The Hero’s Journey
During the hero’s journey of any story, a work of fiction, biography, or the story of our own lives, we encounter Threshold Guardians. Our paths are riddled with them. Defeating the Threshold Guardians now becomes our focus and we are derailed from our goal. That is their plan, their goal is to derail us. The Threshold Guardians are there to try and hold us back.
The question is do we know them when we encounter them?
More importantly, do we see them for who they are?
And do we celebrate the victories when we defeat them?
The first and most important point when discussing Threshold Guardians is to understand that we are the hero in this hero’s journey. If we do not see ourselves as the hero, that most assuredly needs to change. Perhaps understanding the presence of the Threshold Guardian will shine a light on the struggles in our lives and help us better see ourselves as heroes.
Some people live their lives in guilt and shame and feel they do not deserve good things. If this is you, then you are not a hero in your own eyes, and you need to take care of that first. Because if you are not a hero in your eyes, you cannot be a hero in anyone else’s eyes. And if you are not confident on a hero’s journey, then the Threshold Guardians will get you every time.
We are more capable of identifying and defeating them when we believe we are a hero and we deserve to pass through the various thresholds. When we do not believe this, the Threshold Guardian will cause us to simply turn back and not even try. They will easily intimidate us and convince us that we do not belong here and that we are not good enough to pass through whatever threshold we are trying to pass through.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”Vincent Van Gogh
What is a Threshold Guardian Anyway?
The Threshold Guardian is the force, whether it be a person, action (or lack of action), thing, event, skill, etc. that stands in the way of us being able to move through to get to a place in life we desire. In a lot of cases, it is not even something difficult, it is only perceived as difficult and that is enough to stop us. We are intimidated enough that we stop moving, and stop making progress towards achieving a goal. A Threshold Guardian challenges our commitment and causes us to not only question our ability but start questioning our worthiness. This in turn could cause us to question everything about ourselves. Perhaps we might even start judging and belittling ourselves. We believe what the Threshold Guardian is trying to make us believe, and we walk away in defeat, feeling a little bit worse about ourselves and feeling disappointed in ourselves.
Let’s Talk About Worthiness for a Minute
Let’s make it clear that we are all worthy, no one on this earth is more or less worthy than another person, in any situation. We are all the same here. No matter how much money someone has, what color, religion, or ethnic background someone is, how many degrees a person has, or whatever standard we use to compare ourselves to others. In the stillness and darkness of the night, without our trophies, degrees, or bank accounts, we are all the same. We all have insecurities. We all have things we are struggling with in our lives, whether it is apparent to those around us or not. Every. Single. One of us. Do not convince yourself that you are the only one struggling and you are not worthy of whatever it is you have convinced yourself you are not worthy to have or achieve.
As we go through life we know other people will have accomplishments we do not have. They did not let the Threshold Guardian stop them. In some instances, there were opportunities presented to them that they were able to take advantage of. Opportunities we may or may not have been given. Maybe we were given those same opportunities, but we were too scared to go for it. That is when the Threshold Guardian is at work and winning.
These reasons are real, and the fact is we do not all have the same opportunities presented to us. We all cannot be “in the right place at the right time.” Or can we? Is it entirely up to us to make things happen for ourselves?
We know no one is going to knock on our door and ask us if we want to do “this or that” [insert whatever you are talking yourself out of here]. We don’t all have access to all opportunities. But we can all try really hard to get access to them because we are all allowed to reach for our dreams.
Others have accomplishments that we do not have because they didn’t let the Threshold Guardian scare them away. It did not cause them to question themselves, give up, walk away, and go back the way they came. They stood up to the Guardian and passed through the threshold. Some pass through smoothly, coming out unscathed. They were prepared and ready to go. Others fight and battle their way through, spent and exhausted on the other side, but victorious nonetheless. Either way, they made it and are off to their next adventure.
Hopefully recognizing their success and celebrating their accomplishment.
What Happens When We Don’t Pass Through the Threshold?
When we do not pass through the threshold we can still choose to stay confident and strong and attempt to pass through again. Or after some honest soul searching, we might decide it wasn’t the right path and choose a different journey. There is still another choice. When defeated we can sit in anger and resentment, we can make excuses or blame others. These choices do not advance our lives in a positive direction and can lead to anxiety and depression. This is when the Threshold Guardian is the true victor.
It is in these decisions and these moments in life that our foundation is strengthened… or it starts to crack.
Are we building a foundation on anger, resentment, and negativity? Are we starting to think life is not fair and we are given the short end of the stick? Or do we see things for what they really are?
What really happened is we were not prepared or strong enough to pass through the threshold at that moment. We need more time, or more training to be able to pass through on our next attempt. More training can be skills, knowledge, or simply believing in ourselves. We need to take some time to ask ourselves if we actually want what is on the other side of the threshold. Perhaps we already know why we did not pass through.
When we do not make it past the Threshold Guardian we need to take the time to explore why. If we don’t come to terms with the outcome and reach a place of acceptance it will have power over us. It is important to make a plan to try again or move on to something else. If we do not acknowledge it and make a plan, one way or another, that Threshold Guardian will always control a piece of us. Unless and until it is effectively and honestly processed, it will always be there. This will become part of the baggage we will carry through our life.
