Only listen to people who are already where you want to be.

This sentence from a podcast recommended to me by a strong woman still resonates. How often do we let our environment slow us down, influence us negatively? How often does the idea we felt was the greatest just a moment ago meet with criticism? How often do we receive warnings because someone means well? Or raised eyebrows?

No, don’t misunderstand: Everyone is free to express their opinion. Always. But you don’t always have to take them to heart. Not always listen to them. And above all, don’t take your cue from people who are themselves far too timid, too afraid to jump into the deep end. Be it in a job, self-employment or after a life crisis.

Look for role models. Other strong women – or men – who have already accomplished something you’ve set as your goal. Who are already where you want to be. Sounds simple, in theory.

But now we come to the next „problem“: many of us don’t even know who our role models are. We are no longer children who want to be as beautiful as Snow White, as adventurous as Pippi Longstocking, or as strong as Superwoman. We often look to people who are not at all suitable as real role models. Influencers who only represent themselves. Celebrities whose lives consist of beauty and its care, or high-flyers who are professionally successful but emotionally deficient. But we don’t have to choose one person at all. For every personal goal, it can be someone else to look up to. Nobody is perfect and has to be put on a pedestal. Rather, it’s what qualities you choose in people that counts.

Here is a little excursion into psychology: In the 70s, the Russian psychotherapist Vladimir Raikov discovered a method he called „the borrowed genius“. To do this, he hypnotized his patients and suggested they were someone else, for example Albert Einstein. He then gave them a task or problem to solve. The results were all overwhelming and ingenious. This led Raikov to conclude that these clever solutions had been dormant in people all along and that the deep relaxation of hypnosis had enabled them to bring them out.

Unconsciously, almost all people already practice this in their everyday life: they put themselves in their superior’s shoes, in their colleague’s or friend’s shoes and ask themselves the question „What would he/she do?“. If we now go one step further and put ourselves in people’s shoes whom we see as role models in the particular area, wouldn’t we be able to achieve greater things? It is all within us, we just need to find the right key to open that door.


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