An exploration of why we resist the idea of being the villain, and how it actually may hold the key to unlocking the truest version of yourself.
There are many definitions of Villain, here are some of the first ones that come up on Googs:
a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot
the person or thing responsible for specified problems, harm, or damage
A villain is the opposite of a hero. In contrast to the hero, a villain is usually compelled by a desire to commit acts of cruelty and immorality
So with that in mind - why would you want to a villain? The villain is the literal "bad guy" and no one wants to be the bad guy, right?
*Slowly puts hand up* Well, I kind of like (some) villains to be honest... And I also kind of like the idea of being one... and I think if you were honest with yourself, you maybe kind of like the idea of being the villain too...
Here's the thing about villains - we are conditioned to not like them, to fear them and to want to see them somehow get their comeuppance when justice is served.
Fairy-tales are full of them - we become familiar with the idea of villains and the role they play from a young age so if you want to be a "GOOD GIRL" - the villain is a great demonstration of all the things not to be, right?
Villains have shady motivations and values; they do what they want and don't care about consequences; they are break the rules and cause chaos.
Now, when I put it that way - are you not a little bit excited by the idea that even a smidge of some of that could be yours too?
The joy of being bad
To be clear, I am not advocating for acts of evil or causing harm. What I am intrigued about by villains is that they can live outside of so many rules - rules set by family, society, cultural norms and the dreaded social media circus of comparison and judgement. The villain is not concerned with what Janet from high school might think of their latest Instagram post - they are above such pettiness!
Do you see where this is going? Can you imagine the things you would say and do if you were free from the fear and impact of judgement? Imagine the actual freedom of being shameless, of being impervious to what other people think of you... Isn't it thrilling? Isn't it joyful!?
Where's my cape and horned helmet?
You're getting into the spirit of this now aren't you? Good - because I have more!
So, we can agree the villain gets to live outside of judgement and criticism and gets to act as they please - pure joy. What's also powerful is that a villain lives free of responsibility too. They have minions and henchmen to all the evil admin and clearing up, and while you many not have an adoring army at your beck and call, you do have the option to consider all the things you feel responsible for and ask - is this really mine to carry?
Responsibility is sticky and the more responsible you feel for things, the more things you seem to become responsible for. Imagine for a moment if you walked away from the things you hate being responsible for. Imagine simply letting all those spinning plates tumble and smash on the floor. Is there a part of you that would actually like to see that happen? To become the Thelma to my Louise and off we go into the sunset? Just a little tingle of excitement at that idea, maybe?
Feels like more freedom, right? The idea of walking away from responsibility is attractive in many ways and whilst also impracticable in the real world, simply playing with that idea of considering what you want to walk away from - what clues does that give you about where there may be things that it's time someone else becomes responsible for?
What is it time for you to let go of, even if it means the thing may fall? - you may be surprised at who else comes in to takeover when you stop feeling like it's your job to hold the world up.
Most of us are not off robbing banks or hatching master plans because we are good people - we have strong values and integrity guiding our way. What we get limited by, however, is the weight of other's and their expectations, judgements and criticism.
What is powerful is when you combine those value with the traits of a villain to tap back into what you really want for yourself.
Power in the darkness - how to be the villain.
The general idea of the villain is a collection of traits that we have been conditioned to see as "bad" when the truth is that many of those traits in union with our guiding values can actually be a force that can act in your best interest. Here are 3 ways you can bring more villainy into your life (and not get arrested).
Take off the mask. Whilst heroes often have a secret identity they have to hide behind, villains are usually very comfortable in showing up as their true, unapologetic self. We often hide our shadow side - the parts of us that feel rejected or shameful behind a mask called a persona that we share with the world whilst hiding our true self. I invite you to explore, what could be possible if I let more of my true self show?
Embody being Bold AF. Lets face it, most villains are not shy and retiring - they are bold, outlandish, extravagant and LOVE attention. Find a way to embody that kind of energy when you need to show up and show off. Villains don't cringe from the opportunity to talk about their latest plans or how wonderful they are. Even if it feels awkward and uncomfortable - remember you are a bad ass villain who doesn't care about judgement! Relish in the glorious ridiculousness of it all!
Practice being selfFULL. Villains have one person at the top of their Christmas card list - themselves. They always put themselves and their needs first and are often pretty vocal about it too. This doesn't mean you have to be a dickhead about it, but you can certainly practice villain energy to state your needs, your wants and set your boundaries so that you can have enough time and energy for what you need to get done.
So, how do you feel about being the villain now?
A little bit emboldened to try on a cat suit maybe? Perhaps check out some good locations for an underground lair? (this photo location is 100% where I would have my lair btw).
I hope at the least you have some ideas to play with about how you can be a little more open to embodying some villain traits in ways that will support you to be more yourself.
Shadow work, which involves working with villain energy is a big part of how I support my clients to find ways that can be their truest self and let go of old stories that may be holding them back. If you want to know more about this, head on over to here to be book in a chat and find out more.
P.S - one of my favourite Villains is the dark goddess Lilith - and this is a playlist I created inspired by her. Enjoy x