Is It Okay Not to Have a Role Model?

motivation personal growth role model success Nov 30, 2022

When it comes to success, some people feel like they need a role model to move forward. They believe having someone to look up to and emulate will help them achieve their goals. However, this isn't always the case. You can be successful even if you don't have a role model. All you need is determination and a willingness to learn. We'll discuss why not having a role model can be okay and how you can still achieve your goals without one.

What is a role model?

You may have heard of the idea of having a role model to inspire and be successful in life. People may have asked you who is your role model when you were younger and even when you were already an adult. But what exactly is a role model?

A role model is just another person. However, what makes them unique is the way others perceive them. Therefore, role models possess traits and achievements that others aspire to attain. They can be in a particular situation of greatness that people may like to achieve sometime in the future. People may want to emulate how their role models managed to be successful and the positive traits they exhibit so they can also attain the same success. People see something inspiring in their role models and use them as motivation to move forward.

Role models can be anyone as long as they show something admirable to those who look up to them. They can be your parents, celebrities, prosperous businessmen, sports stars, or close friends. These people may have inspired something in you, so you look up to them and hope to achieve the same success they attained. Having a role model is not required, and you can grow and live without one. However, people may give you weird looks if they know you don't have one.

You should know some things about having a role model and why not having one can still work for you.

1. Your role model has unique circumstances that made them successful.

Every person has unique circumstances that allow them to carve their path to success. The goals we can create and achieve may also depend on these circumstances, such as the amount of money and resources we possess and the people who can support and provide opportunities. No two people can have the same situation and resources at any given time.

So when somebody has a role model, they may want to emulate what their role model is doing and attain the same success as theirs. There can be a problem with this kind of thinking. As we have said, no two people will have the same situation and resources in life. So even if you try to replicate the same activities and goals that your role model did, you may not attain the same level of success or even fail at what you are trying to replicate. You may end up frustrated when such things happen.

When having a role model, it can be better to draw inspiration from their actions and success and try to do things your way that follows your values and beliefs. Then, take the positive aspects of your role model's thoughts and actions and make things work according to your capabilities. You don't necessarily need to mimic every single detail and step of what your role model does.

2. You may put unnecessary expectations on yourself and your role model when you have one.

Having a role model can make you expect that you can also attain what your role model did. You are setting up an idealized future where you visualize yourself in the same position as your role model. Nothing's wrong with this, as creating a vision also involves imagining a future scenario of how you see yourself. However, there can be a problem when you have set expectations for yourself that may be challenging or impossible to attain because your role model may be in a different situation than yours. It may not be within your capabilities to meet the same level of achievement as your role model did, so you can get frustrated when you don't meet them.

On the other side, you are also putting expectations on your role model when you look up to them. Somebody who is seen as a role model may feel pressured when they know that many people are looking up to them, especially young people like children. Role models are expected to act reasonably and exhibit excellence in front of those who admire them. They can't commit a mistake; otherwise, their reputation will drop. People may not realize it, but looking up to others as role models put expectations on those we look up to for inspiration.

3. Looking up to someone as a role model can limit how you look at success in life.

When you have a role model, you are locking your perspective for growth and success based on the path your role model took. So, in a way, you limit yourself to a specific course for attaining something, such as success. How your role model did it, and their struggles along the way are how you may perceive what you should do to achieve the same success. However, things can be different for you. You may encounter challenges and meet others along the way that are different from what your role model achieved. As such, you may not know how to deal with them or end up achieving something else. Things work differently for each of us, and there can be different ways to achieve the same success or an entirely different one. So a better approach would be to look at what your role model did if you have one, and see if it works for you. If it doesn't, look at what you can learn from their actions and thoughts and try taking a different path that can work for you while still drawing inspiration from your role model.

Role models inspire, but you can forge your unique path.

It's up to us whether we want to have a role model. However, we must choose positive role models who can inspire and teach good manners and conduct if we decide to follow one. Don't blindly follow someone who may not set an excellent example with their actions and thoughts. On the other hand, if we choose to go through life without having a role model, that's fine too. However, suppose we move forward alone without anyone to look up to. In that case, we should ensure that we can figure out our values and interests and create meaningful goals according to our capabilities. Not having a role model may mean a lack of inspiration and motivation, and we may end up doing things that won't benefit us much. In the end, what's vital is that we know what we want to seek and can push ourselves to strive and overcome whatever challenges come and attain success our way.

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