Have you ever considered taking action in pursuing something totally different from where you are now, but were 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 to make are large in scale, for example, jump-starting a career change or beginning a new business venture, or if they are as simple as purchasing new furniture or deciding new hobbies to take on, having someone there for you can clarify your decisions and enhance your experience.
The value of mentorship in your personal and professional life
1. Pulls You Out Of Your Comfort Zone
If you ever observe young children, you would see the keenness in their eyes when they see someone that shares their interests or acts in a way that they desire to act. For instance, their fascination with magicians.
When they first see magicians, children become in awe. They are amazed at what magicians can make disappear and appear out of hats, and magicians’ ability to cut people in half. For a while, after the children leave the magic show, they try and emulate magicians, 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 leave our comfort zones and venture out.
Mentors normally have something you want – whether that is knowledge, a different way of thinking, or connections in the industry. For instance, a company mentorship program can help extend your horizons, build, and strengthen your relationships with other people who have more experience in an area you 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 already put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears. 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 of 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. The importance of mentorship lies in its ability to shed light on how you could do things differently, which could accelerate you in 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-tooth comb – 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.
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