Courtney Runn
By Melinda Garvey
March 8, 2018
Melinda Garvey is the founder of On The Dot Woman.

On International Women’s Day, it’s important to remember that women have come a long way in the fight for gender equality, but we still have a lot of work left to do. Women have the drive, motivation, passion and most importantly, the ability to make it happen, but we still struggle sometimes to find role models who can provide guidance.

There are celebrities who have helped magnify our voices, but what about women who aren’t famous but want to do so much more? What about the stay-at-home mom who wants to step out into the world of business or politics? What about the very talented woman who is struggling to get ahead in a male-dominated industry and is always passed up for opportunities? Imagine how great it would be if there was someone you could turn to – another woman who’s “been there and done that” and could help you forge ahead.

Women need other women who have been in their shoes, who have fought the fight and have come out on top. After all, it’s hard to be what you cannot see. How can women find relatable role models? Here are seven tips to get you started.

1.) Read books written by female leaders.

The best way to understand a concept or a person is to read their writing. If you find an individual you admire, read what they have written. Create a deeper understanding from where their ideas stem. Seek to understand their voice and their personal story. Someone’s background can shine light on how they managed their circumstances and ended up where they are today.

2.) Research the women who inspire you.

The cyber world has more of a wealth of information than many can grasp. If you see someone that you admire, parse through their digital profiles. See the material they present to the public and research their life. You can learn a lot about a person through a simple Google search. Fortunately, today, many people publish their own content on blogs and social media platforms, which invite users into their personal worldview.

3.) Attend networking events for powerful women.

Quality role models are hard to come by, but with some investigating you can find leads. One of the best ways to find inspiration for your own ambitions is to put yourself in situations where those around you are successful. Leadership conferences and conventions for your industry of choice are the perfect hubs to hear various powerful voices in the field that you’re interested in. Don’t just pick a role model for the sake of picking one, but rather, find someone with whom you can relate and learn from.

4.) Emulate qualities you like, but make them your own.

When you find someone or a few people that you look up to, try to gauge and understand which qualities you admire about them — and why. Is it their genuine and honest approach? Is it their ability to overcome adversity? Whatever the case, emulate the positive qualities. Work to achieve these goals in your own life. By no means reject your true self, but incorporate your favorite qualities of your role model into the best version of yourself.

5.) Watch YouTube videos and take notes.

The best way to learn a task or quality is to watch others doing it. Take your education into your own hands the modern way. Use the Internet, namely YouTube videos, to garner visual knowledge on a topic. If your role models have their own channel, even better. If not, just research and investigate topics of interest. For example, your role model may be into public speaking. Look for videos about public speaking. The more you watch these instructional videos, the better you’ll get at whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve.

6.) Revamp your social media.

Social media is a large component of your representation of self — albeit digitally. If you want to find role models online, seek out content that helps you desire better for yourself. Refine who you follow on various platforms, and focus on content that can help you build a better version of yourself. These digital profiles of individuals are no less role models than those you know in real life. Due to the amount of time spent on social media platforms, this content can influence your beliefs and habits tremendously.

Curate inspirational content for yourself that can improve your life while learning from those you admire.

7.) Contact them directly for assistance.

If you’ve discovered a role model on the Internet or in real life, it is never a bad idea to reach out to them. Don’t expect a response — especially if they are pretty well-known. However, you never know what kind of relationship can manifest from your effort to connect. If you contact them digitally, you may foster a relationship that starts casual, but ends up amounting to a significant in-person relationship. It is worth the risk, and if nothing else, just to express your gratitude for their impact on your life.

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