Using the Power of Anti-Role Models to Heal & Thrive

Have you ever wondered how your early upbringing has shaped your current healing journey? Reflecting on the lessons my parents taught me, I discovered that they weren’t my biggest advocates or sources of inspiration. Instead, they unintentionally became anti-role models. But here’s the twist – their influence actually ignited my personal growth.

In their defense, my parents likely believed they were protecting me from potential failures and that their criticism was making me a better person. But their decisions stemmed from fear rather than intuition or fact. They didn’t want to witness their child stumble, so they discouraged me from aiming too high.

Yet, I know I’m not alone in this experience. It’s a common occurrence, and now that my own children have grown, I’m even more aware of this prevalent fear.

Role Models and Anti-Role Models

This is how parents inadvertently become anti-role models rather than positive influences in their children’s lives. Surprisingly, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, these anti-role models often become catalysts for personal growth and healing.

So what is a role model?

Role models are widely recognized as influential figures who inspire us to strive for greatness. They uplift us, stirring a desire for improvement that lies within. Encouragement and inspiration are their defining traits, and they may serve as role models in specific aspects of our lives rather than every area.

What’s an anti-role model?

On the other hand, anti-role models are individuals we admire or look up to, but who inadvertently discourage us from pursuing our calling. Driven by their own fears and disappointments, they belittle our dreams out of concern for our potential failures. They criticize, condemn and can even be emotionally and physically abusive. They ground us in reality, reminding us of our perceived shortcomings and the expectations of the world through their eyes. An anti-role model is somebody who you know you don’t want to be like.

Anti-Role Models Can Be Those Closest To Us

Interestingly, it is often those closest to us who become our anti-role models and this is because we look up to these people so they have influence in our lives. They could be parents, relations, teachers, coaches and older siblings. An anti-role model is a person we make a conscious decisions not to be like. The result of anti-role models in our lives is that they ignite our growth and provide the impetus needed to overcome obstacles.

Anti-role models achieve this by helping us clarify our goals, design a plan of action, and cultivate unwavering determination. Unfortunately, not everyone recognizes that those who don’t believe in their dreams are inadvertently doing them a favor. Often, they genuinely believe they are right, especially if these anti-role models happen to be our parents.

Moreover, anti-role models act as instigators for change. These influential figures in our lives, whether parents, bosses, friends, or colleagues, prompt us to question ourselves when they demean or dismiss our ideas. This is not the end of our dreams; rather, it marks the beginning of our transformative journey.

X twitterRole Models are people we aspire to be like and anti-role models are people we absolutely DON’T want to be like. They make us clarify and change directions.
Gayle Maree
(Click to Tweet quote)

The Transformative Power of Anti-Role Models

While role models play a crucial role in inspiring and encouraging us, it is the anti-role models who truly refine and foster our growth. When an anti-role model lacks belief in our dreams, they bring our insecurities to the surface. And paradoxically, this can be a positive outcome as it allows us to identify and confront the barriers holding us back. These insecurities were always present within us; the anti-role model simply amplifies our awareness of them.

But sometimes we don’t recognize anti-role models early enough and instead, adopt their patterns. If you seek support and encouragement, exercise caution when sharing your dreams, especially in their early stages. Although we like to think that our parents are our strongest advocates, propelling us towards brilliance, the sad truth is that they harbor their own insecurities. Consequently, they perceive our ideas through the lens of their own fears.

When we do recognize people as anti-role models there is much growth to be gained. They prompt us to explore our dreams from new angles, encouraging us to take different paths. We must work on the insecurities that hinder our ownership of these dreams, and develop the necessary strength to see them through to fruition.

Can One Person Be Both a Role Model and an Anti-Role Model?

They absolutely can. Insecurities tend to manifest in specific areas rather than encompassing all aspects of a person’s character. For instance, a parent may offer encouragement during our youth but deflate our dreams as we grow older due to their own fears. My personal experience began with parents who pushed me away. If they hadn’t done so, I might still be seeking their approval, asking for their permission, and lacking belief in myself. Without their unintended influence, my ideas would have never been realized, and my dreams would have remained unrealized fantasies.

Role models empower us, instilling a sense of power in our lives, while anti-role models momentarily make us feel powerless. Often, one person can embody both roles in different subjects. It’s valuable to extract the positive aspects from role models and seek out individuals who support your growth. As you grow stronger and less vulnerable, you’ll encounter fewer anti-role models in your life. Belief in yourself is the antidote to debilitating vulnerability, and that is precisely why anti-role models serve a purpose: to help you recognize and overcome what holds you back.

Harnessing the Power of Anti-Role Models

Here’s how you can utilize anti-role models to reclaim your power:

  • Identify the anti-role model based on how their comments make you feel
  • Write down the insecurities that surface as a result of their influence
  • Determine the traits you prefer—the ones that make you feel powerful (these will be opposite to the above)
  • Acknowledge the role of the anti-role model for their unintended contribution to your growth
  • Seek out powerful new role models for different areas of your life

By perceiving anti-role models as providers of behavioral patterns you don’t wish to adopt, you regain control over your own destiny. In this way, no one has to live up to your expectations.

Finding Powerful Role Models For Healing Your Life

For example look for role models who embody the types of relationships you desire. When you witness a relationship you admire, say to yourself, “I’d like to experience that.” 

Observe individuals who parent in ways that inspire you, and think, “I want to adopt some of that.” 

When you encounter someone who radiates love and zest for life, tell yourself, “I appreciate and embrace that energy.” 

Use this method for all areas of your life you’d like to improve.

Simply acknowledging these role models’ behavior redefines your life path. This means you sculpt a life aligned with your desires, embracing the best aspects of humanity rather than pushing away what you don’t want.

Design your Path and Heal your LIfe

Remember, you are a work in progress, constantly evolving. Change will always be a constant in your life. And you’re never stuck with any personality trait you don’t want. Even if the anti-role model you had when younger wasn’t recognized as such and you adopted the behavior you now know doesn’t serve you. Simply identify those aspects of the anti-role model and determine what you prefer instead. Remember, everything is transformable, including yourself. If you’re unsatisfied with the sculpture of life you’ve created or the person you’ve become, it’s transformable.

The truth is that role models and anti-role models both play significant roles in our healing journey and personal growth. While role models inspire us, anti-role models help refine and strengthen us by bringing our insecurities to the surface. Embrace the lessons they offer, identify your preferences, and seek out positive role models in each area of your life. Remember that you have the power to shape your own destiny, sculpting a life that aligns with your desires and aspirations.

Gayle Maree soul guidance

Are you feeling called to become a healer? Our introductory course, The Healing Ripple Blueprint - 3 Levels of Healing, is the perfect place to start. You'll gain an understanding of the healing process, learn techniques to heal yourself and others, and discover if this is the path for you to make a positive impact in the world. Join us and embark on a transformative journey of healing and self-discovery. Click here.


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