Last year, the idea of a mentor was presented to me.
Mentors have been something I was aware of but never thought I was in a position to need one. I pigeon holed having mentors for those at life junctures or highly successful people needing a sounding board outside their network.
Turning up to my first ‘get to know you’ session, I had prepared myself to talk about work, balance, stress management, leadership; the cookie cutter topics. I thought I had this mentor thing completely sussed out.
How wrong was I!
Within the first three minutes I had a fairly confronting conversation about me and my self-belief!
What I have gained has been life changing and challenged my perception of why you should have a mentor and at what stage in your life journey.
My mentor asks me a lot of ‘“why’s?” Most of which I thought I was across, but upon reflection, recognised that I needed personal clarity first and foremost.
I am someone that sets goals and works towards them I now recognise, often blindly, for the purpose of ticking a box and self-gratification.
Having a mentor has provided me the thinking space to stop, understand the core of my values, where have they come from, what has influenced them and the ability to reflect on my goals, why they are important and ensure they still relate to my personal ‘why’ and ultimately my happiness.
One of the most interesting discoveries has been the recognition of my actions, behaviours and most importantly my ‘self-talk’ and how this has contributed to feelings of stress or worry about affecting others.
What do I say to myself when things don’t go my way and my fear of failure or disappointing others results in being terrified of giving up and the perception of that, but I have to come to realise its ok to change your mind.
Ending a commitment is not a sign of failing others but rather a decision to make time for other opportunities that might better align to my goals.
The mentor has provided me an opportunity to reset. To take a deep breath, to be proud of what I have achieved and be present in the moment.
It’s the first time I have even stopped and dedicated time to me; thinking about what I do and why I do it at a deeper level. I have started the year feeling lighter, with a huge (self-created!) weight off my shoulders
So… the right time to have a mentor?
There is no right time or reason to reach out to a mentor as you’ll be surprised what dedicated time to yourself will uncover.
You don’t need to be at a juncture as a mentor might actually ensure you never reach that place!
I share this more about my experience working with a mentor, along the way. If you are interested in learning about how to choose a mentor, the differences between a mentor and a coach or to chat further about the many benefits I have seen, then drop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org
For me it has presented a great opportunity for me to take care of myself. Lastly, thank you to my mentor (you know who you are) you have made a huge impact on me.