The Power of Influence: Why You Should Choose Your Role Model Carefully

by Marvellous Onyekponwane
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role model

Have you ever stopped to think about who influences your life? Who shapes your decisions, and how do you think about yourself and the world?

Permit me to ask, who is your role model?

Consciously or not, we all have role models who shape our lives, but not all role models have the same effect on us. That’s why it’s important to be selective in choosing those influencing us. We usually choose successful people in a field we relate to, there are people who are role models to a lot of people such as, Elon Musk, Michelle Obama, Wole Soyinka, Lionel Messi, Tony Elumelu, Femi Falana, etc.

In this article, I’ll talk about how to pick the right role model, why it is important to be aware of who influences us (good or bad) and why we must be intentional when shaping our lives and character.

Let’s get started!

Who is a Role Model?

Role models are people who have achieved something that you want to achieve. They can be athletes, artists, or even just celebrities. Role models can also be other people who inspire you to do better like your parents or teachers.

Role models are important because they show us what it means to be a good person and live a meaningful life. Having role models helps us learn how to be successful in our own lives by showing us what others have done right before us, so we don’t have to figure out everything on our own!

Know this, when you choose your role model, never become your role model’s duplicate.

How to Choose the Right Role Model

Nowadays, numerous role models are vying for your attention, from family to celebrities, politicians, and influencers on various social media platforms.

There is so much noise, especially on social media. Everyone’s an influencer, and numerous half-baked life coaches are flying around. So many unchecked opinions are being projected on social media platforms. It has become daunting to sift through these noises. That’s why it’s so important to be mindful of who you decide to look up to as a role model. 

To choose the right role models, you must know what makes a good one. A good role model will have qualities such as:

  1. Integrity

They do what they say and say what they mean. They don’t make excuses or blame others for their mistakes, instead, they take responsibility for themselves and work hard to fix problems as soon as possible.

  1. Compassion

This means caring about others in general but also being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before judging them or making decisions based on your opinions alone, e.g., “What would I do if this were happening to me?“. It also includes empathy, the ability to understand how another person feels based on their situation rather than just looking at facts alone, which helps us connect with people from all walks of life more deeply than ever.

Other qualities include;

  • Good morals
  • Humility
  • Positivity
  • Professionalism
  • Empathy
  • Self-awareness

Benefits of Having a Positive Role Model

Positive role models can have a profound effect on you, improving your self-esteem and confidence, as well as inspiring and motivating you. By having an uplifting person in your corner, you are more likely to become successful in life.

Who are these positive influencers? They could be parents, teachers, co-workers, celebrities, or even big brothers or sisters. It depends on who is around you and what kind of support network you build for yourself. The important part is that these people give off positive vibes that are helpful to your growth.

Here are some benefits of having positive role models in your life.

  1. They can provide advice for difficult issues and offer support when needed. 
  2. They serve as an example of how to handle certain situations, and encourage you during hard times.
  3. They inspire you to reach your goals.
  4. Positive role models help develop trust and respect between the both of you. If there is something difficult in your life at the moment, a positive role model can help guide and shape the
  5. They offer an outlook beyond what is immediate and help keep things in perspective. 
  6. You can learn so much from other people’s experiences and mistakes! If someone has done something similar to what you’re trying to accomplish (whether it’s starting their own business or running for office), they’ll have valuable insight into what worked well for them and what didn’t. This will help keep your ideas grounded in reality instead of letting them get ahead of themselves before being tested in real-life scenarios.

Read Also: Top 6 Factors Influencing the Life of Nigerian Youths

Effect of Choosing a Wrong Role Model

In life, we come across many people who can have a significant impact on our lives. However, not everyone who comes into our lives is a positive influence. It’s crucial to be careful about who we allow to influence us because bad influence can lead us down a path that may not align with our values, beliefs, and goals. 

Negative role models can impede your progress and aspirations. Consider it a bad investment if you spend all your time and energy on the wrong role model, you may never get that back.

Here are some reasons why we should be cautious of negative role models. 

  1. They can lead you astray from your goals

We must choose people who uplift and motivate us to achieve our goals. Negative influences, on the other hand, can demotivate us and cause us to lose sight of our aspirations. It’s crucial to be mindful of the people we allow into our lives and only keep those who are supportive and encouraging.

  1. It can affect your mental health

Toxic people can have a detrimental effect on our mental and emotional well-being. Following negative people can cause us to feel stressed, anxious, and even depressed. We must prioritize our mental health and only allow positive influences into our lives.

  1. Negative patterns

When we surround ourselves with people who engage in unhealthy habits, it’s easy to fall into similar patterns. For instance, if we spend time with people who drink excessively or use drugs, we’ll likely be influenced to partake in these activities. It’s crucial to be mindful of the people we surround ourselves with and ensure they align with our values and beliefs.

  1. False expectations

If someone has false expectations for themselves or others, it could lead them down the wrong path when it comes time for them to make decisions about their plans for education or career choices–and even relationships!

  1. Loss of identity

When people look up to celebrities as role models, they may lose sight of what makes them unique as individuals because they try too hard to imitate these stars instead of following their dreams.

Why You Should Be Careful About Who Influences Your Life

  1. They shape your beliefs and values

The people you surround yourself with and listen to or look up to unconsciously shape your beliefs and values, so choosing positive influences that align with your goals and aspirations is important.

  1. They affect your decision-making

The more you associate with people, the more you think like them and the more likely you are to make decisions like them. The people you interact with can influence your decision-making, so be careful to surround yourself with people who encourage good decision-making.

  1. They affect your mood and emotions

The people you associate with greatly influence your moods. You can be joyful or depressed depending on whose voice you are listening to at the time. 

  1. They affect your self-esteem

The people around you can affect your self-esteem, either positively or negatively. Is your role model a person who shits on other peoples’ progress? Their constant negative vibes can affect you, you may begin to look down on yourself. But, a role model who shares valuable advice and hints for progress regularly can set you on the right path.

  1. They can impact your success

There is a popular saying that if you have four rich friends, you are the fifth one. People who influence your life have a great role to play in how successful you become in life. 

Read Also: Popular Habits Of Highly Successful People

  1. They can shape your career choices

Surround yourself with people who can offer valuable insights and advice on important matters like your career path. This would save you from wasting precious time trying to figure it all out on your own.

You can read our guide to achieving and measuring career success.

  1. They can affect your relationships

The people you surround yourself with can affect how you relate with people and handle issues in your relationships. Does your role model act irrational to other people? Detach from them as soon as possible. You might be influenced to copy the same attitude.


Everyone needs a mentor at some point in life to help them reach their fullest potential. You may not be able to decide who influences your life daily, but there are certain things you can do to mitigate the potentially negative influences in the world today. 

Before following anyone online or allowing them to become your role model, ask yourself these questions: Does this person stand for the values I believe in? Does this person’s behaviour align with my own? Is this someone whose decisions I would want to imitate? Do they make me want to be a better version of myself?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time to find other sources of influence who will encourage positive behaviour and changes in your life.

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About Author

Avatar of Marvellous Onyekponwane
Marvellous Onyekponwane
Marvellous Onyekponwane is a law graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, who is passionate about peace, conflict resolution and Self Confidence. She loves helping people grow their self-esteem. She also enjoys writing, reading,watching movies, and visiting new places which she vlogs about on her youtube channel.

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