Putting someone on a pedestal is always a recipe for disappointment.
Why? Let's talk about it.
Have you ever idolized someone and thought they were SO amazing...
And then felt mad, upset, disappointed, or devastated when they didn’t live up to your expectations?
Has anyone ever done this towards you?
This is what I'm talking about when I say "putting someone on a pedestal."
When we put someone on a pedestal, we forget that they are just another person navigating this life.
We put them in an entirely different playing field. No longer standing eye to eye with us, but inaccessible and unattainable in an entirely different world.
And by doing so… We distance. We diminish. We dehumanize.
Even when this feels like it’s in a positive direction, we aren’t doing anyone any favors.
Think about it: by idolizing or “pedestaling” someone, we are basically saying that they are stronger, wiser, or better equipped than we are.
In doing so, we link them to an impossible standard and diminish our own capabilities in the process...
When really, we are all living this human experience in our own context, doing the best we know how to from moment to moment.
Something we don’t often talk about?
Putting someone on a pedestal (or putting ourselves on a pedestal over others) can be a way to avoid the vulnerability we feel when we meet each other face to face, eye to eye.
No barriers, no hierarchy, no masks present.
Our projections and untrue expectations cannot survive when we allow ourselves to stand with someone like this, one-to-one.
It can be incredibly difficult to see the truth of someone. It can be equally difficult to allow ourselves to be seen.
We adopt these practices of distancing and "pedestaling" because it often feels safer than allowing ourselves to be fully witnessed, with all our imperfections, insecurities, and contradictions.
It can also feel easier than witnessing uncomfortable truths we don't want to see.
But really? None of us is perfect.
No one needs to be.
What would happen if we looked at these imperfections with love, rather than trying to categorize ourselves and others into a hierarchy?
What if we let go of comparison and recognized that we each carry a unique and necessary medicine for the world?
What if we allowed our voice, our truth and our energy to radiate, boldly and fearlessly?
We've all played the comparison game. I've gotten caught up in it many times before.
And we don't need to anymore.
Each of us is deeply loved, deeply gifted, deeply needed in this world.
What would it feel like to do something entirely different?
With this, I share something I've been practicing lately.
If you'd like to, please join me!
Instead of "pedestaling" I will...
Lean into the discomfort I feel in expressing myself honestly, and make space for others to do the same.
Start talking openly about the things that are "shameful" or "not supposed to be said."
Drop the pretenses I've hidden behind and heal my fear of being witnessed as I am.
Let go of notions of hierarchy and affirm that I deserve to take up space, be myself, speak up and be seen — just like everyone else.
Let's center and make room for our humanity.
I would rather relate like this any day, instead of putting others on a pedestal over me, or inflating myself above anyone else.
A beautiful opening takes place when we practice this form of radical authenticity.