Who is your idol? What person or group of people do you aspire to be like? We all have someone whom we admire. We feel that if we were just a little more like them then we would be more successful than we are now. If only we had the same “brains”, opportunities or skills as that person then we could shine and be successful.
Although having an idol can be a good way to motivate you and show you the possibilities that life has to offer it can also be a weight on your shoulders. Many times we compare ourselves to our idols and feel like failures in the process. Think of women who develop eating disorders because they idolize the images of “stick-thin” models!
When we use a role model as inspiration we can truly help to keep ourselves motivated and also learn from their lives. However, when we choose role models that had more advantages than us or were born with special talents that we do not possess then we are setting ourselves up for failure. Our idols can act as either role models that motivate us to our own possibilities or they can act as sticks with which to beat ourselves.
That is not to say you cannot aspire to be like someone else. If someone else has achieved something then it is likely than you can achieve it also if you apply yourself to the task at hand. However, having Stephen Hawking as a role model and using his intellect as a blueprint for who you want to be may have serious side0-effects that come in the form of disappointment and heartache – after all he is, arguably, the most intelligent man on the planet!
The key to using role models to better your life is to choose someone who started in a similar position to you. For example if you are interested in developing an acting career and come from an underprivileged area Jennifer Lopez could act as a great role model. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur you could use Richard Branson.
The key is to find someone who you resonate with. A person who has already overcome the obstacles that you now face to gain the things that you want to have one day. By studying the lives of people who were once in your position and are now in the position to aspire to you can lean many lessons without the need to experience them!
If you do not have an idol I suggest you look around for someone who inspires you. There are thousands of stories that start from rags and end up in riches. There are a multitude of people who have fought against the odds to come out on top. It should not be hard to find a person to motivate you.
A good trick is to visualise your idol standing in front of you. Imagine what they are thinking, how they are feelings and what beliefs they hold. What type of person are they? What attributes do they have that you admire so much? Close your eyes and really see, hear and feel this in your mind. Make the colours more vivid, the image sharper, the sounds louder and the feelings more intense.
Then, mentally, step into that other person – just like putting on a coat. See what they see, hear what they hear and feel what they feel. What are you thinking now you are “inside” that other person? What beliefs dare you now aware of?
Take those thoughts, feelings and beliefs with you as you open your eyes. Perform this simple NLP exercise everyday for 4 weeks and watch what happens!
Who knows, after you achieve your success someday you too may become someone else’s idol!