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Trinity of Archetypal Energies

TRINITY OF LIFE FORCES Tenderness, fierceness, and playfulness

Trinity of archetypal energies. Tenderness, fierceness, and playfulness are the They are at the core of our human nature and play a key role in the quality of our lives.


This theory belongs to Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D. He is one of the authorities in the modern coaching world whom I had the fortune to personally meet and learn from.

As Stephen says, there are existing three main archetypal energies that intertwine and complement each other. Tenderness, fierceness, and playfulness.


The Trinity of Archetypal Energies

The secret of mindful life is in the awareness of these three archetypal energies that constantly appear in our lives and determine our behavior, and it’s not only about us. Correspondingly, these energies influence other people’s choices and actions. To control and manage these forces, we shall first identify them.



The first archetypal energy is the life force of tenderness.

The gentle aspect of our human nature that most people carry within, regardless of age, gender, or any background. It’s in our attitude of affection, respect, and delicate approach to any other person or other living creature; When we mean no harm, judgment, or offense – but quite the opposite: We want to encourage, help, contribute, brighten, and in general to contribute something of meaningful value.

Tenderness is important to be presented in the right amount, because too much tenderness leads to weakness, humility, and obedience, whilst the lack of tenderness develops into harshness, aggression, and cruelty.



The second archetypal energy is the fierceness.

Everyone has it and it plays an important role in our lives. This energy helps us to identify and protect ourselves as individuals. We need fierceness to set our boundaries, stand our ground, fight, and achieve. Again, the amount is important. Because too much fierceness turns into brutality and violence, whereas the lack of it makes us weak, obedient, soft, and ultimately unreliable.

I believe that we should spare and accumulate this kind of energy on a daily basis. This way we can use our supply of this energy when we are faced with tough moments in our life, and we are required to become true warriors in order to survive.



The third main archetypal energy is the force of playfulness and fun. 

Why is it crucial? Because this is the energy of creativity, pleasure, joy,  curiosity, and innovation.

In a joyful state, everything seems easy and attainable, and that’s the state when brilliant ideas are born. But we should be aware: Too much playfulness makes a person superficial, irresponsible, and untrustworthy. Lack of playfulness, on the contrary, can make us rigid, overly critical, angry, and gloomy.

Having fun is always welcome during the generative coaching process.

Please, don’t misunderstand me. One should not underestimate the challenges along the journey. We just have to be able to embrace any occasion to smile and laugh at the situation, including (and especially) ourselves.

Believe it or not, the trinity of life forces is universal. Those forces influence our choices and actions, determining our behavior.