Self Expression in Life Coaching?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Saigal

Life Coaching is based on the deeply spiritual premise that we are all creative, resourceful and whole and have everything that we need to manifest our potential. In other words, we are the God of our own destiny. Coaching is about discovering how the themes present in the roles adopted in daily life provide the backdrop to our greatness. The main ones, referred to by some as archetypes, are the Warrior, Parent, Sage and Lover. Consider – what might balanced expression within each of these areas and between these areas contribute to our ability to make our dreams a reality. This has great relevance to us for our own self expression as well as that of our clients.

The warrior occurs in circumstances of perceived threat. The exaggerated warrior is expressed as overbearing and aggressive: A person who habitually fights whatever the requirements of the situation. In contrast, when the warrior is quashed, there is an individual who does everything possible to avoid confrontation: Someone who bears a burden of persecution without defending themselves as necessary. In the middle, are those who have the courage to rise up to meet a challenge, stretch themselves and face their fears. They take responsibility and opt for the right path for themselves over the easy one.

The parent is a role that crops up in any caregiver situation and is not limited to just familial parent - child, but any relationship where there is dependency. An overzealous parent is one who is authoritarian serving their own agenda rather than that of the individual cared for. This ends up presenting as a criticism of the unique qualities of the other person that diverge from the parent’s perspective. At the other end of the spectrum, there is the parent who is indifferent to this role and prefers not to engage on any level. This neglect or distancing is internalized by the child as a lack of appreciation for their own intrinsic value. A more optimal presentation is where the caregiver provides an environment with both the structure for and the freedom to express. The elements of both competition and cooperation are proffered in the service of nurture: the individual’s growth and empowerment.

The sage arises from curiosity and the drive to understand. One polarity is the sage who identifies too greatly with the knowledge acquired using it to manipulate others to their own purposes. In contrast, those that negate the value of learning may seem as a fool. In between, lays an appreciation of truth according to perspective. This allows the exchange of information without attachment to its righteousness as well as appreciation for our innate divine wisdom.

The lover stems from emotional connection. When emotions dictate actions, we find ourselves in the extremes. Either compelled to overstep our bounds or remain too rigidly within them. The perception of what can be obtained brings fleeting euphoria before it is overwritten by reality. Alternatively, the perception of what could be lost hums in the background as we never put it to the test. A subtle shift in framing to giving and being given to on the journey rather than taking or being taken from allows for the expression of passion without strings. This is the source of creation, joy and true admiration.
The connection between heart and mind fuels our intuition and leads us to a place of balance in each of these domains. By coming to terms with our own tendencies to exaggerate facets of our personal expression we can hold deep compassion for the presentation of others and make choices to develop the yin to our yang. How we weave our own archetypal expression is up to us. It may be seeded from our history, but the strength of the roots and shape of the plant can be by our design.

According to these archetypes my own choice for personal expression is to be someone who will rise up to the challenge, serve the needs of others, learn the lessons of life with humility, and honor a giving exchange. Who will you be?

Dr. Elizabeth Saigal has been an ILCT student since 2012, and is working towards becoming a Master Life Coach. Her ideal client is one who is intent on connecting with their inner truth and aligning with their intuition to live a life on purpose. You can connect with her by email at