The Relationship between Worthiness and Accomplishment
Don’t think worthiness comes from accomplishment, it will only eat away at our self-esteem and self-worth. Especially when we compare ourselves to others and their accomplishments. We cannot consider the time it took them to achieve whatever we are comparing ourselves to, or the age they were when, blah, blah, blah. Comparing ourselves to others is not healthy and it doesn’t mean anything. We all have different journeys and we need to honor ours by not judging ourselves based on others’ accomplishments.
It is perseverance and the fight for what we want in life that leads to accomplishment. We are worthy when we believe we are.
Let’s redefine accomplishment. Instead of relating accomplishments to getting what we’d like or getting what we want and being disappointed or angry if we do not get it. Let’s say accomplishment is getting the outcome we were supposed to get and accepting what that looks like, no matter what. Knowing it will all make sense at some point in our life – if we are paying attention.
It probably seems that the catch regarding the Threshold Guardian is it must be defeated. We cannot move on; we cannot grow or gain new experiences if we do not defeat the Threshold Guardian. Its job is to stand guard at the threshold and not allow us through until we have proven ourselves. Proven ourselves ready, not worthy, we already established we are always worthy. That’s key is to remember – we are already worthy, just like Dorothy and the ruby slippers, we have the power and the worthiness all along.
The question is do we believe in ourselves enough to go after all we want in life? Are we strong and confident enough to show the Threshold Guardian that we are ready to pass through? Do we have the tools, and have we done the work to allow us to pass through?
The Point is Not About Defeating the Threshold Guardian
It is our job to move on and grow and gain new experiences regardless of passing through the threshold or not. That is the point. The importance is in recognizing when we cannot or do not pass through it is essential we take the time to examine why. With this exploration and examination, we also need to determine the next steps.
Do we make a plan to try again? Do we make a new plan by realizing this path was not the right fit for us?
Why did we not pass through? Did we sabotage ourselves? Were we actually already capable, but scared of what comes next? Were we truly not prepared and we need to gain more knowledge or skills? Or could this be a place we don’t belong or don’t want to be and we are forcing ourselves to be there?
Defeating the Guardian only means we are now moving forward in that direction in our life. Just because we passed over the threshold does not mean it was the only direction we had. It doesn’t even mean it was the right direction.
When we don’t pass through, our life is not over. And when we do pass through, our life is not all rainbows and butterflies from now on.
However, once we do defeat a Threshold Guardian, we need to take a minute to celebrate our accomplishment. We need to give ourselves the recognition and accolades we deserve. We moved forward in a positive direction simply by conquering a challenge. These moments and accomplishments are important. Not taking a moment to celebrate makes all of our days the same and it takes away from the fun game of life.
Why Do You Need to Earn Passage?
If it was easy, everyone would do it. There needs to be challenges and defeat along the way or accomplishments would lose their value. We are all different for a reason, our talents, our strengths, and our weaknesses all make us uniquely us. Our limiting beliefs keep us stuck and keep us from battling our way clear of the Threshold Guardians. We remain stuck on the same side of the threshold unable to pass through to the other side. The longer we stay on this side of the threshold, the more likely we are to start convincing ourselves we are not worthy.
Can We Get Help Defeating the Threshold Guardian?
Can we have help? Absolutely!! Now we are paying attention! No Hero goes on their journey alone.
Let me remind you – we are not alone here, we have leaders, teachers, peers, as well as people who rely on us. All of them are equally important on our hero’s journey. All of them will play a part in helping us fight our battles – if we let them. They are called allies and they are important to choose wisely, treasure but most importantly, allow them to help us.
It is also important that I tell you, our hero’s journey is not a one-and-done thing, we are constantly facing dragons, and batting the challenges of the Threshold Guardians to gain passage through their thresholds. It is also important to mention that if we are not recognizing these stages as we are passing through them, if we are not celebrating the victories and doing the work to prepare us for battle, then we might be one of those people who feel that life happens to them. That this is all a matter of luck and being in the right place at the right time.
I urge you to be an active participant in your own life. Pick your mentors and your allies wisely. Pay attention and be aware of those who are out to harm you. They are out there, some with the intention to harm you and some will harm you unintentionally. Set and keep boundaries to protect yourself and keep you on your path. Take responsibility, it is your job to keep yourself safe and on your path.
Examples of Threshold Guardians
I was a professional speaker for many years. I always wondered, “Who am I? Why are people going to listen to me?” But they did and I helped a lot of people in a lot of ways. Eventually, I ended up taking an office job and giving up on being a speaker and writing. I always liked the idea of writing and was often told I should write I book. And I did write a book. But my Threshold Guardian won that battle and I never got it published… because who am I?
Then my job became my Threshold Guardian, being busy and making money distracted me. It caused me to turn my back on myself and stop fighting to reach my goals. It was good at convincing me I am happy where I am. So here I am, battling this Threshold Guardian and this website will be where my writings will live their life. What my stories individual lives become will be for us to experience together.
I have five siblings, one brother, and four sisters. One of my sisters introduced me to the concept of Threshold Guardians years and years ago. Since then our battles and our Threshold Guardians have been a topic of conversation throughout our lives. This is a story of a recent Threshold Guardian of hers on her artist website. She is on the Hero’s journey of being an artist.
Good luck in the battles with your Threshold Guardians, recognizing them gives them less power. It also makes it more fun when you defeat them!