For 12 years (or more) we are taught. Being enrolled in school gives us structure and a guidebook to living. We are given this safe bubble of trial-and-error in playtime, classes, and teams.
Then we graduate with no syllabus or bell to tell us our next move. Post-grad life is scary, post-wedding life is terrifying, and post-pregnancy life is foreign. We go through all of these life-changes without a compass.
The word mentor meant nothing to me four years ago. I didn’t need someone telling me what to do. Nor did I have the patience to coach someone up to lead a life they loved. “You do you, and I’m going to do me,” was a mantra of mine. Until I had no idea what I was doing…
Find a Mentor By Looking Around and Asking Where You Want to Be
The best way to find a mentor is to look at the people in your life. Think about the experiences you witnessed them walk through and how you can learn from them. Are they in a place you strive to be in physically, professionally, financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc.?
Next, outline your priorities and goals. Where do you want to be and who can help get you there? Surround yourself with people who have been successful in areas that correspond with your goals so they can support you, encourage you, and lovingly lead you back to your path if you waver.
Once you’ve pin-pointed these people, be intentional. Tell them that they are a source of inspiration and aspiration in your life, and ask to spend time with them! Brainstorm to find a schedule that works for both of you so that you can meet face to face or maybe send a weekly email.
It is important to seek out a mentor whom you can trust based on the way they learn from their experiences. Ask them how they got to where they are. Consult them when you make big decisions. It is crucial you find a mentor you can open up to as you walk through your own struggles.
It’s Okay to Have More Than One Mentor
Maybe you’re having a hard time figuring out a way to pick a mentor. The good news is you don’t have to limit yourself to one! I have a group of people I refer to as my “board of directors.”
I have a lot of mentors. Becky Tirabassi is someone I look up to spiritually. She taught me to incorporate spiritual discipline into my life to mature and grow closer to God. Madeline Garvin teaches me how to be a wife to a man who plays baseball. My dad is my financial advisor.
I’ve found I am most drawn to people who have been through hardship and come out victorious. A mentor’s life doesn’t need to be ideal but an important characteristic of a mentor is hope.
Become a Mentor
As important as having a mentor is, being one is equally important. Being a mentor means you can’t dwell in your mess. Your mess becomes a message for the people you lead.
There have been moments where I want to give up, pout, and call my mom and cry—until I remember I have people who count on me. My role as a leader keeps me accountable to learning the lesson life is trying to teach me instead of dwelling in self-pity when I face trials.
Being a mentor is a great way to give back and pour into the next generation. Somewhere down the road we started to believe that we need to experience everything in order to learn lessons. So much heartache is avoided when we transparently share our own struggle with people who need to hear it.
Teaching solidifies learning. So teaching others how you got through your hardship will also reiterate the lesson back to yourself. Using your life experience as a lesson to others will push you towards the growth you want to see in your life and mature you into a better person.
Both having and being a mentor keeps you accountable to growth. Mentors and mentee’s see the value in learning from experience and teaching others the lesson along the way. Share this post with a mentor you couldn’t live without. Then think about someone you can pour into to take your growth to the next level.
For similar encouragement, start here:
10 Behaviors Found in the Inspired Woman
5 Tips on How to Make a Change the Right Way
Being a Successful Leader Starts With You
Why You Need to Support Other Women and 5 Ways to Start
3 Reasons You Should Share Your Story
I Am Strong Because of the Brave Women Around Me
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