Life is complicated. We go through so many transitions and often it feels as though we’ve just mastered something, when everything changes again. From schooling, to parenthood, to career and health. We live in an age of information, yet often we are over saturated and confused by it. The most overwhelming factor though, is the thought of trying to figure life out alone. The separation caused by COVID lockdowns, highlighted the fact that people need each other. We need support and guidance, no matter our age or experience. This is where the idea of mentorship comes in.
Why you need a mentor
The easiest and most effective way to learn anything new, is to be guided by a person with experience. Mentorship is not unusual within workplaces and universities. Mentors can help to diversify skills, build networks and achieve career growth. This is wonderful. But what about in other aspects of our life?
Is there an area of your life where you need more guidance? Do you want to make a life change, but not sure where to start? This may be the perfect time to find a mentor. A mentor is not just someone to hold your hand through a change, they can be the catalyst for that change. A mentor is your sounding board, your co-creator of ideas, an anchor when you’re overwhelmed. And perhaps most importantly, they may act like a mirror of insight – helping you to recognise and understand what is holding you back and guiding you through breaking through those emotional and mental blocks. A great mentor will bring out the best in you and help you to develop the confidence to shine and live in the way you desire.
My experience with a mentor
Last year, while feeling stuck like so many other people during the upheaval of COVID, I felt quite lost. I decided I would introduce a meditation practice into my life and so spent time searching for the right meditations to try. I felt perhaps a little better, but there was no significant difference to my mindset. And then I came across a mentorship program where I could work with a meditation practitioner over several months through an online program. This included monthly calls with a mentor, as well as regular email communication. I signed up and what took place over the following months felt magical. Chatting to my mentor each month and setting personal goals became my greatest motivator. I inhaled my mentor’s advice and suggestions and by the end of the mentorship, I felt like a new person; filled with clarity, structure and determination.
Finding the right mentor
Like developing a friendship, forming a mentorship takes consideration and time. Before starting any research, write a wish list and record exactly what it is you’re looking for in a mentor. Keep this list handy, adding to it as you need to. A great starting place for finding the perfect mentor is a simple internet search based on the area of your life you are looking for guidance in.
For example, I searched ‘meditation mentors’ and found my mentor after some scrolling. There are specific sites such as The Remarkable Woman and Mentor Walks, which match women with female mentors for career and life mentorship. There are organisations such as ArtsHub and government councils which provide mentorships to developing artists on an application basis. A search of ‘holistic’ and ‘health’ mentors will bring up a lengthy list of individual practitioner sites with potential mentors. And then there are free mentoring services through charities such as The Smith Family and Mentoring Men for vulnerable members of our society. When choosing a mentor, be sure to arrange an initial call or meeting first to ensure you feel comfortable and inspired. And then go back to your wish list – does this mentor meet your needs?
Give and receive
For mentorship to thrive in our community and be of ultimate benefit, a giving and receiving attitude must be adopted. It relies upon the notion that people with the right experience and in the position to do so, will share their knowledge with those seeking it. Once I completed my mentorship, I knew I wanted to pay this forward. I didn’t rush to do so, but once I was settled with my new skills and confident in my ability to share my experience, I created a simple online course designed to awaken people’s creativity through meditation. I made the course affordable and offer email mentorship to course participants. In this way, I’m sharing what I can in my own unique style. And my hope is that some of my participants will go on to do the same.