Successful People Work With Mentors
Imagine this: You’ve set your goals for the year, and you’re raring to go! You work hard, and you reach a few of the goals. You adjust your expectations and go for them again. A couple of weeks or months later you have fallen back into the old ways of being – the old habits, the old thoughts, the old procrastination and self-sabotaging habits.
You may feel like a failure, because once more you have not reached your goals, and once more you need to readjust your expectations of what life has to offer. You may even go as far as to abandon your heart’s desired goals as simply impractical or impossible. Can you relate?
The #1 Success Secret for Actualizing Your Goals
What do 96% of high achievers have in common? What are 75% of executives claiming plays a key role in their career success? What are 71% of Fortune 500 companies embracing as one of their biggest peer-to-peer tools in reaching their success?
There’s a success secret – well, it’s not really a secret, it’s more like common sense. The #1 key to success in actualizing your goals is mentoring.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is an unbiased third party – an external set of eyes to cover your blind spots and to guide you out of the unconscious story that has been holding you back. A mentor sees potential that you are unable to see in yourself because you are too close to your story. A mentor challenges your rhetoric to help you transform it into the gifts that you have always been yearning for; authenticity, sovereignty, vocational satisfaction and deeply meaningful relationships. Often a single comment or observation from a mentor acts as the catalyst to change your frame of reference forever. This results in an “aha” moment which can propel you forward to actualizing your goals thoroughly and faster than you ever imagined.
A mentor is someone who has experienced what you are trying to achieve. Because they have already “been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt” in what you are aiming for, they can alert you about potential pitfalls and how to avoid repeating their mistakes. The mistakes that can cost you valuable time, hard earned money and your peace of mind.
Great mentors have a whole network of connections and resources that you are not even aware of, and can direct you towards the most appropriate resources for your current situation.
If you want to perform at a higher level – no matter what area of life that might be – having a mentor is imperative. Your mentor is your confidant, your teammate, and your neutral support network. Mentors are for everyone. Even the most successful mentors have mentors of their own. Too often people only associate mentors with high-end businessmen and women or professional athletes. But mentors can help with any area of your life – relationships, friendships, purpose, and parenting – just to mention few. The type of mentoring you may benefit from will depend on your specific needs and circumstances.
Most people object to the price of mentoring thinking that they can’t afford it. It’s only in hindsight that they realize that the cost of not getting the mentoring was higher than getting it at the time of struggle. In my own life, had I done personal work and mentoring years ago, I would have most likely prohibited disruptive people into my life and thus avoided $13,000 legal fees for defending myself in court against a delusional stalker.
Are you willing to go to the next level? Usually, at this point, people ask “How do I find a suitable mentor?”
Firstly, the best way to find a mentor is to pick the area of your life that you want to work on and use that as the basis for researching potential mentors. You want to pick someone who has done what you are setting out to do. Make sure they have achieved what you need help with – no wannabe mentors here!
Secondly, you need to identify the space that you are in right now. Which one of these HAT model spaces are you in: Healing, Achievement or Transcendence? Your needs are unique, and we want to encourage you to respect your needs by being proactive in identifying the mentor that is right for you.
Once you have identified several potential individuals, set up interviews to help you find the right one. Your mentoring relationship is meant to be a two-way street, so when you are having the interview remember that it’s not just the mentor interviewing you – you are also interviewing them. To that end be sure to have a list of questions ready to ask. Some example questions you should ask your potential mentor include:
- How long did it take you to achieve what I am setting out to achieve?
- How did you go about achieving it?
- Did you find other ways to achieve the same result? Do you have versatility? (This question is of particular importance because one way doesn’t always work for everyone, so you want to ensure they have a vast scope of tools to help you work through your issues.)
- Are you willing to treat me as an individual, not just one of your clients?
- Do you have pre-planned sessions? A rigid schedule?
- Do you work on your vision to clarify it further?
- Do you consider yourself a teammate or a teacher? In other words, are you intending to be my teammate who guides me or my teacher who already knows everything? (It’s important to establish the mentor’s views on the working hierarchy. After all, your working arrangement is supposed to be a co-creative mentoring arrangement, not a dictatorial one. A co-creative mentoring arrangement will allow your authentic self to come forward and work precisely on the matters at hand. If the potential mentor is more about teaching you, there’s a strong possibility that they are caught up in their own story and that they perceive themselves to be an authority whose purpose is to impart their wisdom upon you. This approach, even though it serves you in the short term, lacks the powerful real-life follow-through and at best is a form of intellectual entertainment.)
- Are you willing to let me go or refer me to a more suitable coach/mentor once I achieve my goals? (A good mentor does not hold on to clients; they know when their client is ready to be referred to another expert.)
- What are your fees? (Are the finances right? Are the prospective mentor’s fees in line with your willingness to invest in yourself? Are there ways of getting your mentoring fees deducted from your taxes? Is your mentor willing to offer you payment options?)
How To Get The Most Out of Mentoring
To get the most out of your mentoring experience you have to:
Be willing to show your authentic self. Do not ‘put on a show’ and try to be something you are not. Your mentor is not your friend, so you don’t need to try to be more than you are to impress them. You will get the most from the experience if you are willing to show up as you are.
Be willing to learn and to move through your old patterns. If you just want to repeat your story, you are going to be in trouble because a real mentor is not going to try and ‘save’ you. Instead, they are there to guide you. They are not your audience; they are your teammate.
Show up for each session and be on time! It shows respect for both your journey and your working relationship if you make the commitment to attend every session punctually. Remember these sessions are all about you and you are the one who misses out if you cancel or are repeatedly late.
Attempt to complete your assigned tasks. Many mentors will give you ‘homework’ to complete between sessions. This is where your real transformation occurs, not during the session itself. Remember that the mentoring is NOT the real commitment here, it’s just the primary tool for growth. The change itself is your real commitment.
No matter what your type is, you don’t know what you don’t know. You are not aware of your blind spots, and your prejudices will run your life to one degree or another. If you are ready to get beyond your present point, you need to be willing to grow.
Working with the right kind of mentor is the fastest and safest way to actualize your goals in life, break the patterns that have been holding you back, and transform into who you were born to be.
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