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Role Models: what they are and why you should care

Role Models: what they are and why you should care

We do not live in a vacuum; how we behave impacts other people, which means how others act also influences us. 

We are role models, as other people are role models to us. 

For most people, for better or worse, this often begins with our parents and siblings if they are around. Our upbringing undoubtedly has a tremendous impact on how we turn out. 

In addition to our family, other role models are teachers, friends, parents of friends, and other “important” figures within our culture, such as celebrities, politicians and many more.

At some point, though, we become adults, and we have to take some responsibility to evaluate our behaviour to see if we can improve it. Of course, our upbringing will always be a central part of our story, yet, we do have some free will to decide how we will live moving forward.

Role Models

I am writing this piece because I don’t know how many people consider how their behaviour impacts the world around them. Every word uttered has a ripple effect, and we do not know what the end result will be.

I also observe that many central leaders within our public discourse and culture do not exemplify the values and ideas we want to promote. 

So we have to intervene ourselves; otherwise, who knows where we will end up. 

I have been lucky enough to have some brilliant role models in life; without them, I would not be who I am today. Implicitly, I was also taught to pick my role models well and think critically about what I appreciate and do not like about certain people. 

I still do this; when I encounter a new person, I think about how they behave and ask myself, is there anything I can learn here? Is there anything I can glean from this person to help me improve? Do I want to adopt some of their ways or quite the opposite? Are there certain aspects of their character I would stay away from? 

You can also ask these questions; I have found them incredibly helpful. 

Role modelling: Start with Self 

Unless someone is ready, changing someone else is always nearly impossible – they have to make the decision and pursue that path. On the flip side, this means we can only begin with ourselves. 

We have to create an understanding of how our behaviour impacts the world around us. Are we contributing to a more open, inclusive, kinder, curious, accepting and generous culture? Or are we doing the opposite? 

Do you take responsibility for your contribution to the outcomes in your life? 

Are you offering up solutions or just creating more problems? 

How can I make decisions helping me create the life I want to live and, at the same time, help others do the same? 

Ask yourself these questions and see what you come up with; you might be surprised and want to change. 

In my sessions as a wellbeing coach, one of the ways I work with clients is to consider all of these questions.

Finally, too much navel-gazing is not wise either, so find a balance between inwardness and simply living your life – you have to do that too, and everyone makes mistakes. 

Learn from them and move on. 

Role models: Choose them well 

I want to repeat this because it is vital. Human beings are incredibly impressionable and malleable, which means we are affected by other people. 

Therefore, it only stands to reason that we must carefully consider who’s the viewpoint we think matters. I cannot tell you who to look to for advice, but I hope you will listen to people who promote more openness, integrity, care, love, balance, moderation, and inclusivity.

When you interact with an individual in person, or you read/listen to something of them, listen carefully to the words they use and the actions they take. This will tell you much about them and whether they are worth your admiration and mirroring. 

Role models: The Power of Feedback

As I said earlier, we cannot change other people. Still, we should be open to constructive feedback when it comes our way and dare to give constructive feedback when needed. 

Receiving and providing feedback is the most challenging thing because it requires vulnerability, profound, honest communication and receptivity. 

Feedback is a gift because without giving feedback, how can anyone know how to improve? 

I have learnt a ton from the video below and other good resources on giving feedback. 

Refrain from judging people if they blunder through giving you feedback; most people are not pros at this, and it is better that they provide you with something rather than nothing. Patience and generosity are key. 

I am also reminded of this quote by Seneca, “Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those who you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: we learn as we teach.”

Final words on role models

Start with yourself, choose your role models carefully and be open to receiving feedback because it is a gift. 


Written by Tor Njamo, A Speaker for Spirit and Healer. 

He holds space for healing, bringing forward messages from Spirit and helping others reawaken their Inner Senses. 

He is passionate about helping people create calm in a chaotic world. 

Click here to learn more.