Misguided Limitations

“A role model in life is a great thing to have; one who provides us with direction and inspiration. However, we will forever be restricted by that person’s limitations if we live within their boundaries. Be influenced, but set your own standards and develop your own principals, if you are ever to live beyond someone else’s dreams.” ~ Jason Shahan …

Role models can be a great source of positive influence in our lives if we work to emulate the good traits and behaviors of them. They can set an example for us of what works well, and what does not work well, so that we can more easily reach the goals that we set for ourselves. They can also provide us inspiration where we otherwise may not have found any. But having a role model should never equate to adopting a set of limitations to our hopes and dreams. We each are unique individuals with our own special talents, and our own set of boundaries in our life; and it is important that we keep a distinction between our life, and the life of those we admire.

Because of their fame and success, professional athletes tend to be popular role models for many children, and that can be a very good thing. However, if an athlete is addicted to alcohol or drugs, derogatory, abusive, or immoral, we should not want to embrace those same conditions in our own life. And a parent may be a great role model for morality and character development by their children; but if he or she is not able to get out of debt, then that child certainly does not want to adopt that same limitation in their own life.

People are who they are, and it is important to recognize that we should not want to be someone else–we should want to be what we have the potential to be. As Jason puts it, “Be influenced, but set your own standards.”

As we encounter our own restrictions and impediments, it is important to we do not adopt the limitations of our role models, or we may never be able change into the person we are capable of being, or we may even fail to overcome them at all and become stuck in a rut. When we look objectively enough, however, we can avoid those things, addressing our own limitations on our own terms.

Remove any of the misguided limitations you emulate from the role models in your life.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the boundaries and limitations you are setting yourself up for?

What are some of the limitations your role models put in their lives?

Why do we tend to adopt the limitations of others? What kind of safety might we find in doing so?

For further thought:

“You’ve got to be careful whom you pattern yourself after because you’re likely to become just like them.” ~ Rich Mayo

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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