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Are You Surrounded...By Mentors? (155/365)

Now's the time to surround yourself with mentors. Not sure how? You've come to the right place.

Your profession can often feel lonely, isolated. But guess what? You're not alone in feeling this way. Most people in their "work lives" feel this way, but never do anything about it. Seeking out mentors will elevate your sense of purpose and raise your confidence. Don't we all want to be better, especially for others? Unfortunately, people rarely act. The reason?

People can't see past themselves to realize it's worth it.

This is not meant to be an insult, it's really human nature. It's not the only reason, either.

People also convince themselves they're:

  • too busy, believing "there's no time".

  • resistant to the idea that they need one.

  • in disbelief that they can add to the relationship.

  • not yet seeing "the long view" to the short-term benefits.

Fear not, there's more time, and there are benefits in both the short-term and long-term to finding mentors. Commit to this and realize, there are so many who are ready, willing, and able to share the role, and to help you become the type of person you aspire to become.

Know Thyself...and Be Willing to "Get to Know Thyself"

Here's your chance to admit you don't know everything. In fact, you've got a lot to learn.

Sure, you've grown skilled in many areas. Ever notice, though, how you avoid things that make you feel unsure of yourself, scared, even uncomfortable? I've got no fewer than five mentors, most of whom specialize in topics of which I have a basic working knowledge...but of which I'm curious to learn more. Having courage to admit gaps to myself and my mentors opens us both up to learning. It's amazing how people are willing to help someone to learn.

Identify your "Goldilocks People"

Most people mistakenly thinking they need one mentor, who is more experienced than they.

We seem to learn this early on, and wait for the veteran to be assigned to us. Instead, seek out someone who is where "future you" would like to be. Seek one someone who is newer to the profession you're in. And seek out someone who is on the same path as you. Each of these people can and will make strong mentors for you, because you've committed to learn.

Prepare yourself: You'll want to pay it forward

Just when you thought you didn't have the time or energy for one or more mentors, you'll quickly realize, you're on the path to become one. Don't resist this urge, to help someone else the way you've been helped as someone courageous enough to grow through mentorship. Keep in touch with those who delivered your confidence to this point, and slowly and surely, invite the possibility of helping someone else the way you've been helped.

You'll be better for it, knowing that you're contributing to something bigger than yourself.

Click here to visit the Learning Leadership 365 site, where you may read all posts I've written.


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