What Kind of Role Model are You?

What kind of role model are you?

It’s not only the young who are “sponges.” We all absorb the turns of language, interesting or repeated facial expressions and behaviors, expressed or implied values, clothing and hair choices, products and locations to engage with, music and most other entertainment from those around us throughout our lives.

image from http://keithferrazzi.com

Which of these: “giving back,” “spirituality,” “intellectual stimulation,” “physical wellness,” “financial success,” “professional growth” or “deep relationships” do you put the most time, energy, resources, money, courage and effort into accomplishing/improving?

Tell the truth.

It’s just between you and me, now.

Count the hours in each day. Count how many minutes/hours you spend engaged in tasks related to the above categories.

There’s your answer, like it or not.

I ask again: what kind of role model are you?

Every time you make a purchase and display, wear or use it, every choice you make that others can discover may influence someone. What you say, what you write, what you view, what you attend: almost everything we do, now, is tracked and used to influence what “producers” make available in the future.

Are you purchasing and using products with your ability to be an influencer in mind… always? sometimes? never?

When you speak, act, choose in front of children, they adopt or avoid what you choose, depending on the outcomes and their abilities to mimic. It is our responsibility to demonstrate being the kind of person we would want them to imitate. isn’t it?

image from http://www.magnamags.com

Research on motivation demonstrates that we have two distinct systems that influence our actions:

The approach system focuses us on the achievement of positive outcomes.
The avoidance system focuses us on preventing negative outcomes.

[from the April, 2015, issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, by Lucia Bosone, Frederic Martinez, and Nikos Kalampalikis, referenced in Are the People Close to You Good Role Models? … and why positive role models aren’t necessarily better than negative ones.
By Art Markman, Ph.D., Apr 08, 2015, in Ulterior Motives.
Reposted on Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201504/are-the-people-close-you-good-role-models]

Then, there is goal contagion: people adopt the goals of others, even without realizing that we are doing so. Learning of others’ goals via a kind of human osmosis that involves unconscious mirroring, imitation and copying, we attempt to do what others do when we believe that the outcomes are worth having.

When someone values what we do, what we have, our status or possessions, our ability to influence them goes up enormously. Research shows that “the influence of a role model is strongest when that role model fits the goal we are trying to achieve. Positive role-models, then, are most effective when we are approaching desirable states, while negative role-models are most effective when we are avoiding undesirable states.” We magnetize others to our goals by our examples of success, happiness, satisfaction, pleasure.

What kind of magnet are you?

More courage, motivation, energy, commitment and time: do you have any to spare? If so, you may be able to continue to work to achieve positive goals and to avoid negative outcomes. What do you have the most of that you can apply, for which of your goals? How consistently do you work toward each outcome you want and avoid each one you don’t want, simultaneously?

How devoted to your own goals are you?

Secondary problem: Many of us have a “rewards” system, especially if we are “thrill-seekers” or easily bored, that goes something like this: If/when we accomplish this task, we permit ourselves to do or have… However, that permission then provides us with exactly what we do not need or should not have (e.g., junk food, late nights or sleep-in mornings, recreational drugs, too much alcohol, unsafe or risky sexual encounters, dicey venues for “fun”) as a “reward.”

Accepting or accessing this “reward” then puts us in direct conflict with reaching our positive goals or avoiding negative consequences. How is that a “reward system,” then, and what does this demonstrate to others about who we are?

How involved in self-sabotage are you? What underlying messages are you communicating by these chains of behaviors and choices?

image from http://journal.frontiersin.org

I ask one more time: what kind of role model are you?

I can tell you the quickest way to get an answer to these self-assessment questions: hang around a child between the ages of 4 – 9 for an extended period of time, particularly in a role that puts you in charge, conferring authority, influence, access, trust and affection (raising, tending, nannying, teaching, parenting, etc.). You will find out within a few weeks exactly what kind of role model you are from that child. The child will begin to talk and act like you, try to do what and be what you do/are. Daily. Frequently. In almost no time at all, you’ll have acquired a little mini-mirror-you, walking, acting and talking as you do, right there for all the world to see.

For you to see.


Get to work improving yourself.