There are all kinds of people in your life that could be a fantastic role model. One that will make a huge difference in your life. It doesn’t matter who it is, or whether it is one person or many. The essential ingredient is that they inspire and encourage you to become the best version of yourself.
The value of having a role model is not just having someone to look up to. It’s much more than that. A role model is someone who will help you grow as a person and help you build a successful life.
This article will explore the benefits of a role model as a mentor, what makes a good one and how they can help you grow personally and professionally.
The Benefits of Having a Role Model or Mentor
Denzel Washington once said, “I think a role model is a mentor – someone you see on a daily basis and you learn from them.” He is correct, perhaps not on a daily basis, but certainly frequently enough that they make an imprint on you. The key here is the role model helps you improve. To paraphrase Oliver Goldsmith you will seldom improve if you have no one to copy other than yourself.
Two things you need to look out for when choosing a positive role model: one, they have a strong set of values, and two, they accept and learn from mistakes.
Positive role models help us make better decisions especially when we are trying to make a tough decision. We can look to them to help us sort through the thought process, give us a sense of comfort in our struggle, and more importantly show us encouragement. By studying how they overcome problems and obstacles we learn how to overcome them as well.
That guidance, support and encouragement pushes us to work harder at ourselves. Slowly we learn to reach our true potential. We come aware that we are doing things that we thought were once impossible; or doing things that were not even on our radar.
So why is it so important to find a positive role model in your life?
1. They will encourage you to avoid certain pitfalls
No one is perfect. In fact, if truth be known, perfection is not part of our DNA. We may aspire to become the best version of ourselves, but we can’t reach the 100% mark as a person. We all make mistakes but the key is we must learn from them.
Positive role models understand this because they too have made mistakes. However, they don’t wallow in their mistakes, they pick themselves up and learn from them. They know that mistakes are good for us, that they are just a bump along our journey.
A positive role model always turns mistakes into advantages – they learn from them. Often the mistakes you make are the same ones they have made and they can share with you how they overcame them. They won’t tell you to follow exactly how they resolved their issue but they will give it as an example and support you as you tackle your issue.
When you look at how others have resolved problems and made decisions it can be a huge motivator. You find that you are not alone on your journey. That others are travelling with you and that they too have had to make detours along the way and have come out on the other side in one piece becoming a wiser and a better person. They motivate and inspire hope.
2. They have your interest at heart and help you become the person you were meant to be.
Each of us are different and we are here for a reason. So comparing yourself with others is really a waste of time.
Build on your strengths – these are the things that make you, you. When you come up against something that you are not good at, you can resolve it in four ways. First you can learn how to do it; secondly you can put into your too hard basket within your brain – that basket where you needn’t dwell on it now; thirdly, you can drop it altogether as it isn’t important; and fourthly, you can refer it to another time by time-dating it. However you handle it, it is more important that you place your energy that matters more to you at the moment and that allows you to grow as a person.
What is important really is becoming the best version of yourself. Write out your core values and a set of actionable goals. Share these with your mentor – they will be your sounding board and as you progress in fulfilling them you will gain confidence in yourself and grow into the person you are meant to be.
This is one of the biggest lessons learned from a positive role model – that of giving you the opportunity to let your inner true self come alive.
3. They show you a way to persevere when you hit a rough patch.
Even past failures don’t guarantee future successes all of the time. Some days will be perfect where everything goes your way. Other days, you’ll feel the anxiety and pressure that life can bring.
Finding a positive role model can help you stay grounded during difficult times. They can help you keep your eyes on the prize and strive to work harder to achieve your goals.
When it comes to your pursuits in life, it’s better to be tenacious and resolute. A good role model teaches you the importance of never giving up. They also show you the best ways to deal with any future setbacks you can come across in the future.
How do they do that? Simple! They have a sense of purpose and know where they want to go in life.
A great example of this is Thomas Edison. You may have heard of him; the man who’s known worldwide for his multiple inventions.
Even though his innovations have reshaped life as we know it, he wasn’t always the big success we now know him to be. In fact, his teachers said he wouldn’t amount to much. Then, as an adult, he was even fired a couple of times. The reasons? His bosses said he was a “non-productive” employee.
Not only that, but it took him 1,000 attempts to invent the light bulb. He was even asked how he felt about failing all those times. Edison answered with confidence, “I didn’t fail...The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” That’s the power of perseverance and determination!
4. They inspire you.
You can imitate your role model’s confidence, positivity, tenacity, and determination, but understand that you are imitating these qualities only to let your own light shine.
What is important here is that your role model is someone to look up to and admire and you mirror those qualities in order for you to achieve your vision, aspirations and dreams.
Take the qualities you admire most in your mentor and brainstorm around them. Draw out a Mindmap and branch out from each of the qualities how they apply to you.
Let your imagination run wild and after you are finished go back and strike off the unimportant ones, the ones that you are uncomfortable with, and work on the one’s that you think will bring you satisfaction and joy.
This way you are coming to grips with who you are and using your mentor as a role model, someone to emulate but within your own personality and mindset.
Finding a positive mentor as a role model is like digging for diamonds. When you find one who is willing to get to know you personally and you can tap into their experience to help you navigate the choppy waters of your life, work, or business, and they in turn support you as you grow and develop – you know you have found the right diamond for you. There is a mutual connection where you know you have found someone you can trust, emulate, learn from, and who will inspire you. From their shoulders you reach new heights in your own personal growth and development.
As always, take care, be well and become the best version of yourself,
Thank you for reading