Have you ever considered taking action in perusing something totally different from where you are now, but was unsure if it would be the right move? Have you ever thought of how to make that move, but were unsure of how to do it? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you may want to think of finding yourself a mentor.
Whether the life changes you are debating are large in scale, for example, making a career change or starting a new business venture, or if they are as simple as which couch to purchase for your new house, or which restaurant you should try on your vacation in Paris, having someone there for you can clarify your decisions and enhance your experience.
The following are three powerful ways that mentors can change your life.
1. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
If you ever observe young children, you would see the keenness that is their eyes when they see someone that shares their interests, and who is acting in a way they think they would like to be acting. Look at the simple example of magicians.
Children are in awe when they first see magicians. They are amazed at what they can make disappear and appear out of hats; children are shocked when magicians saw people in boxes in half. For a while after the children leave the magic show, they often try and recreate their experience, putting on magic shows at home for their family and friends. Too often, though, those same kids can’t seem to master magic, lose interest, and move on to the next thing. Why is that? Well, when magicians perform their shows for children, they do not get the chance after the show to teach these children their magic tricks. So, for these impressionable children, they do not get to develop their magic skills from someone that shares their interests and has skills in an area they want to grow in.
Adults are no different. Do you want to grow an interest into more than a hobby? If someone has something you want, you need to learn how he or she got it. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” How we perceive ourselves, and who we are can be defined by whom we surround ourselves with. We all too often become comfortable with where we are sitting and never really venture out to see where else we could go.
Mentors normally have something you want – whether that is knowledge, a different way of thinking, or connections in the industry. Mentors, in this regard, can help extend our horizons, building and strengthening our relationships to other people who have more experience in an area we don’t. When we finally get out of our comfort zones, then we are able to see where we are falling short, and realize where we can improve, and that is where the magic happens.
2. The Nudge – A Different Perspective
Mentors have been doing what you want to be doing, sometimes, for many years. They have previously experienced things that you are now just beginning to face, and have put already put in more countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears than you have. They have the wisdom you need; you can learn from their mistakes. This is why, if the right mentor has been chosen, they can give you the nudge to start on your pursuit to happiness and self-fulfillment.
We are all social beings. We are attracted to people that have similar values, beliefs, and life experiences, which help build a strong foundation of trust. Finding a mentor that understands where you are coming from – your strengths and development opportunities, and where your goals and aspirations lie, will make it easier for you to push through the challenging times that may lie ahead.
Mentors have a way of igniting the passion for their mentees by giving them a different perspective. Those that may have thought little about their abilities and how far their skills could take them might think otherwise if only they had a mentor behind them to push them to strive for greater things. Having the right mentor can shed new light on how you could do things differently, which could accelerate you to the right direction.
3. Expedite Your Journey
When we look at mentorship from the lens of a writer, we can see that writers are well versed in articulating their ideas and stories; however, it is their editor who gets their work from good to great. Mentors, much like editors, can help you go through your work with a fine toothcomb – they can help you navigate your way.
Mentors are not people that tell you what to do. Mentors are people who help in guiding you in the right direction. For individuals trying to progress higher and leap forward, it may take years and years for them to get to their destination. However, having a mentor can shorten the learning curve required to get up there.
Mentors help us avoid mistakes that can be costly and time-consuming to our personal and professional progressions. They help in making sure that we don’t reach a point where we have to say, “If I had only known back then, what I know now.” It is important to take seriously what your mentors have to say. After all, they have been walking in your shoes for much longer than you have.