Mentors come in many forms in our lives. They can be a teacher, a coach, a volunteer, a boss, a professional colleague, a neighbor, or even simply someone you meet unexpectedly who chooses to invest themselves in your future. Some of us are fortunate to have had many mentors along the way. Others have that one who has been with them for as long as they remember.
Someone becomes your mentor, not because of the particular role they play in life, but because of the role they choose to play in your life. tweet this
Mentors assume the roles of counselor, nurturer, and adviser. I’ve see mentors even assume a role as protector, specifically a protector of dreams. After all, our dreams and aspirations can be fragile things that are vulnerable to the forces of fear and self doubt, and can be undermined by well-meaning self-proclaimed realists, as well as those who, for whatever reason, would rather you maintain your status quo.
Some of the more specific roles a mentor may play in your life and work are:
o Guide your growth in a specific direction and help you to see what is coming, because they have traveled the road before you.
o Believe in you and your dreams, especially when you feel like quitting or face a setback or failure.
o Show you the way to succeeding in your life whether it is by teaching you skills, sharing knowledge, or nurturing and expanding how you think about yourself, the world, and your future.
o Advise you in navigating challenging situations through to a successful outcome.
Mentors can be a lifelong influence, but more often than not they are episodic, in that they show up in your life when you have a need, a desire, or a dream. Of course, you can also invite a mentor into your life.
How Can You Find a Mentor?
One place to look is to seek out one of many formal mentoring organizations and programs in your community and business circles. Yet I have found the best place to look for a mentor is in your everyday life and work.
Look around you, using these questions to guide your search:
o Who inspires you?
o Who has achieved what you wish to achieve in life or work?
o Who do you admire for a particular skill, knowledge, or even a way of being?
o Who has demonstrated that they believe in you even when you have faltered?
Another way to discover potential mentors in your life is to seek stories of people who had mentors that mattered in their lives.
The stories of others are a powerful source of inspiration and insight into finding a mentor that matters in your life. That’s why I was thrilled to be asked to share a story of one of the mentors in my life in Suzanne Fox and Andy Fox’s newly released anthology: The Mentor that Matters: Inspiration from transformative teachers, role models & heroes.
Potential mentors are all around you. You may even have one or more, and simply have not recognized them for their role as a mentor in your life. I will suggest, however, if you are in search of a mentor, more often than not all you need to do is look around you and ask for the support you need. Some will say yes. Some will say no. All there is to do is to keep seeking and asking, and then follow where the yes-es lead. You will be glad you did.
Have you had a mentor that has mattered to you?
We would love to hear and learn from your story of what they provided in your life and how the mentoring relationship came to be, so please share!
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