9 Attributes to Look for in a Role Model ...

We all need a role model, whose actions can help guide us through the rough patches in our lives. But whomever you look up to, whether it’s a parent, a friend, a religious leader, or an educator, should have all of the attributes of a good role model. We can’t always help who comes into our lives, but we can certainly choose whose lead and advice we follow.

1. Ambition

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The most important characteristic a role model can possess is ambition. Who is going to inspire and motivate you better than an ambitious person? It’s your role model’s job to push you toward greatness, and we all learn better when we have someone setting an example for us. That’s why whomever you look up to should know how to reach for the stars, so that you learn how to do the same.

2. Confidence

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I consider confidence one of the most admirable virtues a person can have. When your role model walks a little taller, with their head held a little higher, you’ll learn firsthand what confidence looks like. When deciding whom you’ll look up to, you should look for people who graciously accept compliments and love themselves. These people won’t ever bring you down, but instead will be willing and eager to build you up!

3. Humility

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In any good role model, confidence must be balanced out by humility. Without humility, your role model may become arrogant and self centered, and then not focus on your individual growth at all! Humility, highlighted by grace and modesty, is a crucial characteristic to look for in your role model. That way you'll learn how to put others before yourself rather than thinking you're the center of attention.

4. Joy

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Joy is more than just being happy, because happiness is a result of positive experiences while joy is a constant state of gladness. Even when times are rough, a joyous person knows how to take it like a champ. When you look up to a joyous person, they'll always shine a light in your life. A role model with inextinguishable joy will transfer that joy to you, so that you learn how to be happy even when you're sad!

5. Determination

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A good role model should be determined in everything they do. They should never approach anything half-heartedly, but rather be fully dedicated to everything they commit themselves to, including you and your personal growth. If you look up to a determined person, not only will you naturally learn from their example, but they also won't stop working with you until you've become all that you can be! But don't mistake determination for obsession, which can lead to unhealthy behavior. Determination is admirable because it is the pure desire to reach a goal, and to let nothing get in your way!

6. Love

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Love makes the world go around- or at least it should! And your role model should do his or her part to keep the world turning. Whoever you look up to should be filled with love, for themselves and for others. Loving people make the best role models, because when your role model loves you, you'll learn how to love others as well as boost your confidence!

7. Generosity

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Another admirable trait to seek out in a role model is generosity. If you find that someone in your life is especially selfless, you should look up to them and aspire to be as generous as they are. A generous person will never refuse to help a friend in need, and will even help complete strangers if the opportunity arises. Generosity is such a beautiful trait that you should aim to inherit it from your role model!

8. Genuineness

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If your role model is the upstanding person you expect them to be, they should have nothing to hide and therefore be genuine and authentic. Someone who lies about who they are is either insecure or guilty of something, and neither of those are characteristics you should seek in a role model. Whomever you look up to should proudly present their true selves to the world so that you may learn to do the same. Because you are an amazing young woman and never have to hide yourself from anyone!

9. Tolerance

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You're growing up in a world built on tolerance, which I love! People from different lifestyles, religions, and cultures are learning how to coexist without changing their values because they tolerate one another. If your role model is not a tolerant person, you probably shouldn't be looking up to them. An intolerant person will teach you bitterness and hatred, two traits you definitely don't want to inherit from your role model. Tolerance will get you very far in life, but intolerance will only hold you back. Whomever you look up to should acknowledge that, and live accordingly.

We all need role models in our lives, people who are shining examples of who we want to be. But just because someone seems like a "good" person doesn't mean you should automatically follow their lead. These nine characteristics should be present in your role model, but I'm certain there are many more important traits your role model possesses. What sort of virtues do you look for in a role model? Who do you look up to?

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