Hero’s Sacrifice – A Pattern of Humility By Ian Clawson and Chris Deaver


The Hero’s Journey is based on mythology.

It has three main parts: the separation, where the hero sets out on his/her journey, seeking (an unfamiliar) adventure; Second, the initiation, which is where most of the voyage takes place– the hero arrives. Then there’s the return; to their home or to people they once knew. Only the hero has transformed or gained a special skill, ability, or reward.

We can see ourselves as the hero in the story we are currently experiencing. Maybe our journey has just begun, or we still need to take our first step toward a desired adventure? Maybe we are in the messy middle trying to make sense of it all? Most people covet the hero’s return where they are praised for slaying the dragon. Surrounded by love, riches, and glory.

At Bravecore we value the deep work necessary to become leaders for the future. We don’t get caught up in the recognition or the accolades. Our focus lies at the heart of the hero’s journey, with what we refer to as the hero’s sacrifice pattern. The choices and behaviors that activate the hero.

Sacrifice is frequently considered as primitive in the ancient world, as though these people from a biblical era were ignorant.

Sacrifice is a complex concept for people to understand. It is deeply sophisticated. With sacrifice it is crucial to give something of worth away to achieve a higher transcendent state of living. This isn’t a simple act by any means. It could be one of the most essential values that humanity has ever expressed.

How can we shift our focus from the hero’s journey to the hero’s sacrifice?

Tier 1 = Relationship with Results

Tier 2 = Relationship with Self

Tier 3 = Relationship with Others

What comes to mind when presented with the word sacrifice?

T1 Response: Many would say they are sacrificing their dreams for other people. Working for employers and providing for a family. Etc…

T2 Response: Sacrifice would be in the context of sacrificing time; giving up their time and attention for others.

T3 Response: The hardest part is sacrificing your old self so you can help more people. You must become a healthy and whole person to have the kind of impact intended to make a difference in the lives of others.

Some people believe they must do more to achieve a proper sacrifice. Perhaps something they have always known they should do, or they realize they need to do to improve their situation. For whatever reason or excuse they have put it off.

While that might be true, a deeper sense of sacrifice requires someone to shave off an aspect of their life, to quit a behavior and or give up a vice that is holding them back. We must be willing to Turn Pain into Power.

Here are two things tied to the Hero’s Sacrifice:

The Return to Integrity

Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; yet we are also surrounded by people who are watching. It’s about doing the right thing and pursuing what is right to the best of your ability, even when it may work to your disadvantage.

Integrity is keeping your word. It is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you pulls you in a different direction.

Integrity is intentional. It requires preparation, anchoring principles, and beliefs. It also reflects a value system which is manifested in behaviors.

“Integrity is when what you think and what you say and what you do are one.”

– Naval Ravikant

Are your behaviors consistent? What are your patterns? What needs to change?

Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are two different concepts.

Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity because it’s people’s opinions of you; it may or may not be accurate.

Others may try to determine your reputation, but only you can determine your integrity.

It’s better to shape your core values by focusing on what is internal vs managing an image and fixating on what is external.

Integrity is the foundation for a consistent reputation. It’s progress over perfection. With it comes a peace that you are doing your best. Being mindful of how you treat others. Making others the Mission.

Humble Confidence

Some people view humility as a weakness or something that others can take advantage of. We believe it is a superpower. The world is full of self-inflation, people with quick tongues, sharp opinions, and easy answers. What if, heroes of our future embody a different type of confidence?

Humility is being grounded in timeless principles. It requires emotional intelligence and a sound understanding of the soft skills that are not formally taught to us. The kind of life skills and an approach that is only achieved through experience with others in mind.

Humble confidence is your willingness to be brave. Trying something new, becoming better. Are you willing to stand for principles? Are you willing to support the less fortunate?

The change you become has the power to inspire and lift those around you. You will meet new people. You will have direction. You will have new experiences.

“If you aren’t humble, whatever empathy you claim is false and probably results from some arrogance or the desire to control. But true empathy is rooted in humility and the understanding that there are many people with as much to contribute in life as you.” – Anand Mahindra

When life becomes difficult or you feel stuck, choose: the hero’s sacrifice.

Return to integrity. Be guided by brave. This is a pattern of humility.

How will you continue to shape your character?

Learn more about the Hero’s Sacrifice and other co-creative patterns with BraveCore.

Ian Clawson and Chris Deaver are cofounders of BraveCore, a leadership consultancy that’s shaping the future by helping leaders be more creative and creatives be better leaders.


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