How do I go about getting a mentor? How do I choose the right mentor? Do I really need a mentor? How can I be a great mentor/mentee? Have you found yourself asking any of these questions?
I don’t claim to know it all, but from my experience with my mentors and mentees, I have decided to share what I’ve observed and learned so far.
Don’t always think that people who mentor you should be up and above. Sometimes the most influential mentors in your life are your peers. Your friends that you see every day, that you know are thinking right and walking right. Your peers that you value their determination, dedication and commitment to their trade, and faith. Sometimes the ones who are most immediate to you are the most impactful mentors. People that force you to do what is right, attend seminars or conference that they know you would benefit from.
Also, understand boundaries. Don’t let mentoring relationship become a give me give me relationship. Your mentors are not meant to be your providers. They are intended to be your advisers and those that guide you. They do not even instruct you. They only give you pointers, and you make the decision for your life. You must respect and honor them and respect their time. Your attitude to mentoring should be relaxed. You can learn from many people from afar. But no matter who you are learning from, they are not you. You are you, and you don’t want to become anybody else but the best of you. Your mentoring process is to help the best of you come out not to make you be somebody else. So don’t say you want to be like your mentor. No, you don’t! You want to be you because God made you unique and the best of you is what will bless the world. You can only take lessons from here and there to help your own journey of self-actualization.
How you should go about finding a mentor?
Study their lives and find time to pray about it. Your spirit should resonate with them, and you use discretion. I despise people sharing only their victories. I’m not saying share your failures when you’ve not overcome them. But why not go ahead and say, you know what, I’m human, I’ve done this but thanks to the Holy Ghost. I’ve overcome this. Find mentors that are not afraid of their pasts. Because really, you don’t want to live a sad life. As you grow, you’ll find yourself falling, and if a mentor has filled you with only victories, you’ll feel defeated. You need someone that has told you about their downtimes so that you feel encouraged to keep going even when you fail. Stop waiting for people that give you goosebumps. Everybody has a journey, and a story and no human is perfect. So don’t be quick to use earthly instincts for such crucial decisions. Be very careful on who is pouring into your life. Wisdom is looking at things from a divine angle. Look for people that exude the wisdom of God and are not focused on “I”. What does the word of God say about the situation. Our lives and minds are limited to counsel someone based on experiences alone. Some things happen to me based on how I was brought up so if I’m now using my own realities to counsel you, it’s going to be a short-lived euphoria and doesn’t solve the problem.
Recognize that a mentor is just one part towards your accomplishments and they shouldn’t be an idol.
No matter how amazing a person is, they are still not God, focus on God. They might have the auction of the Holy Spirit, they might behave Christ-like, but they are not God. Mentors are only a blueprint. The Bible says looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. The moment you start taking counsel only from them instead of adding your own rhema and quiet time with God, then it is idolatry. Whatever my mentor says, that’s it, no, what does the word of God say about the situation in relevance to your own life. The Bible does say ‘in the multitude of counselors there is safety’- Proverbs 11:14. A mentor serves as a counselor, amongst other roles, the decision is ultimately yours. One of the greatest tools of Satan in this generation is self. People like promotion and fame, but we need to die to self. Everybody should work out their salvation with fear and tremble. We should be more discerning, alert and allow the Holy Spirit guide us and connect us to individuals and connected to what God has called us for. Mentors are great HOWEVER having a mentor is just a part of the whole picture. It is important to seek counsel from God and ask for discretion. The main role of a mentor is to push and encourage an individual to fulfilling their purpose
How do you build that relationship with your mentors or mentees?
Communication is not what comes through your lips, it’s in your eyes, how your nose moves, it’s everything. Stop hiding. You’ll never get to where you want until you let people see your vulnerabilities so they can help you. It’s easy to show people what you are good at; it’s frightening to show them how screwed up you are behind it.
Don’t be so egotistical in trying to impress somebody with how bright you are. The smartest people I have met were only smart because they came at life from a position of a fool and dared to ask the questions that insecure people don’t have the courage to ask. You have to be a big person to make yourself vulnerable. Little people try to make themselves big. Don’t try to look good for a moment when you can be masterful for a lifetime. Everybody’s teacher is somebody’s student. Everybody’s scholar must be somebody’s fool. Do you have the courage to be both? Be vulnerable and recognize that your purpose is growth, not competition.
Real mentorship requires complete nudity. Some people don’t have it because they are faking to mentors. They can’t treat you if they can’t see you. And in the process there’s reciprocity no matter what’s wrong with you, right with you or you’re struggling with, you still have something to offer and what you are trying to do is to get the cream to come to the top. Everyone has something they are dealing with. They may be more refined in their journey, but they didn’t start off that way.