We all have those women in our lives whom we admire and aspire to be like. Having role models, heroes and mentors (I like to call them mamas!) in our lives is incredibly important. I have several that I’m very close with, that I’ve known for many years. Then, I have a few that I only know from afar, but as I watch their lives via social media, or read their books, or hear them speak once a year, they pour into my life immensely and I find myself wanting to be the same influence to those around me. 

The benefits to having ‘mamas’ in your life far outweigh the hindrances but there is one caution I find. And that is the tendency to put these women up on a pedestal, to think because they are strong, gifted, talented or really good at certain things, that they have no flaws or weaknesses. Here’s a few things we need to remember about these women that are inspirational and motivational in our lives. 

  • They are real live people. And there is no person who is perfect. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was just that, “She’s a… a real live person!” I live my life pretty publicly. Having a husband in full-time ministry will do that to you. And I’ve chosen to embrace it instead of reject it. But one thing I always like to make clear with people, when given the chance, is that I have struggles. I go through the same emotional crap and life hits me hard just like everybody else. Sometimes I walk it well, and sometimes not. Those we look up to are the same human flesh that we are.
  • What we see on Facebook or Instagram isn’t the whole story. And it’s not necessarily that they are trying to hide the bad from us, they just chose to be positive. A person is foolish that airs all their struggles and bad days on Facebook. Everyone needs people around them that they can be real and vulnerable with but that is not the entire social media world. We need to remember when we see countless positive posts and blessings on someone’s Facebook feed, that, though some people are trying to pull off the “Miss Perfect” life portrayal, most are just choosing to bring some good news into the world as a contrast to the bleak and negative media.
  • They do laundry too. And probably dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, the works. When someone appears to be ‘living the dream’ – they may be. But, even the dream, always includes the daily stuff of life too. It’s easy to see the public capacity someone is living in and forget just because they are an amazing singer and travel the world doing just that, that they also have dirty clothes, have to eat and usually don’t have some assistant to do their ‘dirty work’. 
  • That woman you may put on the pedestal has found the secret to emphasizing her strengths and quieting her weaknesses. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We can live with an attitude that “I can’t do that because {this weakness}.” Or we can find the things we can do well and DO THEM! 
  • There was a process getting to where they are at today. When I look at someone who has multiple opportunities doing what I want to do, it’s easy to imagine they just appeared in this successful state one day. And that thought can be pretty discouraging to me as I labor to get where I want to go. But truth is, they walked through their own process, their own struggles, their own hard work to get to where they are at today. 
  • Comparison will kill your motivation and your own dreams. I wrote a bit about this over HERE. Connection is a better choice than comparison. We can learn from the women around us by honoring who they are, their strengths and their talents. When we start comparing our lives to theirs, we can begin to feel defeated and give up our desire to grow and develop into all we are called to be.

We are all in this life journey together, the path may be different for each of us but the playing field is level – no one higher or lower than the other. So, next time you look at that hero in your life, learn from them and honor them but never put them on a pedestal!

Dani Stroda

I love the adventure of life - aspiring to live every day lost in the whimsy and wonder of the journey. I’m outrageously in love with my amazing husband who makes me laugh every day. I’m mamma to 4 gorgeous and witty daughters who delight me everyday. I’m overwhelmed by the love of our Creator and passionate about helping others find freedom and wholeness - body, soul and spirit. I am author of the book, Journey Through the Door, which released in November 2015. A good conversation, with a friend, over coffee is a favorite pastime of mine and you can join me over at http://www.whimsyinmycup.com/ to join in the conversation! Also find me at “Whimsy In My Cup” on Facebook.