A reader of this blog, who shall remain nameless at her request, is struggling with how to be a good role model for her daughters. She does what she can to eat well and get her body moving but can’t seem to break through this idea that it isn’t enough, that her life is setting a bad example. I wanted to talk to you all about that.
Firstly, know that in the Suger News survey your concern, this concern, came up over and over again. How do I show my kids the way? How do I feel at home with myself? How do I set a better example of a healthier lifestyle? You are not alone. There are many, MANY of you with this same concern voiced in different ways.
I have this concern myself. How I can set the best example for people who read this blog, my younger family and friends who are watching and the people who are coming behind me. I want to be a good example, and I want to be myself. These two things didn’t always line up.
For a long time, I thought I needed to be perfect to set a good example. I thought if I worked hard, got thinner, watched my language and didn’t get that tattoo I always wanted, that it made me someone worthy of being an example and a role model. Someone worthy, full stop, if I’m honest. But this isn’t true. It took me a while, but I get that now.
The best example you can be is true to yourself.
I don’t care if you could lose 30kg, or if you have a forehead tattoo, or if the last conversation you had ended in an argument. You have to stop trying to be perfect. There are too many versions of perfect anyway, how would you even decide? It’s a no-win battle, and it’s an excuse not to share yourself and all you have learned with the world (or your kids).
To be a role model, to lead the way for your children, you have to trust yourself to be the best version of yourself. Trust that you are worthy of the position of someone who knows things, who has learned things and who isn’t perfect but is perfectly imperfect.
Invest time and effort into taking care of your mental and physical health in the best way you can manage. Drink that green juice if you want. Eat that doughnut because it’s fun. Walk on the beach and roll down a grassy hill. Play and laugh when you get the chance. Sit quietly and breathe even if it’s on your walk in wardrobe floor.
You are important.
Find a way to share the lessons you have learned so that others can see that perfection is a lie and no one gets what they want all the time. Start talking about the times you failed and the things you learned. Stop hiding when you’re hurting and instead share the steps you take to move on from that. Laugh loudly with your mouth open and head thrown back when something is hysterical without a care for who turns your way to see why.
We lead the way to self-confidence and acceptance with our confidence and acceptance. By being generous with people who need it and holding others to account for what they say was important to them. You start waking every morning and telling yourself what a rock star you are. How grateful you are to be here. And what an amazing feat it is that someone so imperfect can be such a legend. You love yourself hard. That’s how you be a great role model.
The best part?
You already are a role model; I think you knew that with your concern for how to be a good one. The good news is that you have an opportunity to shape people. So don’t waste it perpetuating that perfect is somehow the only way to be a success in life. Now forget that constant journey for perfection you are on, set it aside for a while, and get out there. After all, little people have shorter attention spans than I do, they won’t wait for you forever.