Highly admired people are often associated with luxurious lifestyles and awe-inspiring wealth, but a valuable role model doesn’t necessarily need to “have it all.” Individuals are also looked up to for less flashy but more impactful traits, such as their unwavering commitment to making a difference or genuine compassion for everyone around them.
While being admired can be especially flattering, it can also place you in quite a few difficult and downright awkward positions. Here are seven uncomfortable signs you’ve become someone worth looking up to.
1. People confide in you… a little too often.
Whether it’s your evident trustworthiness or your strong listening skills, there is just something about you that leads others to divulge their entire life story. While you may enjoy hearing them out most of the time, it can get tricky when topics turn particularly heavy or conversations become extremely time-consuming. If you notice things veering toward TMI territory, make sure to firmly set those boundaries. It can be as simple as “I love chatting with you, but I’m on a deadline. Can we catch up next week?” This way, you will still be regarded as a reliable confidante without the information overload.
2. Your advice is regularly requested, but you don’t always have the right answer.
If people constantly reach out to you for guidance, it’s likely because they value the way you live your life and want to follow your example. Although you love sharing your wisdom on certain subjects, others might fall slightly outside of your expertise. Instead of attempting to address all the things, acknowledge when you’re not the best person to speak to something. You can even recommend a viable alternative, such as a contact who’s more well-versed in this area. Bowing out when necessary will prevent you from straying too far from your purpose, allowing you to provide your specialized insights with confidence.
3. You begin to feel responsible for others’ success.
Serving as a personal or professional resource is incredibly rewarding, and the opportunity to help others achieve their goals is truly unmatched. However, it’s important to remember that you’re there as a support system. It’s ultimately the individual’s responsibility to succeed, and you can’t do the work for them. Therefore, be mindful of when you’re taking on others’ objectives and intentions as your own. You may hope to be the driving force that propels them toward their dreams, but your expert insight is actually more than enough.
4. You’re held to higher expectations.
Steadily taking on more work and responsibilities than your colleague with the same title? While meant to be taken as a compliment of your exemplary performance, this behavior can quickly cause you to get taken advantage of. That’s why it’s critical to never lose sight of your worth. So when the expectations become unrealistic, speak up about where you need support. A company that truly respects you will honor your concerns. After all, you should never be punished for your ability to go above and beyond.
5. Your circle is diminishing.
Admired people typically possess unique characteristics that set them apart from their peers. As a result, it can be particularly challenging to maintain strong friendships. You may have little in common with others your age, and your success might even intimidate certain friends who feel like they are falling behind. The truth is, we all evolve at different rates and losing touch with friends is an inevitable part of the process. The good news is that you will eventually discover your tribe—as long as you stay open to searching for them in new ways.
6. You’re burnt out from being everyone’s go-to person.
Knowing that people can count on you is a great feeling, but neglecting your own needs isn’t quite so blissful. Since you can’t fully support people if you’re running on empty, notice when you’re putting too much energy toward doing favors for others and start holding space for yourself. Regular time-outs will help you recharge, allowing you to stay dependable while simultaneously making yourself a top priority.
7. The pressure is on.
Once you begin earning recognition for your accomplishments, it’s common to feel an increased sense of pressure to maintain the momentum. This can cause you to become harder on yourself, adopt perfectionist habits, and even view setbacks as a sign that you don’t actually have what it takes. Rather than hyper-focusing on displaying an aura of perfection, try unapologetically embracing your flaws. At the end of the day, authenticity will never be a deal-breaker for people who look up to you. In fact, it just might make them admire you even more.