to correct, wrongs to right. Small actions can yield big results, but if the advocate becomes overexerted, they may feel eternally unfulfilled. While some advocates feel like they need to set the world on fire, other advocates focus on the small things every day that they can do to change the world around them.
The advocate needs to focus on what they can do to change society, rather than focusing on what they can't do, which will only bring them down.
The Advocate's Inner Shadow
All of the Advocate's good intentions - and they are many - contain the potential for becoming negative. Because advocates are so passionate and so personally invested in the social, political or environmental causes that fuel them, they are especially vulnerable to the need for appreciation for their dedication. They may be judgmental of people who don't fight for causes close to them.
Advocates must keep in mind the necessity of leading by example. There will always be more problems to solve, and there will always be nay-sayers, but the advocate must stay strong - always knowing that they are doing the best they can do.
Do you consider yourself an advocate?
The Myth of the Advocate
Each archetype has a false idea attached to it - and for the advocate, that idea is that they can change people or convince people to see things the way they see things. No one likes having anything forced down their throats. The advocate must be sharp, clever, patient, wise and creative if they want to be heard.
For the lonely advocate, there is only one course of action - believing their message, believing in their ability to make a difference. They must let go of their need for approval if they want to ever make any meaningful changes.