The Power of ‘Modeling’

If you hang out with losers, you’re going to be a loser.” – words of wisdom from My Father

My dad was never one for philisophical views, but in his own way he has instilled me with a lot of wisdom. When I was younger, more times than I can count he told me “Charlotte, if you hang out with losers you’re going to be a loser.” He never went into detail about what a “loser” entails, that was up to my judgement, but his comment stayed strong in my mind.

Modeling is something I have been using since I was a young child. The only different between now and then would be that now I actually accept the power and effectiveness of it and use it deliberately, as I have seen its effects on my own life.

How often do you run into someone who has something about them that you want? An energy? A lifestyle? A value system? A confidence? Do you disregard it and think ‘lucky them?’ or do you allow yourself to get curious about how they have cultivated that? The big question: do you move away from it or towards it?

The long and short is spend more time around what you want to be, and less time around what you don’t. If you find you are struggling with anything you’d like to improve upon, take a look at who you spend your time with. Do they have that skill mastered, or are the two of you struggling along side one another? If you can’t find people in your real life modeling the type of change you’d like to be: Find some! If we were to be referring to ‘being someone who exercises’ it might be obvious that models can be found within a gym or some kind of fitness community. I don’t want to put pressure of you to overthink it, but do your research and find a community that feels right (and inspires) you. Find your every day ‘models’.

If you can’t find anyone in your life to model the behaviours you are looking to change, that might be one of the reasons you are looking at this blog. Don’t be afraid to go to YouTube, or seek out blogs, books, tv shows or movies for inspiration. You need to find models to be inspired to change, and you need put your focus on them, and stop focusing on the people struggling beside or behind you. Do you want to lose weight? This might sound harsh, but be ware your friends with unhealthy eating habits. If you’re serious: limit your time with them as it will be hard for there modelling to not rub off on you. For this specific goal, a friend with bad eating habits would be an example of what my dad calls a “loser” (in the serious metaphorical sense). Don’t go to the store, or the mall and pick out the people who are overweight, try to notice them as little as possible. Go into every situation trying to find a MODEL. Who is the healthiest person in the grocery store? Are you inspired? If so, did you sneak a look in her cart? Turn your blinders on to the people not modelling the behaviour you’d like to achieve and put the spotlight on the people who are. Treat it like a game. I use weight loss or body image as a primary example, but this theory applies to any change you are trying to make in your life.

Modeling can be used effectively for reaching goals and for designing a lifestyle. In truth, we use it all the time. We become what we pay attention to. Why do you think clothing, food and fashion tend to move in waves? Enough people that pay attention to a fad and are inspired by it, the more of it you will see. How many people in your community have changed there cupboards to white in the past few years? How many women do you know that have taken to curling there hair? They are following modelling and so are you, so find some models that you can be proud to follow and take pride that over time the likelihood of you being a positive model for someone else is high.

My Modeling Story:

A few years ago I decided I NEEDED to embrace my curly hair. It just had to happen, I had way too much loathing around something I was blessed (stuck!) with. At this point, I had spent a great amount of years hating and hiding my hair, so this goal was a big feat. I began by finding models: I noticed people with free, curly hair on the streets and in the stores, I began using Pinterest to create a vision board of women with curly hair who inspired me, I went on YouTube and found people who were educating women on the tips-and tricks associated with managing curly hair, and of course I practiced and experimented with technique and products! I bought a (very) expensive diffuser as an incentive for the experiment and told everyone I spoke with at work about how I was not going to straighten my hair for one year to force myself to figure this out! I made failing a very embarrassing venture. I spent a great deal of time talking about and getting educated about curly hair! I was constantly seeking out models to remain inspired. By the end of the year, not only had I found a way to feel grateful for my hair (something unique to me, and which I received a lot of compliments on) BUT I became a model to other women who wanted to learn to love there curls as I had. I had come full-circle about something I could have never dreamed I would master. Today, I don’t always wear my hair curly because depending on my mood I do enjoy the look of straight hair, but when I do wear my hair curly I don’t see it as “less than”. I’m lucky to have it and I model that.

Modeling is one of the most powerful tools out there, accessible to all. My dad may have been a bit harsh with his word choices, but I think he would be happy to know that even if he didn’t realize it, I understand the power of the philosophy behind his statement. You become what you pay attention to, what you spend your time with and the modeling you connect to. If you want to make a change: be deliberate about your modeling.

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