Making it our own
There is a certain inevitability to this - I talk to the Attune inspirational women every week about their role models. When I chat to other women about the people who have inspired them, I am encouraged and surprised by some of the answers. Sometimes the role models mentioned are high profile businesswomen (with the odd man thrown in for good measure…). Occasionally they are celebrities, but more often than not, they are family members. They are the mums, aunts and sisters who have shown us what it is to work hard, provide for our families and show care and compassion to those around us.
What those interviews have highlighted to me is the fact that successful women don’t just take those inspirational relationships at face value – they learn and grow and then make those strengths their own. When I interviewed Julie Hoey, she commented that “There are many people who inspire me… but I know that they’ll have struggles in other ways, therefore I don’t tend to idolise people, but I find certain people inspiring and they make me think.” Our role models are not the role models of our teenage years – people we thought could do no wrong and whose lives we had to emulate to the nth degree. They are now the people who challenge us to ask the right questions, examine our motives and push us on to be better citizens, wives, mothers and businesswomen.
The last word goes to the always impressive Joanna Lumley who, in an interview in The Telegraph, rejected the idea of having role models. "I don't have role models. I've never copied anybody, have you? I think you've got to be your own. You've got to make yourself somebody you would admire."[interview with Louisa Peacock, 24 Jan 2013]