Searching for mentorship, coaching, or counseling? HERE ARE The 5 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK BEFORE COMMITTING TO A COACH

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. 

Two of my mentors, who also happen to be business partners, friends, and women who not only call me to be my best, but with whom there is mutual learning and honor. (image via The Bravery Board)

Two of my mentors, who also happen to be business partners, friends, and women who not only call me to be my best, but with whom there is mutual learning and honor. (image via The Bravery Board)

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.

-M

A Riff on Losing my Sweetness & COMING ALIVE

I used to think coming alive would make me more sweet. But I was wrong. 

Instead...
It has made my laugh deeper, my cry more intense, and my NO a lot more common. 

It has made me more real. 


The old me would NEVER drop an f-bomb. Me today, well yea that's a thing. Because I've let go of sweetness and expectation and embraced who I am: sweet, sassy, fun, human. A person with emotions and good days and bad. 
So no, I'm not your candy coated bubble-gum-gal anymore. I'm a lot more like 75% dark chocolate. And that sh*t's good for you. 


What I'm trying to say: To come alive means to be who you are, fully. With grace and love and acceptance. The sweet parts, and the bitter.

And guess what?? That sh*t's good for people. 

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What I’ve learned so far: what they don’t tell you about following your passion.

I am a life coach, I own my own business, I am paving the way to my dreams every day through blogging, using social media, and taking new clients. It’s growing steadily and I am SO happy about it.

But there is a side I also want to address. In reality, businesses like coaching take time. Building a brand and becoming known for what you do is a slow and steady building of momentum. If you are not careful when launching a passion project, you can get burnt out before you even truly begin.  Building a reputation, being consistent, and becoming amazing at your trade--these things take serious hustle. But that’s not what I’m going to post about today.

Here are three areas people rarely talk about when they discuss their passions:

whattheydontsay.jpg

Know your bigger life theme.

I know my passion. And it isn’t coaching. My passion is a deeper life theme, it is the thing I want my life to be about. Some business people call it your “why” or even your “vision.” I like calling it a life theme because no matter what I do, I want the same theme to be the thread that weaves through each season, each career, and each relationship.

I wrote out my own personal life theme recently and this is what it sounds like, “to live my life in vibrancy, truth, and authenticity, and help others come alive.”

I can and will do that in many ways throughout my life. In this season, I do it through coaching and blogging. But I also do it as a wife, as a friend, and in my part-time job.

My life theme helps me show up in all areas as my best.  I know what I want my life to reflect, so I am able to show up at my serving job AND as a coach and be my best. I can help people come alive no matter where I am. I can live in vibrancy, truth, and authenticity no matter where I am, and that gives me credibility.

Be your best.

Being your best is tricky and relative. Our best changes from season to season, and we are able to give different amounts at different times. That is normal, human, and expected. The key is not to be perfect, but to strive for excellence; for your best in the moment you are in. I am always attempting to act as my best self, to filter my response through the lens of my life theme.

Being your best self on purpose is actually a skill. It takes the ability to self reflect without judgement, be thoughtful and assume the best, and it takes self control. It is choosing to respond in the most loving, mature way you can.  It is aligning your life with your values and your life theme. It is honoring your yes and your no. It is you becoming better with small choices every day, choosing healthy thoughts, and mature actions which align with your life theme.

Become a Servant.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it!? Be a person who offers an insane amount of value.  You can start doing this in areas like at home, at the office, or in your passion project.  Something I am committed to in my business is offering educational, inspiring and relevant content for free to the people who read my blog and are on my email list. This does sometimes come at a sacrifice. It takes time, it takes consistent growth on my part, and integrity of living what I put out into the world.

What does this look like in your life? How can you be a person who offers value?

What ways can you bring value to your daily life, in and outside work?


Here are a few simple ideas anyone can implement today to be successful at following your passions

Be interested in people.

This means asking questions, listening well, commenting back on social media platforms, and thanking people for the good you see them doing. Pay attention, people are always communicating ways they need you.

Give more than is asked of you, or do what you do with excellence.

Consider how you can go above and beyond a person's expectations. One way I do this is by remembering birthdays or other important dates and sending cards, flowers, or texts. Be creative with what you do, and who you do it for. A short list would be friends, clients, and supporters, but you could even extend this to service personnel, your neighbors, your co-workers, and even former teachers and employers.

Know your deeper reason.

The hustle of following a passion is real, but the reality of knowing the deeper reason behind your life, the growth that comes from being your best, and the magnetic pull people feel toward people who offer value, that is the good stuff.

Try it out, your hustle may become much more enjoyable, and much more passionate.

*Post originally published on The Bravery Board blog.


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How to be Heart-Centered Without Letting Your Emotions Take Over

What is the difference between leading an emotional life and a heart-centered life?

Isn’t listening to your feelings going to make your life a mess!?

How do I know what I really want, when my feelings can be so misleading?!

In my work as a coach, I get asked those questions a lot. Rightfully so, as many were told growing up not to trust their feelings (myself included.)  For most of my life, I buried my emotions and deep feelings, ashamed for feeling so much. It wasn’t until I learned how to healthfully channel my emotions and look at the deeper parts of myself that I discovered that a feeling and a deep desire are different. Heart-centered, desires, core values, the things that light you up, make you angry, evoke a strong emotion, that is the stuff I am talking about today.

So what does it mean, exactly, to life a heart-centered life??

First, I want to tell you what heart-centeredness is not.

It is not a fleeting feeling, it is not even an emotion, necessarily. It is not following every whim of your ups and downs, and it is not even the cliche “listen to your heart” as many understand it. Being heart-centered is not about chasing a high, chasing a feeling, or even trying to be happy all the time. That way of living is cheap, surface, and not lasting.

Heart-centeredness is about the deep, core values and desires, that when not aligned with our lives, leave us feeling unfulfilled.

Heart-centeredness is a state of peace in which life is aligned. It is when the choices we make line up with our values and our deepest desires. It is deeper than a fleeting emotion or a bad day. You can live a heart-centered life in the midst of the ups and the downs!

Many people get heart-centeredness confused with chasing the fleeting desires of the heart, assuming that the following the heart will lead nowhere good. But let me be clear, there is a difference. Being heart-centered means that you are aware of what you desire in life. You know your values. You know how to take responsibility for yourself and your emotions. You make choices that honor your needs, values, and beliefs. When you live that way, no matter if you have a bad day, or a trying season, you can feel peace in your integrity and that you have the power to choose a life you want to be in.

It won’t prevent the trials. It won’t prevent the pains of relationship drama, of death, finance issues, or career decisions, but it WILL change you and how you approach your life. It will change your decisions, the way you speak, forgive, love, and play.

When you are heart-centered, you listen to your feelings without letting them control your every move. You listen to your feelings with maturity and grace.  You don’t spend money you don’t have just because you felt like buying that new shirt. You aren’t throwing fits just because you are angry, and you don’t eat a whole cake just because it looks good. The heart-centered feelings we are talking about are deep satisfaction with life. They are the richness. They are better than the fleeting feelings, and when aligned, those little temptations to stray from our values feel less pulling. The more connected you are with your heart, the more your life will reflect a life of peace.

So now it’s your turn?

What are your core values? What are the desires of your heart?

If you are unsure and want to figure it out, I would encourage you to download my free Come Alive Journaling Guide or set up a 30 minute consult with me.  Getting clear and aligned will help you live in peace and and live in that richness.

Ready to get started?