‘Role model’ has become a meaningless phrase, broadened to cover just about anyone who has something going for them. Whether it’s business leaders, teachers, athletes or rock stars, everyone is now considered to be a role model. The phrase ‘role model’ has become cliched and consequently lost all of its vigour.
That’s kind of a shame because the concept is really useful. I’m not talking about how it’s used traditionally either – you won’t need to slavishly mimic the attitudes and behaviour of someone you wish to emulate.
Here’s how to revive your role-model
First, you’ll need to choose someone you find inspirational or aspirational as your model.
What is it about them that inspires you?
What is it about them that you wish others could see in you too?
- Go to a room where you will not be interrupted for a short while.
- Stand with a clear space in front of you.
- With eyes open or closed, (whatever works best for you) imagine your role-model in front of you.
- Speak with them for a short time, asking them questions about the aspect of their life you’re interested in.
- In a moment, you’re going to step inside them to experience what it’s like to be them on the inside.
- Physically take a step forward into the space where you imagined them to be, allowing yourself to see through their eyes, hear what they’d hear and feel how they feel inside when they’re exhibiting the aspect you’re interested in.
- Take some time to just absorb this new experience. What are they saying to themselves on the inside?
- When you’re ready, step back out again, taking with you only the aspects that are relevant to you.
- Let the new knowledge and experiences settle in.
In this way, you can gather crucial information that is in a mental ‘blind-spot’ – namely, how they experience the world on the inside. What does this do?
You’ll gain insight into what makes them the way they are – deep motivations and ideals that drive them.
You’ll also pick up some of that too – by experiencing it for yourself, it becomes a choice you can take and a set of behaviours you can draw upon to expand your own growing capabilities.
Look past the cliche and become inspired again. Who are your role models?