How to Imitate a Person Who You Admire by lfsmj2010


									How to Imitate a Person Who You Admire
Imitation isn't only a great form of flattery. It's also a fantastic way
to inhabit someone else's shoes and to grow your own self as a result.
Imitating another person whom you admire or treat as a role model is the
fastest way to learn anything. As babies it's how we learned about the
world and how to speak, walk, and interact with others.
If you treat imitation of admirable people as a learning technique
throughout your life, you'll benefit a great deal from other people's
experiences and knowledge.

1Note the difference between imitation and slavish or mindless devotion.
This article is firmly about imitating character traits for your personal
improvement. In other words, you arenottrying to "become" the person you
admire and you arenotcreating a shrine of fan, hero or celebrity worship
to this person. The imitation referred to here is about being attracted
to qualities that an admirable person has that you'd like to polish up
within yourself, admiring in that person what you want to do or be more
of yourself. It's likely that you're attracted to your role models
precisely because they have qualities that you harbor unflourished within
yourself and seeing the prominent display of these qualities in action in
another sparks your desire to do the same. Through concentration on the
behavior, beliefs, opinions and values of people you admire, you'll gain
amazing insights into successful approaches to life, business, studies,
work, etc.<Imitation is about character building and refinement; you
remain essentially you and your own creativity and sense of self derive
completely from within¨C¨Cyou're simply seeking to improve those elements
of your character that you believe important by focusing on how others
have developed these aspects of themselves.
Do not confuse imitating others with lack of thinking for yourself. To
think that would be to misunderstand the purpose of imitating the
character traits of a person you admire. Indeed, you demonstrate that
youarethinking for yourself by your ability to pick and choose the things
you admire and believe in in others rather than simply allowing yourself
to be in complete awe or dislike of another person.
Bear in mind all the time that this is about hitching your star to proven
strategies, traits and approaches revealed through others in the belief
that these elements may well work for you too.

2Study the person you admire. You will only imitate someone successfully
if you become their student. People who are too busy judging others and
feeling jealousy, annoyance or regret about another person's success and
achievements are unable to learn from that person because their own
negativity stands in the way. Cease judging the person and start
observing their approaches objectively, to identify the things they do,
say and think that make such an impact on you (and on the world).If this
person is someone well known, read autobiographies, articles that discuss
the person's successes and books or articles written by this person about
topics they're expert in.
If you know the person or you have a chance to view them on-screen or to
hear them by audio, observe or listen to them regularly. Spend as much
time as needed on this¨C¨Ctaking care to pay close attention¨C¨Cuntil
you're sure you've learned enough information about the things you want.
Some of the things you might concentrate on include the other person's
appearance (for example, how they dress, style their hair, carry
themselves, etc); their manner of speaking and interacting (intonation,
pauses, listening skills, responding with humor, etc.); typical ways they
behave both under pressure (calm, reflectively, etc.) and in general
(positive, friendly, caring, trusting, etc.); their posture andbody
language(typically assertive, powerful and reassuring if you've chosen a
role model with great qualities), and so forth.

3See if it is possible to meet the person if you don't already know them.
Perhaps they're giving a seminar, a conference or delivering a speech
somewhere. If it's business related, see if there are tour or networking
opportunities where you can get to meet them in person. Perhaps it's
someone in your workplace or social sphere that you've not yet actually
had the chance to meet. In that case, arrange an occasion where you can
meet up, over coffee or a chat perhaps. When asking to meet them, don't
be afraid to explain to them that you'd like to get to know them better
because you admire them for (insert reasons here). This isn't just
flattery; it provides them with feedback that they're doing something
positive for others and they may even see this as an opportunity to
actively involve themselves in helping you to grow.You might also take
the chance to stop them when you happen upon them in everyday life. You
could be outside the office, cafeteria, classroom, anywhere by chance.
Don't let the occasion slip by¨C¨Csmile and say a greeting and ask them
if they have a moment.

4Get to know the person better. If you've got an opportunity to get to
know the person you admire better, then seize the chance. Getting to know
the person will enable you to learn more about the type of person they
are and their style. If you're nervous, push beyond those nerves and say
hello, comment on something they've done that has impacted you or ask
them a quick question seeking advice. Help them to realize that you're
genuinely interested in what they're doing by expressing your admiration
for them or for the things they do, perhaps citing one or two examples.
Be straight up and tell them that you'd like to get to know them a bit
better. For further ideas on how to start a conversation with someone you
barely know or feel overwhelmed by, see:How to start a conversation with
a stranger
How to start a conversation when you have nothing to talk about
How to start a conversation with someone on the train, bus or subway.

