5 Steps to Effectively Use Role Models and Not Get Lost in Their Shadow

5 Steps to Effectively Use Role Models and Not Get Lost in Their Shadow

Roles Models are vital for keeping us motivated and for helping us to find our way in new territory, but it’s important to know how to really use them. It can be easy to get lost in their shadow and instead of being inspired, we end up intimidated. Instead of being empowered and taking action, we find ourselves derailed and frozen.

Finding effective role models can help us to really take our game to the next level, so take note of what you want to gain from a role model and then make the most of the experience.


No one is perfect, but a good role should have the following qualities:


  • Communicate effectively
  • Respectful
  • Knowledgeable
  • Open
  • Active




Role models can help us tremendously on the pathway to success. To make the most of the experience, consider the following steps:

  1. Find a role model who embodies your own definition of success in some way.
  2. Study their habits and mindset.
  3. Create a plan with specific steps to help you develop the same qualities they demonstrate.
  4. Modify your plan as needed based on your own actual life.
  5. Be realistic about how and in what ways a specific role model can help you.


While role models can be an excellent tool for success, be careful not to get lost in their shadows. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you maximize your experience:

  1. Don’t glamorize a role model. Role models are people too and they have struggles and shortcomings. Seeing a flaw or moment of weakness in a role model should not disrupt your own progress towards your goals.
  2. Value your own uniqueness. While you do want to develop the best qualities you see in this person, never underestimate your own knowledge and experience. The goal is to be inspired, not to be a clone.
  3. Use more than one. We have different needs and perspectives at different times in our lives. Be alert to when it may be time to look for a new role model.

Now use everything you learn from your role models and become the best version of you possible!

Tommy Runfola, Role Models