A mentor is a guide, an advisor, someone you trust (and sometimes imitate) before you find your own way. I’ve been lucky to have had many mentors throughout my life, and I’d like to join Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland (PS I’m the new Marketing + Communications Manager there) to celebrate the lessons I learned from my mentors.
Three Life Lessons I Learned from My Mentors
Lessons from my Mentors 01 :: Your Voice Matters
Every mentor I’ve had has been brazen and bold, unafraid to speak their minds. But what’s more is they encourage others to raise their voices as well. As women, we’re often taught not to speak unless spoken to, and when we do our opinions get dismissed based the the apparent mood of the moment. (That’s been my experience anyway). But, through my mentors, I’ve learned how to tactfully and effectively communicate my opinions, thoughts, and expertise.
For those of you still uncertain of your voice, learning to speak your mind doesn’t come easily. I’ve made many enemies, burned a few bridges, and embarrassed myself countless times. But it was worth it to get to a point where I trust my voice.
Lessons from my Mentors 02 :: Let Your Gift Shine
Another lesson we learn as women is to hold back our talent so that we don’t make others feel bad. This was a common self-sabotage I inflicted on myself until my mentors began celebrating my talents. I became aware of the way I downplayed my successes and brushed off compliments as if they belonged to someone else. Through my mentors, I learned that the best way I can make a positive impact in the world is by following my dreams and letting my gift shine.
Lessons from my Mentors 03 :: Have Fun
As a perfectionist, it used to be hard for me to have fun at work. Sure I laughed, made jokes, and had friends, but inside I was analyzing every moment of my day. My mentors knew that having fun was part of what made them successful (+ able to hustle when the time came).
September is Big Brothers Big Sisters Month
Celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters month with me by sharing your stories of mentorship. Share your experiences on your own blog, or on social media using hashtags #MyMentor, #MentoringMatters, and #BBBSMonth. And, if that doesn’t curb your appetite, become a mentor and see firsthand the impact that mentorship has on young people.