An authority figure is a person who has a direct influence upon the manner you view the world around you.
This figure inserts a certain way of viewing the world into your subconscious mind such that before you make decision, you always consult the authority even though they might not be there at the time of the decision.
Some of these authority figures can assist in our pursuit of life’s goals and challenges but others influence wrongly in that they may limit you from getting to the highest level of your potential.
An authority figure may come in the form of a parent who always says some things to me. My father used to tell me that politics is a dirty game. Even though he never shared with me the reason why it is dirty, somehow that statement was ingrained within my subconscious.
Whether this was right or wrong, the way I made decisions was influenced by some of those statements. If I had the potential to take up a political office, such potential has since died a natural death because of the power imposed by a political figure.
The educational system has likewise a number of authority figures in the form of teachers, headmasters, professors and mentors.
We have been programmed to think that the teacher is always right. Surely you cannot go against your professor?
This has however hindered the progress of many for the reason that the way the professor views the world is so different from the way you will view it.
We are different and the solution provision that we carry is likewise different. When the Wright brothers (inventors of the aeroplane) shared their idea to fly in metal to some professors of the time, they were told in no uncertain terms that heavier-than-air material was never going to fly. In fact, these young men were actually ridiculed for attempting to defy the laws of nature.
This shows that the authority figure can be very wrong and can limit your progression to the higher levels.
It ought to be noted that one bad habit inserted within your system by an authority figure may destroy a hundred good habits. This is for the reason that you shouldcritically examine what authority has to say.
There are many people who are being driven and led by men and women who died long ago.
Everyone refers to the great works of renowned playwright William Shakespeare, Greek philosopher Aristotle and other such prominent historical personalities but it doesn’t mean that these famous people were 100% correct. What they regarded as impossible during their time will not necessarily be impossible now.
The differentiator in our time is the one who can have total control over the authority figures. At any given time, always interrogate whose adviceyou are listening to.
Many people miss a great deal because they are asking the wrong people for advice. How many times have you gone to the media for the advice that you want? Whatever the media says is taken as law and when you do that, the media acts as your authority figure.
There are moments when you have to go a little bit further than what the media might say. By the same token, do not take everything that you are told at face value. You might miss the mark in the process.
Another authority figure listened to 100% is the religious leader. Inasmuch as our spiritual fathers have Godly inspiration, it doesn’t mean that they know it all. There are some technical aspects that they must also be taught.
I have heard many people saying: “My pastor said . . .” It’s great that your pastor said whatever they did but there are some things that are beyond them.
Friends are serious authority figures who can determine the route you might take. Your circle of influence can influence you positively or negatively.
Mind a situation where your circle of influence knows so much about what cannot work but they never have a clue of what works.
The moment you want to attempt something, they give you a breakdown of those people who failed in that venture. They never tell you anyone who succeeded.
When G Marconi (the inventor of radio) shared with his friend his idea of sending voice through the air, he was sent to a psychiatric unit because they thought he was going insane.
Aren’t the authority figures around you thinking that you are going insane because of the route you want to take? How many projects did you abandon because those close to you told you of how impossible it is to operationalise it?
Get out of the mode of asking the wrong people for advice. Make the rightful choices so that at the end of it all, you won’t cry foul. Gain control over your own life rather than to have everything dictated by someone who died long back.
Why should you allow your Grade One teacher to influence the decision of destiny that you are about to make?
Many people were meant to be businesspeople but they never earned a single dollar in profit because their authority figure told them that they were better off as workers for life.
Surely this is awkward and queer.
I pray that you get into the rightful arena rather than be limited by anyone.
Till next time, assess those authority figures that have been making decisions on your behalf and act wisely.
Noah Mangwarara is a motivational scientist and leadership expert. Contact:
0775 952 634/ firstname.lastname@example.org