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Castles by Ants – Episode 5: THE IDOL PERSONALITY

An ongoing series about psychology in the world of sport.

The third personality state is the “idol personality”. In our research, this factor was one of our later developments, and we needed this specific factor to understand and manage the personality changes in the cases of junior athletes and children. It isn’t news that most people have an idol. Interestingly, research shows that a child finds their idol around the same age as the child’s IQ becomes set. Professionals consider this around the age of 10-14. The idol image at this age “burns” into the human psyche, and according to our analysis, it “quietly accompanies people throughout their lives”. A person’s idol personality is their ideal personality, the combination of characteristics they construct as a paradigm based upon what they see in their idol(s). The way one creates their idol — because the process occurs subconsciously, so we should say how one “produces” it — depends on the child’s perception of the idol’s personality. But the point is that an idol image is created, and we have developed a way to display it on a diagram. The idol image may come from a parent, coach, teacher, or even a close relative, and according to our measurements, it often comes from an older brother or sister. So, the idol image that you think can make you successful and happy is formed, and it stays with you throughout your life. You want to follow the exalted idol and copy their personality traits because you think those traits made them successful. Unfortunately, whether we chose our idol well will only be revealed much later in life, and in many cases, our personality will suffer very much until the answer is found. The idol burns into the psyche and stays with us until we consciously start something! This does not mean that we do not follow others in our lives (unfortunately, many psychologists take this incorrect shortcut). It is also noticeable that young adults between the ages of 15 and 23 undergo profound changes during high school and university. Most of them try to imitate idols, try to become “cool” in their community, and this often distorts their personality. But not for long, because they know exactly how to play a role, and because the process is conscious, they usually quit with a simple decision. If a pop star, actor, or athlete becomes a role model, the child will mobilise enormous energy to behave and look like a beloved icon, but that does not mean that the idol personality is changing. Children usually finish this period when they leave school. However, the idol image from ages 10-14 sticks with them. Why is this important? The idol personality is a constant, intrinsic compulsion to shape our personality. It is embedded into our brains that we can only be successful if we follow the path of the person that we consider an idol. In many cases, the person who played a decisive role in our lives during those four years will eventually disappoint us. But the idol personality created based on them stays with us! Trouble comes if this idol personality is far from our own. In this case, there will be a constant dissatisfaction with ourselves throughout our lives! Even though we are successful, we unconsciously push our personality towards the long-established idol personality. For an athlete, this is also a point to examine and manage. You cannot be a successful athlete with a gap between your idol personality and your original personality. You can only achieve true success by following the path chosen by your own personality, not by following a person you adore. Damage caused by the idol personality can be prevented. If the difference is significant, the athlete must be managed personally to maximise their performance. There are different methods for doing this.

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