A role model: we have them, we know them, we may even be them. Role models can be extremely important figures in our lives. We have role models at every stage in life.  As we grow older, we become more aware of what it is we are looking for in the person onto whom we tack on the title of role model. Below is a list of steps and tips to help those of us still searching for that perfect role model.

1) No role model is too big…or too small

As conservative women, we have a lot of amazing role models to choose from, both on the national stage and in our own communities. You want to be the next Dana Perino, Carly Fiorina or Dana Loesch? That’s great! You want to be the Republican Leslie Knope in your own small town? Go for it. It makes no difference how big or small of a presence your role model holds on a national stage, what matters is how you connect with him or her. While you might not be able to have coffee with Dana Perino as often as you could with local community leaders, that shouldn’t stop you from connecting. Engage with your role model through social media and any other means at your disposal. In today’s day and age, a lot of people of influence run their own Facebook and Twitter profiles. You have a good shot of being seen and possibly getting engagement time with some of your high profile role models.

2) Pick someone who ignites your passions

If your role model does not excite you, you’ve probably picked the wrong one.  Demand more from the role model you pick. Your role model should be someone who inspires you through her own actions, passion, drive and determination. Your role model should be someone who encourages you, directly or indirectly, to strive for more, chase your dreams and be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. Not only should your role model guide you, she should excite you and ignite your fire of ambition. John Quincy Adams is credited with stating that “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Pick a role model who is the kind of leader President Adams described.

3) Look at people within your prospective professions

While we may have idolized Miss America or pop stars while growing up, most of us are now in a position where we have scouted out our prospective fields of work. Whether your future line of work is in politics, journalism, teaching, etc., there is always somebody who stands out in the field for their exceptional work ethic, skills, and personal conduct. By scouting out role models from within your prospective field, you can evaluate the choices they made, the steps they took that put them in the position they are currently in, and learn from them. The whole purpose of having a role model is learning, and who better to learn from than somebody who is what you want to be “when you grow up?”

4) Look for someone who holds your values

I have tried to have role models who hold different values than my own and I can tell you that it is much harder than it sounds. You should always be inspired by your role model. When they are making choices that you find crass, inappropriate, or vulgar, it becomes difficult to admire that person. When you have a role model who is making choices that reflect what you would do, you will be proud to tell other people that you have selected this person to be your role model.

5) Retain a sense of yourself

While it may be easy to just want to become your role model in her entirety, remember something your role model is lacking: that person is not you. The purpose of a role model is to help shape you, not completely transform who you are. Pick out the best parts of your role model; her kindness, philanthropic tendencies, drive, passion, and so on, and apply those to your own life and own habits. You have a lot to offer the world, your prospective professions, bosses, friends, and eventually the people that you become a role model to. Use your role model to help you find your footing, but then stand on your own two feet and take on the world.  

Taylor H
Taylor is currently studying Public Administration and Policy at the Univeristy of Arizona. Fluent in sarcasm, and a white wine enthusiast, Taylor enjoys spending her days interning for the Kelli Ward for US Senate campaign and being the outspoken republican voice in a class full of liberals.

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