Recently I was asked to write about something my parents taught me. I thought about that for a while and decided that they taught me they weren’t my best advocates. They weren’t my biggest fans. If I had an idea or opportunity, they weren’t the ones to cheer me on. It seems they weren’t a positive role model.

Role Model and Anti-Role Model

Now this may sound quite negative, but actually this is how all opportunities for growth begin.  We have role models and we have what I call anti-role models. The difference between the two is that a role model inspires you to be like them and an anti-role model deters you from being like them. Both are crucial to your development.

We see Role Models in our society as being pivotal to our success. They are the ones that lift us from mediocrity by inspiring something better that stirs within. However, inspiration comes when you are in a mood that is close enough to reach it. So, if you are feeling angry, discouraged or even overwhelmed (check out the Mood Map), you are not likely to be in the vicinity of inspiration.

However, when you feel this way, you are very aligned with an Anti-Role Model. Someone who will bring you back down to Earth with a thud by reminding you of your shortcomings. It’s the ones we are closest to that become the instigators for change. These are the people we have grown up with. We have a level of respect for them, whether a parent or a boss, a friend or work colleague. When they demean or diminish you, they are your anti-role models. They bring emphasis to something that needs changing.

Discern Who Shares Your Dreams

For instance, someone not believing in your dreams or your abilities. It did take many years of feeling sorry for myself to get over this unfortunately, but everything happens in it’s own time. Eventually I decided that I needed to believe in myself. It was a scary proposition because there was nobody to catch me when I fell.  No one to blame if it didn’t work out and nobody to talk it over with. But that wasn’t the end, it was only a stepping stone. It helped me look for strength and support. Not support from others but an inner connection. I found that when I felt good I was strong and felt supported. I began to discern who I could tell my ideas and share my dreams with and who I shouldn’t.

You see, dreams and ideas are fragile. They are in their infancy and need to be nurtured. It’s our job to protect them and give them the nourishment they need. In this case, their food is encouragement, excitement, enthusiasm, refinement. Share them only with people who will help nurture them. Keep them safe within until they are at a stage where they can no longer be contained. By then, they will be teenagers and want to test their environment. These dreams have been well fed and have now developed to a stage of believing in themselves. They still aren’t ready to take on the world but they are rapidly growing in strength. Let them grow.

It’s at this time your carefully nurtured dreams begin to develop momentum. As others are interested in what they’re about, more come and join their path. Likeminded people who help grow their journey.

Soon, the idea that was but an embryo is a full entity of its own.

Can One Person be both Role Model and Anti-Role Model

Mine all began with parents who pushed me away. Had they not have done this, I may still be looking for their approval. I might still be asking their permission and I may never have believed in myself. If that had happened, this idea could never have been birthed and the dream would not have become real.

Is it possible to have both role models and anti-role models in the same person? Yes it is. Because it’s often not the whole person you dislike, it’s the behavior. So a person can squash the hopes and dreams of a child (because they are afraid) and they can laugh and run and kick the ball with them, inspiring a close relationship.

How To Use Role Models

See your role models as providing patterns of behavior that you’d like to adopt. In that way, nobody has to live up to your expectations. Look for someone in your life that emulates the relationships you’d like and say to yourself “I’d like some of that”. Find someone different who parents in a way you admire and say “I’ll have some of that”. When you come across somebody who loves life, you can say “I’ll adopt some of that thank you”. In this way you are moving toward something you want, borrowing the best of humanity, rather than trying to push away something you don’t want.

You can never push against a thought hard enough for anything to leave your vibration because we live in an inclusive Universe. And that’s why clearing doesn’t work. The more attention you give something, the more you invite it in. So, by all means acknowledge your anti-role models and what you didn’t like. Gripe about what you’d rather not have picked up along the way and what you resent. Then, when you’re ready, build your bridge by using the inspiration of role models and walk over that bridge to something new and enjoyable. Imagine it, love it, immerse yourself in it and burn the bridge behind you.

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