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Do you remember those days when you were looking forward to getting out of your parents’ house and prove the world that you could make it on your own and be successful? When I first started out I didn’t feel like I needed anyone’s support in my life. Any opinions, or just a different perspective put me on the defensive and I kept swimming against the current anyway with the intention to prove everyone wrong. I was dead serious about the fact that I knew it all better in my early twenties than anyone else with 20+ years work experience.
It was a tough journey and I was alone. Then you realize that you do need some guidance and oh, how great it would be having a mentor!
Finding a mentor is really not that hard if you approach it with an open mind. Think about someone who always grounds you, has the best advice for you and has your best interests at heart. It could be your best friend or a helpful family member, or a perfect stranger. One thing I find essential is having a mentor who looks at things in an objective manner, because that person will be (and must be) very honest with you. He / she will not necessarily tell you the things you want to hear, but they will be brutally honest and this is exactly what defines a great mentor! You need someone to hold a mirror in front of you, so you can realize and tackle your real challenges effectively and become successful.
A good mentor will give you a different perspective. He / she will point out things that never even occurred to you. A mentor helps you to get out of the rut and stops you from burning your energy in the wrong areas. Your mentor will remind you of your goals and will point out your strengths, so you stay focused. Small distractions can add up and burn up all your energy. A good mentor will also challenge you to do things that you are not comfortable with as those are the things that will help you grow.
Why you need a mentor? A mentor will be on your side along your journey towards success. He / she looks at you outside of that box and will know when it’s time to shake you up to get you back on track. A mentor will not tell you what to do and how to do it but he / she will give you wisdom and guidance so you can make your own decision.
It’s been not that long since I have a good friend on my side who looks at my challenges with decades of life and work experience. He helps me focus and knows exactly when it’s time for some humor to kick stress in the butt.
Do you have a mentor?
Photos by Rick Robillard