Make Friends With The Mentor Within.
In my book, The Mentor Within, I speak of the lessons from the Matriarchs, the wisdom I received from three powerful mentor figures in my life. They taught me Clarity, Confidence and Commitment.
Their messages are so ingrained in my soul that I hear myself saying similar things in when I coach and mentor thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, solopreneurs – actually, anyone I work with. These are their lessons, but the conviction is now my own. Clarity to know what to do, the confidence to do it, and the commitment to stick to the promises we make to ourselves. The concepts have morphed into my own wisdom and hold the ideas with as much strength as if I was born with them. Their mentoring has become my mentoring, and the messages are as useful to me when I mentor myself as they are to those I work with.
Over the years I have learnt to access my own wisdom, gained through my own experiences and based on my own knowledge and skills. I continue to learn from mentors and guides, peers and friends, but since I turned 50, I have learnt, more than ever before, to trust my instincts and base my actions on that which I know. There’s a certain solidity that comes with time.
Too often I have seen change-makers like myself look after those around them and the world without looking after themselves. They don’t listen to the warning voices that warn them of impending burnout. They don’t hear the bubbling resentment from not being valued enough or being paid enough, or the regret they are likely to feel if they don’t change the course of their lives. The voices of doubt overrule the protective and benevolent voices that they have learnt to ignore. Instead of noticing their growing resentment and regret, they push on.
A good mentor would ask powerful questions that stop them in their tracks and change the trajectory of their lives. A good mentor or coach would discover what their blocks are, internal and external, and find ways to move around them or break through them. A good coach or mentor would listen for clues about the way forward and provide the knowledge, skills and experience for clarity, action and traction. Imagine the power, then, if that great mentor came from within. Imagine if clarity, confidence and commitment was learnt through coaching and mentoring, and could then be a protective, firm and benevolent voice from within. How powerful would that be?
Nowadays, when things don’t feel right, I no longer need the opinion of my matriarchs. If I pause, if I am still, if I take time in nature, if I ask myself the right questions, the right answers will emerge. I know what to do, I am committed to doing it, and I believe it is possible.
I have met my Mentor Within. We hang out together and I am always in good company.
About the Author: Rosemary Shapiro-Liu has three decades of experience in social justice, leadership training and business development behind me and is currently focusing on: The Facilitator's Emergency Toolkit, Training Women over 50 to turn their skills into a small coaching business on the side, turning conferences into powerful impactful events.