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How Idolizing Affects Humility and Self-Compassion?

People who lead with heart tend to uphold others to high standards and ideals. But is that always healthy? Let’s discuss whether idolizing affects humility and self-compassion or not.

Crowd cheering for their idol.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Success and achievements are two of the most valuable traits. People who manage to achieve great things in life are often respected and admired by society. We idolize them for their grit and determination which most of us lack these days.

Many work hard, yet not everyone is capable enough to provide direction to their lives. Hence, a great deal of respect and admiration comes from witnessing life goals than efforts.

Likewise, the reason behind idolizing comes from the fact that they have a vision or a goal they pursue no matter the cost. They are so invested in it that its mere existence is enough to motivate them.

But keeping aside their struggles and hardships, they are the same as us, just with a different mindset. They are not perfect and have their own share of flaws. After all, they are humans.

Well, this was just an example of who we idolize in our lives. It’s the most influential and successful people. However, we also tend to idealize some of our close friends, relatives, or even life partners.

The question is “Why do we have to idealize people?

Do we lack something that we try to find in them?”

“What is the motivation behind it?”

Let’s discuss this in the next section about how idolizing affect humility and self-compassion.


Why do we have to idolize people?

Exactly. This is something I have been thinking about for a very long time. What is the compulsive need to idealize others? Why do we want to keep others on a pedestal?

I have encountered people acting negatively towards others who do not respect their idols. It’s frustrating to deal with them as they can’t take criticism whatsoever about the person they deem respectable.

We try to look for the best selves in our idols and project our expectations. The irony is we preach about becoming like them but do not want to do so as we suffer from a fear of failure and disappointment.

A woman idolizing someone with blind faith and trust.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Here are 3 most important reasons why we have to idolize people:


1. We compare ourselves to our idols:

It’s one of the most common reasons why we try to idolize people when they are dissimilar to us. We constantly try to compare ourselves and our experiences with that of our idols.

Somewhere, we try to find how we could look up to them and understand them, which leads to comparisons and judgments. We deem them worthy and respectable only because we believe they represent the best.

These comparisons are unhealthy and take a lot of our desires of how our idol should be than he is.


2. We believe our idols possess everything we lack:

Another reason why we idolize people is the disbelief in our abilities that stems from our insecurities. In other words, we believe our idols have or possess everything we lack.

It is more like a dream than a tendency because we know our faults and imperfections. However, we are unaware of theirs and barely understand what they have gone through. Their flaws and imperfections come off as blindspots to us.

This mindset forces us to have a pseudo belief or faith in them. When they fail to meet our expectations, we hold them responsible. When in fact, we are the ones to blame.


3. We are afraid to admit that we can be as good or better than them:

I don’t think most people would agree, but it is one of the reasons why we idolize people. We have the same potential as our idols, and with hard work and perseverance, we can get better.

The ones who are willing to utilize it find it easy to understand their idols’ struggles. On the other hand, those who whine about having respect do not want to live up to their potential because of fear of failure and disappointment. So, they judge them as inherently better and suited for success.

Those who worship their idols are not confident in themselves and have an inferiority complex about their skills or abilities.

So, here are 3 vital reasons why we have to idolize people.

Now, let us discuss in the next section how idolizing affects humility and self-compassion.


How does idolizing others affect humility and self-compassion?

Hmm… How is idolizing related to humility and self-compassion? What is the role of humbleness and compassion concerning the idolizing tendency? That is what we are going to find out in this section.

Humility and self-compassion are two of the most valuable traits we need in our lives. Humility is a trait that helps us to be humble, calm, and composed in adverse circumstances. In one of my articles, I also discussed the relationship between humility and ambition. You can check it out here.

Self-compassion is the ultimate need to be benevolent to ourselves, rather than being critical all the time. However, it still has some limitations too, that I have discussed here.

Idolizing others and projecting expectations on them affects our humility and self-compassion. With greater awareness and experiences, we realize that idolizing itself is self-sabotaging and detrimental to both.

A woman realizing how idolizing affects humility and self-compassion.
Image by Schäferle from Pixabay

Here are 6 ways how idolizing affects humility and self-compassion:


1. Idolizing makes us a slave to our desires:

Desires have a significant role in influencing human nature. Likewise, desires help us in realizing our dreams and expectations. In other words, desires influence our expectations in ways that make us a slave to them.

Idolization comes from a person who has become a slave to his dreams and is unwilling to act on them. It creates a fickle-minded personality that never finds reasons to accomplish things.

It is not bad to have desires. However, desires with inaction destroy our confidence to forcefully humble ourselves and neglect self-compassion.


2. Idolizing makes us romanticize people’s nature:

Romanticizing is a trait that people commonly associate with relationships. But simply having feelings for others or getting intimate with them isn’t the only romantic thing to do.

When we idolize people, we gain an idea or near-perfect image of the individual in our minds. Under this condition, it becomes normal to exaggerate his qualities and only look for perfections.

To sum up, this makes us appear even more inferior than we would consider. Ultimately, humility and self-compassion take a big hit as we stop caring for ourselves to focus on our idol.


3. Idolizing is one of the reasons for identity crisis:

“How can idolizing be the reason for an identity crisis?”

” Is it possible?”

Well, the truth is idolizing affects our self-awareness to a great extent, especially when we are vulnerable. The constant need to identify with our idols makes it difficult to understand ourselves.

We deny our qualities in search of his and unnecessarily resonate with him for the sole purpose of finding our own goals in life. It makes things even more complicated as we enter a loop of self-doubt and confusion.

Ultimately, with the above two traits, we become self-critical leading to meekness and insecurities.


4. Idolizing distorts our preferences and judgments:

It happens quite a few times when we are unable to be confident with our preferences and judgments. We try to look up to our idols even in personal matters.

Preferences, choices, and opinions should be personal, and one must have reasoning behind those. However, when our idols make choices different from ours, we lose the confidence to stick with our beliefs.

In other words, idolizing creates a distorted understanding of preferences and judgments. We lose the ability to follow individual thoughts.


5. Idolizing grants nothing but misery and dissatisfaction:

I think it is better to say that idolizing makes us miserable and dissatisfied with ourselves. The reason for this is humans are hardwired to think and fend for themselves. When that doesn’t happen we feel lost and detached.

People who idolize too much might experience this in the later stages of life. They begin feeling empty and depressed. However, this emptiness comes from not living up to the potential of their idols.

Their allegiance to them is so unhealthy that they stop practicing compassion. Ultimately, the depressed state can make them appear humble.


6. Lastly, idolizing is nothing but a one-sided obsession:

Most people who engage in idolizing tendencies often find themselves getting stuck in a one-sided obsession. It makes them vulnerable and edgy. In other words, they are unable to move without good motivation.

Things get worse when an individual spends his life trying to chase a dream, only to find it’s not relevant anymore. Likewise, people who are mesmerized by their idols do not handle or comprehend this obsession. Ultimately, they succumb to its painful consequences.

This gives a huge blow to self-compassion as they end up blaming themselves and regret the time and efforts lost in this process. Overall, with such bitter experiences, they become more cautious and humble.


Final Words:

To sum up, there are people around us who sacrifice their time and resources to idolize someone. This someone has somehow earned their respect, and they honor him by worshipping him like a deity.

It seems odd, but even now, many people engage in such unhealthy acts. Worshipping someone and idolizing them are two different things. Our idol must inspire us rather than sabotage us.

Nevertheless, the points discussed above turn out to be a good approach to idolizing. These will also prevent people from making the same mistake again and again. Faith is good, but blind faith isn’t.

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