When I was growing up, I fell into listening to and mimicking the behaviours of my parents and caregivers. Whilst this is great when you’re surrounded by people with wonderful qualities, the key question we need to ask our Selves is: are these role models living in awareness or are they freestyling through life the best way they know-how within the confines of the conditions that they hold themselves in?
How can we have role models who tell and lecture us, but fail to show and demonstrate by being the example? And what can we do to be better role models for young women today?
What is a role model?
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a ‘role model’ as “… a person who someone admires and whose behaviour they try to copy.”
Young women can and should have multiple role models for different aspects and facets of their being; emotional, mental, spiritual, relationships (connections), physical, professional, financial and domestic. By learning our Selves well and at different stages of our journey, the priority order of these aspects will change.
The question more women need to ask themselves is, “Am I confident in the life I’m living and in my being, to serve as a role model for my daughter, my niece, my friends’ daughters?”
When role models have an impact
From zero to early adolescence when young women are impressionable. And of course beyond, however, these are the most influential years in child development.
How you behave, the language you use, the energy you operate in, the importance you place on self-care and how you process and regulate your emotions all influence the impressionable members of our future generations. At the same time, they’ll begin to pick up on how to understand others, their feelings and experiences too, so how you demonstrate intra and interpersonal communication and empathy is important for society in general.
Where can role models impact young women?
Role models can be found in all areas. Young women can relate to other women through ambition or achievements, values, finances, spirituality, race, heritage, love and connections, or wellbeing.
How role models shape us?
They set a standard or the bar for what we strive to embody. They lead us to live in our true power and potential, and guide us to develop our strengths and accept our weaknesses so that we can improve and better our Selves.
Why it’s important for generations to come
As role models, we have the ability to pass forward values and principles that influence future females in the way they live their lives as adults. However, it does mean that we need to commit to working on our Selves and coming from a place of clear intention – a place of conscious decision-making instead of from our ego Self and from the fears embedded within us through our programming.
Being better, constantly evolving and improving our Selves demonstrates ongoing change and growth to children and ensures they don’t get stuck in conditions and particular structures of fears. Young women respect consistency in the values we as role models live by and in our actions and behaviours, the language and words we use with others and our self-talk.
Three things you can do to lead by example:
- Learn your Self well
- Identify and understand your needs
- Differentiate between what sits well with you versus what others tell you
Top three tips of how you can be a role model today for our future generations – the women of tomorrow:
- Be the example – avoid telling or saying things without any follow-through
- Take ownership – of your actions and behaviours and call out where you can improve next time
- Demonstrate problem-solving skills – how you respond and act when facing challenges is a major life skill
If someone admires me or wants to copy my behaviours, then I need to be sure that I live with integrity and in line with my core values and principles. I need to demonstrate that I am true to myself and that I’m accepting and open to change as I grow. I need to acknowledge experiences that I learn from and display a mindset of open-mindedness, non-judgment, trust and pure intentions for things and people that are important to me, including myself. And through my behaviours, I need to show that health and wellbeing is important, that discipline in successfully achieving goals is vital, living in joy and truth and offering my self-compassion and care before I am able to give to others is the first thing I need to show.
In retrospect, what are the things you wish someone had said or demonstrated to you when you were younger? Subscribe for free wellness tips, my 11 tips for setting healthy boundaries cheat sheet and access to my Understanding Your Inner Child mini-course. I’m also planting trees for new signups on my website >>