Women need role models who have already “been there and done that” because you can’t be what you can’t see. Here are my 7 mainstream ways for women to find role models:
1. Read books written by female leaders
The best way to understand a concept or a person is to get to the root. Read books and articles on topics that interest you. If you find an individual you admire, read what they have written. Create a deeper understanding from where their ideas stem. Seek to understand their voice and their personal story. Someone’s background can shine light on how they managed their circumstances and ended up where they are today.
2. Do some research on those women who inspire you
The cyber world has more of a wealth of information than many can grasp. If you see someone that you admire, parse through their internet profiles. See the material they present to the public and research their life. You can learn a lot about a person through a simple Google search. Fortunately, today, many people publish their own content on blogs and social media platforms that invite the users into their personal worldview.
3. Attend networking events for powerful women
Quality role models are hard to come by, but with some investigating you can find leads. One of the best ways to find role models is to put yourself in situations where those around you are successful. Leadership conferences and conventions for your industry of choice are perfect hubs to hear various powerful voices in the field and gauge your interest. Don’t just pick a role model for the sake of picking one, but rather, find someone with whom you can relate and learn from their journey.
4. Emulate qualities you like, but make them your own
When you find someone or a few people that you look up to, either physically or in the digital realm, understand which qualities you admire about them. Is it their genuine and honest approach? Is it their ability to overcome the adversities of life? Whatever the case, emulate the positive qualities. Work to achieve these goals in your own life. By no means reject your true self, but incorporate your favorite qualities of your role model into the best version of yourself. Be sure to put your own personal signature on it as well.
5. Watch YouTube videos and take notes
The best way to learn a task or quality is to watch others do it well. Take your education into your own hands the modern way. Use the Internet, namely YouTube videos, to garner visual knowledge on a topic. If your role models have their own channel, even better. If not, just research and investigate topics of interest. For example, your role model may be into public speaking. Study up on videos of the best public speakers and their tips for improvement. The more you learn the better you will get, and seeking your own educational path is just the start.
6. Revamp your social media
Social media is a large component of your representation of self — albeit digitally. If you want to find role models online, you have to follow content that helps you desire better for yourself. Completely refine who you follow on various platforms. Only follow content that feeds to your mission to be a better person. These digital profiles of individuals are no less role models than those you know in ‘real life.’ Due to the amount of time spent on social media platforms, this content influences your beliefs and habits tremendously. Curate inspirational content for yourself that can improve your life while learning from those you admire.
7. Contact them directly for assistance
If you discovered a role model on the Internet or in real life, it is never a bad idea to reach out to them. Don’t expect a response — especially if they are pretty well-known. However, you never know what kind of relationship can manifest from your effort to connect. If you contact them digitally, you may foster a relationship that starts casual and ends up amounting to an in-person friendship. It is worth the risk, and if nothing else, just to express your gratitude for their impact on your life.
Melinda Garvey is the founder of On The Dot Woman, which each day shares the story of an incredible woman who has stepped off the cliff and is making it happen.