It occurred to me that many people have their idols. Within business circles, it’s often the gurus that people flock to for advice. From my experience within the church, I’ve seen a lot of people put leaders on a pedestal. And then they get deeply hurt and disillusioned when that leader proves to have clay feet.
But it wasn’t that aspect of “hero worship” that I’m focusing on. It’s this:
I wondered how many people poured a great deal of effort into being recognized and affirmed by these gurus. They’re often called “fanboys” and “fangirls.” Nothing their idol does is wrong. If anyone challenges their idol, they’re quick to attack. And I have to wonder if they think their idol will smile benignly, pat them on the head and shower attention upon them.
I couldn’t help but think of the relationship they had growing up with their father. Every one of us yearns for our father’s approval. And many don’t get it. Could it be that some use their idol as a replacement? Could it be they hope to get the affirmation and validation from their idol that they never received as a child?
Don’t know. But like I said, I’ve seen a lot of pain in my life from those who trusted implicitly in a “leader” who suddenly wasn’t acting very leader-like.
I think the answer is to hold on loosely to those leaders. Sure, they may have made some amazing decisions that resulted in grand things. But they’re still human. And at the end of the day, they’re not the ones who can affirm your worth. You have to do the work yourself. You have to look at yourself in the mirror each day and say, “I love you.” You’ve got something special to share with the world.
You’ve got the power. You really, really do. You just need to recognize that it’s been within you all along. No guru, no matter how incredible he or she is, can give to you. Because it was never theirs to give.
You do. You are your own superhero.