How to Make Mentorship Work for You

In Habits

What is mentorship?

Mentorship is a highly prized relationship that I’m about to sh*t all over.

To be blunt, a mentor is a thinking man’s (or woman's) life coach.

Ultimately a mentor is someone who has walked down the path that you are interested in pursuing, and acts as a guide to help you avoid the pitfalls and plan ahead so you don’t waste your time.

Many times we choose our own mentors as we follow people we admire on Twitter,their blogs, vlogs, podcasts or shows. And other times, we actually pay to have private one on one sessions with them to have them tailor their advice to our situation.

This is where I have a problem.

Why it’s not a good idea.

It sounds ideal right? In fact it sounds bloody brilliant. It’s like having the cheat sheet to life so you can level up without losing any hearts. But here’s why it’s not good. And don’t take what I’m saying lightly because the psychology behind it doesn’t lie.

Mentors teach by experience. This is what you come to them for.

Their invaluable experience that they gained doing whatever it is that you admire and want to do as well. They use their life experiences as benchmarks to show you what and when certain key moves should be made. They reveal the tricks and tactics that they used to forge key relationships and close big deals. You name it.

They have the answers because they’ve been there and done that.

Only problem is: you haven’t.

Mentors have been there, done that. Problem is: you haven't. @IdeasWithRaisa


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What are you missing out on because of it?

Now you must be thinking what’s wrong with saving yourself years of struggle and failed attempts? The truth is there’s nothing wrong with that.

What I do have a problem with is our tendency to use our mentorship as a crutch in our lives.

Our thinking mind is the one telling us it’s good to not waste time and to do anything to skip the struggles. But here's the uncomfortable truth: our thinking mind is also the least intelligent of our 3 minds. For someone who’s intent on not making mistakes and finding the best route in life, you’ve started off on the wrong foot.

Thinking mind: save time; skip the struggles. Don't listen: it's the least intelligent of our 3 minds. @IdeasWithRaisa

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Our conscious mind likes to problem solve. It is designed to do that. But it only follows orders from the subconscious. Not our ego. But if we superimpose those orders because of our ego, this is where we will experience disconnect in our lives down the line.

Another reason why this crutch is unhelpful, is because over time it quietly diminishes our confidence in our own ability to source out accurate paths for ourselves.

It’s how people feel after getting hooked with a fortune teller.

They feel paralyzed and “just want to check in” with them before they make their next move. Good mentors don’t do this on purpose, but it invariably happens because of how we’re wired. We don’t want to make mistakes. Especially if we’ve avoided making them for so long.

But the irony is that we are designed to make mistakes and learn from them. So am I saying having a mentor is bad?

Yes, in a way.

One mentor is no good. However, having a few can actually help you. Learn from their collective mistakes and then choose your own path. Having only one mentor is like asking ourself a leading question on a survey. We’re not all researchers, and even the best of researchers make the mistake of asking leading questions.

When we have only one mentor, although technically we’re trying to figure out the next step for ourselves, we invariably choose the fallback option of “doing what they did ” or what they suggested. With more than one mentor, you’re given multiple options, and can then allow your brain to do what it does best: find the ideal solution for you.

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