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Celebrity Worship: The Risks and How to Overcome It

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  • Celebrity Worship: The Risks and How to Overcome It

    'You have a confluence of forces coming together in technology and the media to make it happen and it's worldwide and it's multiplying like lice," says Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D., spokesman for the American Psychological Association in a CBS News article.

    It is what was once referred to as being innocently 'star struck' and is now more aptly named 'celebrity worship.'

    In part, looking up to and wanting to emulate someone who has made it to the top is a natural part of being human. Since ancient times we have strived to either be, or be like, the 'alpha male,' the leader of the pack. Back then, to do so could be the difference between surviving and prospering or gradually falling out of existence.

    "It makes sense for you to rank individuals according to how successful they are at the behaviors you are trying to copy,' says evolutionary anthropologist Francesco Gill-White from the University of Pennsylvania in New Scientist, 'because whoever is getting more of what everybody wants is probably using above-average methods.'

    Today, of course, our reasons for worshiping the rich and famous are quite different. We envy their perfect bodies, their big houses or their picture-perfect relationships. Scoff when their 'perfect relationships' end in divorce, and watch with eager anticipation who will be the next to fall from grace.

    An innocent diversion? Perhaps not. While some people do lead fulfilling lives while indulging in the occasional entertainment news program or latest issue of Us magazine, others can worship celebrities to the point that they neglect their own lives.

    If you become too obsessed with star-gazing, without putting effort into your own relationships and well-being, it can result in depression, anxiety and a decrease in your self-esteem.

    There is also the danger of 'copy-catting,' particularly in young fans, where celebrity worshippers observe their idol engaging in negative behaviors (smoking, drunk driving, drugs, eating disorders), then take them up themselves. Of course, there's also the potential for this to work in a positive way, if the celebrity's accomplishments inspire the fans to make accomplishments in their own lives.

    In the majority of cases, taking an interest in the lives of celebrities is quite harmless. However, if you find that you are 'worshipping' a celebrity to the point that it's interfering with your life or your feelings of self-confidence and happiness, it's time to take action.

    How to Overcome Celebrity Worship

    Though you may long for the fairytale lives of celebrities, it can help to realize that this is not a realistic picture.

    'We live in a culture that worships celebrities, yet most celebrities are no happier than we are,' says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates.

    To help yourself let go of wanting to be like or worship someone else, give The Sedona Method a try. It's a quick, simple method to release feelings of envy and low self-esteem so that you can feel happy with your own life.

    'If you find yourself wanting to worship or be like celebrities, remember they are just people too. Let go of wanting to worship someone else, and then you'll be able to bring out your own greatness and let it shine,' Dwoskin says.
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