Lights: Visible Shame (Dear Cookie Monster)

The Second Archetype: The Sellout

This is the second part in a series of twelve.

Here is part 1. I’ve decided to use archetypes as a way to talk to my previous self/ves, as explained here. Once I’ve given each of my twelve archetypes an introduction, we’ll start exchanging letters again.

For reference, here are my twelve archetypes.
The first four are universal – everyone has them – and the remaining eight are personal. You can check out this link for a full list of possible archetypes.

121. Child (Cookie Monster)

2. Sellout

3. Saboteur

4. Victim

5. Addict

6. Critic

7. Vampire

8. Shape Shifter

9. Storyteller

10. Dilettante

11. Seeker

12. Seer



  • Sellout
  • Prostitute* (this is the term Carolyn Myss uses, but I’m not comfortable with it)


  • Engages in lessons of integrity, self-esteem, and self-respect
  • Negotiates one’s integrity or spirit due to fears of survival (physical and financial) or for financial gain
  • Most noticeable when survival is threatened
  • Selling own power to buy a controlled interest in another person
  • Selling of talents, ideas, and self-expression
  • Tests faith in following the right course of action (in accordance with values, etc) or going astray for the sake of survival
  • Staying in unhealthy relationships for the sake of security
  • Can become an ally that alerts you when you start compromising your integrity for survival

Typical thoughts, feelings, & behaviors:

  • I can’t take care of myself – I need to keep strong ties with my family so that I will never suffer
  • I am not lovable and I need to be loved to survive – therefore I will change myself to become more lovable (more attractive body, don’t stick up for myself, stay with people who mistreat me)
  • Anxious and insecure when thinking about my financial situation
  • Worried about appearance and what people will think – fear losing approval and the survival risks not being accepted might pose
  • People please, which compromises integrity for the sake of acceptance

What personal characteristics led me to choose this archetype?

  • This is one of the four universal archetypes (child, sellout, saboteur, victim), so I automatically have it
  • I tend to be anxious and insecure, especially about my ability to care for myself, which leads to choices that don’t uphold my values
  • I’m overly concerned with my appearance

What events reflect this archetype during my life?


  • Giving up my “childish” dreams (becoming a writer, etc) to gain approval from my family
  • Giving up my identity to conform with my classmates in hopes I could gain their acceptance
  • Dieting, fasting, and purging to lose weight so I become more acceptable despite how damaging it is to my health
  • Having unhealthy relationships for the sake of feeling secure and wanted
  • Staying in a long-distance relationship with someone I felt zero attraction to for the sake of being in a relationship (having someone call me, etc)
  • Staying sick so my family will take care of me – sacrifice my independence and health

What role or function has this archetype played for me?

  • Kept me safe from financial hardship (family will always be there to provide a safety net just in case)
  • Put me on a path for financial security (original plan, that I have not yet entirely discarded, was to become a medical doctor)
  • Made my body more acceptable
  • Provided me with security in the form of relationships

Which prominent people have interacted with the aspect of my nature supported by this archetype? (Think of people who have played important roles or inspired you)

  • Parents: I’ve compromised my independence and dreams for the sake of pleasing them
  • Previous relationships: people-pleased and compromised my spirit for the sake of security and feeling loved
  • Fellow patients at eating disorder treatment centers: learned how to compromise health and sanity for the sake of remaining in a safe environment

What myths, fairy tales, or spiritual stories that have meaning for me do I associate with this archetype?


  • Dumbledore: “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”
  • Peter Pettigrew: betraying his friends for the sake of security and power
  • (There are plenty more, but I’m blanking at the moment)

Does thinking of this archetype make me feel empowered or disempowered? How has it affected my spirituality?

  • Disempowered: I don’t feel like I have a strong set of values in the first place, and I struggle with following them in the face of adversity
  • I don’t value myself as I am. I feel like I need to compromise myself in order to gain acceptance and security.

Has it caused me to block or forgo change that needs to happen? (Ex: forgiveness, can’t let go of the past)

  • I’m starting to get sad about an upcoming separation because I will be alone. I’ve also tied my self-esteem into it: the person doesn’t want to sacrifice everything to be with me, so I must not be worth much.

What immediate guidance might this archetype have to offer me in the present moment?

  • Try new things that you think are scary – these will help you grow as a person and fill your heart with joy. Even though you may feel like they threaten you (people will reject me, I will look silly, etc), they ultimately will pay off. You miss all the shots you don’t take.
  • Have faith that everything will work out. If you constantly worry about your security, you will put yourself into a box that eventually will drain your resources (emotional, etc).
  • Only keep supportive people in your life. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to be likable. A million fake friends don’t hold a candle to one real friend.
  • You don’t need a boyfriend to take care of you or prove that you are lovable. Changing yourself to please someone or settling just for the sake of being in a relationship will make you miserable.

A note about the last question:

The great thing about archetypes is that they help bring awareness to the areas they concern once you learn more about them. While the Sellout archetype may have caused me to compromise my morals in the past, it can now alert me to situations where I will have to choose between my values and my survival. Once I am aware of the situation, thanks to this archetype, I can then choose to follow my values rather than act on my impulse to take care of my financial or physical survival in shallow ways that ultimately lead to more harm than good.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the Sellout archetype and how it impacts your life. 

Best wishes,

Signature: Ana (Dear Cookie Monster)


Carolyn Myss – Appendix: A Gallery of Archetypes


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