The ups and downs of life can be challenging to navigate, so if you have someone to look up to, consider yourself lucky. After all, not everyone can say they have a role model.
Still looking for yours? Whether you want to excel in your career or need inspiration for personal growth, seek someone whose footsteps you want to follow. Here, discover which traits to search for when selecting a role model. Plus, get tips if you aim to become one yourself.
What Does It Mean to Be a Role Model?
How do you say someone is a role model? A person doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to become one. They have to demonstrate traits and behaviours worthy of emulation. They have to set an example for others to follow and do it consistently. That straight-A student or the new guy already being considered for a promotion? They had to put in the work to get there.
Role models serve as a guiding light towards personal growth and success. Chasing that senior role you’ve been eyeing for so long? Your career mentor should help you level up your performance. Learning the ropes as a first-time business owner? A trusted friend who’s been in the biz should be able to share some tricks of the trade.
The Importance of Having a Role Model
Think back to your childhood and try to recall who you looked up to. Was it your mum who worked hard and still managed to look impeccable? Or perhaps it was a TV icon or superhero whose appearance and mannerisms you tried so hard to copy. Remember how seeing them brought a smile to your face?
In adulthood, having a role model can help you become a better version of yourself. Here are other ways these modern-day heroes can impact your life:
- They provide an opportunity to make an emotional connection.
- They lend inspiration to do and be better.
- They help build confidence.
- They teach you how to be resilient.
- They serve as a positive influence in decision-making.
- They guide you in realising your dreams.
Traits of a Good Role Model
In a study on role models, The University of Cambridge identified the positive traits you should look for, including integrity, authority, inclusivity, hard work, and authenticity. Additionally, here are other characteristics to consider:
A person can only improve if they proactively identify areas they need to work on. If your boss or coworker regularly asks how they can help you better, you’re looking at a potential role model. Mentorship is a two-way street. A true leader will be able to do regular self-assessments and accept criticism constructively.
A passionate role model will always strive for the best in all that they do. Their fire will be the driving force for igniting the same ambition in you. Remember: Mediocrity won’t get you anywhere.
Respect for others
All the success and competence won’t count for anything if you don’t respect those around you. So, find someone sensitive to the needs and goals of others. If you feel valued and respected by your mentor, then you know you’ve chosen the right one.
The true test of a role model is their ability to remain steadfast in hard times. They aren’t just teachers. They should also commit to learning how to improve to support you better.
Look for someone who can resist the urge to cut corners to get to the top. Honesty and integrity are rare qualities that are hard to come by, especially in a world where it’s common to look the other way. Don’t get swayed by those who cheat their way to success! Let fortune favour the brave and surround yourself with leaders worth their word.
Nobody is perfect; it’s okay to make mistakes. But not everyone is humble enough to admit them. One of the most effective ways to develop character is admitting faults so you can learn from them. Your mentor may be the best, but they should also accept defeat and push harder next time.
When the heat is on, your hero should know how to calm the storm. A quiet but strong presence can ground you when things go south. Also, a true leader doesn’t let their weaknesses define their worth. Instead, they grab the opportunity to turn things around. Chances are, they’ll do the same for you.
How to Be a Role Model Yourself
Being a role model is not only a privilege but also a responsibility. It allows you to influence others and make a difference in their lives. Think of parents; all they want to do is lead their children by example. Similarly, if you want to be a real-life hero, you have to possess admirable traits that can inspire collective effort and make positive change.
How can you get there? Learn as much as you can to improve yourself. As you grow, you can support others on similar paths and help them progress. Invest in yourself, whether through upskilling or prioritising self-care. Allow yourself to take breaks in between long hours. Or why not visit your hairstylist for a new ‘do? Go to that long-due dentist appointment and give your crooked teeth the treatment they deserve with ClearCorrect dental aligners. That confident smile might just bring out the leader within!
Finding (or being!) a role model is no easy task. So, whether you’re the mentor or mentee, stay humble and never stop learning. The road to success is long and hard. But with some help from someone who’s been there and done, you can achieve more than you can imagine.
Chapter 4 : Admired qualities and role models. (2014, February 11). University of Cambridge.