I hold a strong belief that this life can’t be done alone.
We need community.
We need outside perspective to help us see things differently, we need people to hold space for us to process, to teach us tools we don’t know, and to help us discover the greatness deep inside us we are often blind to. We need each other to help us become our own personal best.
Throughout my life, I’ve naturally sought out teachers, mentors, and coaches. As a kid I looked up to my older cousins and teachers, longing for their direction, and probably approval too. As I got older, I looked to women in my local church, sought wisdom from books, blogs, and people ahead of me in my career. I hired a counselor and have had numerous coaches. I’ve had women reach out to me as well, asking to be my mentor, positioning themselves as a mentor, and treating me like I was a mentee.
Although there is something necessary and healthy about many mentorship relationships I’ve had, I’ve also learned what unhealthy mentorship (and coaching) can look like.
Mentorship (in the form of friendship, counseling, coaching, or otherwise) if done with integrity, can be the greatest blessing; and if done with fear or pride, can be detrimental. I’ve come to be more cautious about which voices I allow into my life, and approach my mentorship relationships with more loving boundaries.
If you've been allowing women to pour into your life, or are looking for someone to walk alongside you as a mentor, coach, or counselor, it's important to ask yourself these 5 questions:
5 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO A MENTOR:
1. Does this person want me to become my personal best?
Your mentor must always want you to become your personal best. They must acknowledge their own limitations, be able to see your journey as unique, and help you become the person you’re meant to be. Do they highlight your strengths, or remind you of your weaknesses?
2. Does this person listen to me?
I mean really listen. Do they make you feel heard, loved, and understood? Are you welcome to be the real you in their presence?
3. Does this person live with integrity the values I hold dear?
I don’t seek mentors I don’t see living their values out with integrity. Simple as that! I obviously give them room to be human, but I am aware of how they live their lives, and if I don’t desire a life like theirs, or if they aren’t in the arena doing the work, I’ll pass.
4. Do I leave their presence feeling confident in my skin and capabilities?
Your mentor must empower you to make your own decisions and help you learn to trust yourself. I’ve had mentors who made me feel like I knew the answers deep down, and mentors who make me feel like I needed their approval. When you get done speaking with your mentor, do they make you feel empowered to be more of you, or less of you? Do you trust yourself more, or less?
5. How does this person react when I express a difference in opinion?
Mentorship isn’t about believing all the same things or forcing opinions and “shoulds” onto you. Mentorship is about space to be yourself and trust your journey. If you’re in a mentorship relationship where you’re not allowed to have open discussions or openly hold a difference of opinion, the relationship is probably unsafe for you in the long run.
BONUS!!! Does your mentor think you are f*cking amazing!?
I know with every client I work with, I have something to learn from them. They are amazing women, beautiful souls, and I have the utmost respect for them. Mentorship should hold a mutual respect and awe for the other person. If your mentor wants to remain “above” you, it’s time to question whether your mentor sees your brilliance. Cuz honestly, how can they see you rise to your full potential when they don’t see all you can be!?
There are a number of criteria that play a factor in choosing a mentorship-relationship; credentials, reputation, and track record to name a few. But when searching to invite someone into your life to hold space for you, to allow you to bloom into your highest, to learn to trust yourself, and to truly come alive, ask yourself these questions.
A true mentor wants to see you rise to the top, and is willing to let you stand on their shoulders to get there.
Who will you invite in?
**Special thanks to Nisha Moodley, who inspired this post. <3
P.S. If you’re looking for someone to hold space for you and help you become your best, well, that’s my specialty. 😉 Book a free 30 minute clarity call with me and see if I am the person who can hold the space you’re looking for.
Until then, remember how effing amazing you are. Surround yourself with women who call you to your best, who remind you of your full potential, and are willing to lift you up so you can get there.
All my best.