5Be shameless in your imitation of people you admire. They've got the
qualities you aspire to and believe in, so don't be afraid to try on
their qualities for fit. You are honoring their living legacy and you're
helping yourself by emulating their successes. Use what you've learned to
start imitating the other person's traits, style, application, etc.
Choose from the traits you most admire (such as business style, clarity
in facial expressions, reassuring hand gestures or posture, application
to a project, the way they talk, etc.) Start putting these elements
you've noted into actual practice in your own life.Start with the traits
and approaches that you find easiest to imitate initially and work your
way up to harder ones. Don't neglect to push yourself beyond your current
boundaries though. Novelty is always scary but it's definitely worth
overcoming the fear to see just how far you can change your way of
thinking and acting by adapting other people's successful approaches.
Avoid feeling that imitation is a cop-out. Douglas Adams once summed up
our reticence to learn from others most succinctly:"Human beings, who are
almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of
others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do
so."Be open to using this unique talent of ours. By overcoming your
foibles about imitating another, you improve your own chances of being
more successful.

6Keep practicing until it works for you. Concentrate hard on the trait,
habit or approach that you wish to emulate in this admired person and put
it into practice regularly until it is near enough perfect. If you fail
to adapt it or put it into practice, keep trying until it falls into
place for you.Obviously, you'll be adapting as you're adopting. This is
natural and to be expected; you are still you and everything you adopt
must be tailored to that reality. And at times, you'll find what it just
doesn't work for you. That's okay too¨C¨Cat least you tried.

7Keep it all in perspective. The idea of imitation in this article has
been focused on locking onto the good traits and practicesthat work for
you. The opposite extreme is to hero worship this person and to cease
applying your common sense and sense of perspective in your emulation of
their traits and actions. Remember that every person you admire is as
human as yourself and has the same frailties. Avoid patterning your
entire life and beliefs on this person or you risk ending up
disappointed, hurt and possibly even devastated when that person fails to
live up to your expectations. Since this is pretty much inevitable, be
prepared for finding out things that dismay you as much as things that
compel you. That's a sign your admired person is as human as you and
experiences struggles too.Cherry pick the admirable elements, discard
what doesn't propel your own sense of self forward and continue to
develop all sides of yourself in a well-rounded and honest way. This is
about learning and improving, not about substituting personal
responsibility through pretense.

If anyone spots that you're imitating a mentor and seeks to insult you
for it, treat it like water off a duck's back. If they're unable to
understand the purpose behind learning through imitation, it's not
something you should be derailed by. Think how your role model or mentor
would respond and do the same!
If you start changing the essence of yourself, such as dressing
completely like the person you admire every day, mimicking all the
phrases and words they say and acting like this other person rather than
fostering your own uniqueness and responding to life as yourself, you
risk losing your sense of self and instead allow yourself to "become" the
other person (in effect, what is sometimes referred to as a "poseur").
This is a harmful form of imitation that simply results in a clone and
avoids a thoughtful and meaningful exercise in character building.
If the person you want to imitate happens to be a celebrity, a
"personality" (the term used prior to the creation of "celebrities") or
someone famous in a particular field of endeavor, you might find it
helpful to check out any books or documentaries about (or by) them.
Fan/personal websites, television interviews or movies (if the person
happens to be an actor or actress) can also be good places to start. For
ideas on how to go about contacting or meeting a celebrity check out the
following:How to find a celebrity's addressandHow to get a celebrity's
email address
How to meet a celebrity
How to meet a celebrity at their concert
How to know when to talk to a celebrity.

Did you know? We subconsciously imitate the speech of conversation
partners in an endeavor to "empathize" with those we talk to.[1]Indeed,
we're so attuned to imitating each other, that we will imitate other
people's speech patterns, inflections, talking speed, speaking time,
mannerisms, postures and facial expressions. So, some of your imitating
ability is already innate!
Imitate good people, not bad people.

Not everyone will appreciate or perhaps even understand the desire to
model yourself on them. It's a good idea to be open about your admiration
but to be subtle about your imitation. If the person is someone you
actually get to meet or, even better, can have as a mentor, they should
have no difficulty in offering you at least offer a few words of advice.
If you have a fixation on a person and all you can do is think about
them, collect news items and fan items to do with them and they have
become a central figure in your life or you believe you have a special
connection to them even though you don't know them, this is dysfunctional
and may even be a signal of underlying psychological issues. In this
case, see your doctor for advice.

Related wikiHows
How to Be Yourself Around Someone You Admire or Like
How to Talk to a Boy You Admire from Afar
How to Cope With a Controlling Person
How to Act Like Sponge Bob
How to Dress and Act Like Harry Potter
How to Positively Admire a Personality

Sources and Citations

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