Pedestals – D15

30-Day Writing Challenge

When I was younger my parents taught me to respect my elders, never to question what other parents said. This behavior worked well during my childhood and all my friend’s parents loved me, but this mentality slipped into other areas of my life… 

I’ve always put those I admire on “pedestals”, which meant I would place myself in a lower status not being able to interact with them in a genuine way. These people I admired would either have status, power, wealth, beauty, fame, or something else that I thought was “admirable”. Admiration is a good thing to have for others, as long as it doesn’t prevent you from being yourself around them… 

Throughout my life, I’ve been lucky to encounter some characters that I’ve highly admired and through this constant exposure, I came to realize they’re just people… There’s nothing magical about them. 

Once I was able to remove the pedestal and saw these people as regular humans, mutual respect started to emerge within these relationships. The person I admired no longer saw me as another submissive admirer but as an equal. I could be my full self around these people without sugar-coating my opinions and questioning theirs when it was needed. 

This removal of the pedestal and humanization of those I admire has helped me surround myself with some really interesting people. 

I know it can be difficult when everyone treats this person a certain way due to their power, fame, or wealth, but that’s superficial and you’re not fully comfortable in your own skin. Once you’ve realized this is just another human and they’re no better or worse, life starts to get interesting. 

A concrete example of this is when working in a company there are always defined positions and levels, and with that rigid structure comes artificial authority. I’m sure most of you have witnessed everyone in a room changing their behavior once a high-up executive walks in because they both admire and are intimidated by that person. This is counterproductive and harmful to your psychology. 

Sadly, I witnessed this on a daily basis while working in the corporate world and I couldn’t help but envision a scene of peasants worshiping their king or queen… Once I was able to step out of this “pedestal” game, the difference in behavior shocked me. Two similar-level employees would speak one way, but once an executive walked into the room they completely changed. This behavior change impacts those in the superficial power position, either making them feel lonely or artificially boosting their egos. 

For anyone that wants to escape this silly game, I recommend you focus on yourself internally.

The way I was able to remove this pedestal was through personal acceptance and self-respect. This positive self-talk improved my confidence and reduced my need for external acknowledgment… 

Remember no one is better or worse, we’re all just water bags walking around on this big blue rock. 😉