Feel Better

The Zoo of You

Sometimes our inner world can feel a bit like a zoo.

Imagine you are going to choose two Archetypal Creatures from the list below who best reflect your understanding of yourself.

When making your selections, consider each animal description as a whole rather than each sentence out of context.

You might also think about choosing two Hidden Creatures: archetypes that you don’t think represent you at all. These might point to skills and capacities that you are neglecting or haven’t yet been able to find a place for in the current “Zoo of You”.


Some Industrious and Driven Ants

We ants have high internal standards for accuracy, and we strive to meet those expectations. It’s simple for us to identify flaws in the current state of affairs and envision improvements.

While some might perceive us as overly critical or demanding perfection, we find it challenging to overlook or accept tasks that haven’t been executed correctly. We take pride in knowing that if we are responsible for a task, you can be certain it will be done properly.

At times, we experience feelings of frustration when others don’t make an effort to perform tasks accurately or when they behave irresponsibly or unfairly. However, we usually attempt to keep such emotions hidden. For us, work and striving takes precedence over pleasure, and we suppress our desires as needed to accomplish our tasks.

Some Friendly and Nurturing Elephants

We elephants are attuned to the emotions of others. We can perceive their needs, even when we don’t know them well. At times, it’s frustrating to be so conscious of others’ needs, particularly their pain or unhappiness, as we may not be able to do as much for them as we’d like.

It comes naturally for us to give of ourselves, but we sometimes wish we were better at saying no, as we often invest more energy in caring for others than in tending to our own well-being.

It hurts us when people think we’re attempting to manipulate or control them when all we’re trying to do is understand and help. We like to be seen as warmhearted and kind, but when we’re overlooked or unappreciated, we can become emotional or even demanding. Good relationships mean a great deal to us, and we are willing to work diligently to nurture and maintain them.

Some High-Achieving, Image-Conscious Cheetahs

As cheetahs, being the best at what we do is a powerful driving force for us, and over the years, we’ve received significant recognition for our achievements. We accomplish a great deal and are successful in nearly everything we undertake.

We identify strongly with our actions because, to a large extent, we believe that one’s value is based on your accomplishments and the recognition you receive.

With more tasks on our plate than we can fit into the available time, we often set aside emotions and self-reflection to get things done. The constant presence of tasks makes it difficult for us to sit idly by and do nothing. We grow impatient with those who don’t make good use of our time, and sometimes, we’d prefer to take over a project that someone else is completing too slowly. We like to feel and appear in control of any and all situations.

While we enjoy competition, we are also effective team players.

A Tragic-Romantic Black Swan 

As black swans, we are sensitive creatures with profound emotions. We often feel misunderstood and isolated, sensing that we are different from others around us. Our behaviour might seem dramatic to some, leading to criticism about our heightened sensitivity and the amplification of our emotions. In reality, we merely long for deep emotional connections and relationships that are truly meaningful.

This lifelong quest for emotional connection, when unfulfilled, can lead to feelings of melancholy and depression, even outright despair. At times, we might question why others appear to have more than us—better relationships, happier lives.

Our refined sense of aesthetics allows us to experience a rich world of emotions and meaning, embracing with awe the beauty around us. As black swans, we are often to be found swimming in the depths of our emotions, whilst seeking meaningful connections with others.

A Few Investigative and Thoughtful Owls

As owls, we consider ourselves to be quiet, analytical beings who require more solitude than most. We generally prefer observing the world around us rather than being at the centre of it.

We don’t appreciate excessive demands, or expectations from others that we be aware of or express our emotions. We connect with our feelings more effectively when alone, and often find greater enjoyment in reliving experiences rather than experiencing them in real-time.

Rarely do we feel bored in solitude, as our mental lives are quite active. For us, it’s crucial to protect our time and energy, which is why we strive for a simple, uncomplicated existence and aspire to be as self-sufficient as possible.

A Loyal (But Also Slightly Fearful) Sheepdog

As sheepdogs, we are equipped with sharp instincts, particularly when it comes to potential hazards to safety and security. We can usually discern possible dangers or risks and may experience fear as if the threat were real. Alternately, we might simply question or challenge the situation without feeling our fear. We generally choose to either evade danger or face it head-on. In fact, we can often experience little fear if we are needed to swiftly jump into action.

Our instincts also contribute to our resourcefulness and a unique, albeit offbeat, sense of humour. We would appreciate a more certain life, and we typically find ourselves doubting or questioning the people/sheep/situations around us. We can frequently detect the weaknesses in someone’s viewpoint, which may lead others to perceive us as astute. We tend to be skeptical of authority and aren’t particularly comfortable being seen as an authority figure ourselves.

Since we can recognise problems through differing perspectives, we often support underdog causes. Once we commit to a person or cause, our loyalty is steadfast.

Some Enthusiastic, Experience-Seeking Monkeys

As monkeys, we are optimistic creatures who delight in devising new and intriguing activities. Our minds are highly active, swiftly moving between various ideas. We enjoy capturing a comprehensive view of how all these concepts interconnect, and we get excited when we can link ideas that initially seem unrelated.

For this reason, we prefer to work on projects that pique our interest and we often possess ample energy to dedicate to them. However, we can also often struggle to remain engaged in monotonous and unrewarding tasks.

We often enjoy participating in the early stages of a project, particularly during the planning phase, when there may be numerous fascinating options to explore. Once our interest in something wanes however, it becomes challenging for us to continue with it, as we yearn to move on to the next captivating endeavour. If something disheartens us, we prefer to shift our focus to more pleasant notions. We believe that everyone deserves to lead an enjoyable life.

A Commanding and Powerful Gorilla

We gorillas approach situations with determination, especially those that hold significance to us. For us, strength, honesty, and dependability are essential values.

With gorillas, what you see is what you get. We are cautious about trusting others until they’ve demonstrated their trustworthiness. We appreciate clear communication and can identify when someone is attempting to deceive, lie, or manipulate us. We struggle to accept weakness in others, unless we comprehend the underlying cause of their weakness or observe them making efforts to improve.

In terms of following instructions, if we lack respect or agreement with the leader, it is challenging for us to conform. We are more adept at assuming control ourselves. Concealing our emotions when we’re frustrated isn’t a skill we possess.

However, we are always ready to support our companions and loved ones, particularly when we perceive unfair treatment. We may not emerge victorious in every conflict, but our opponents will unmistakably know that we’ve been present.

Some Serene and Peaceful Pandas

We pandas seem to have a knack for understanding various perspectives with ease. At times, we may even appear indecisive as we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each side. Our ability to see all sides makes us skilled at helping others resolve their differences. However, this same ability can sometimes lead us to be more aware of other people’s positions, agendas, and personal priorities than our own.

It’s not uncommon for us pandas to become distracted and lose focus on essential tasks. When this happens, our attention often shifts to less important, trivial tasks. We sometimes find it challenging to pinpoint what truly matters to us, and we avoid conflict by accommodating the desires of others.

People tend to perceive us as easygoing, pleasing, and agreeable (although at times a little stubborn). It takes a significant provocation to push us to express our anger directly at someone as we really don’t like conflict and will avoid it at almost all costs. Instead, we prefer a comfortable, harmonious life and tend to seek acceptance from others.