It’s easy to get caught up in the mythology that independence and individuality is something to aspire to.

Despite our best efforts, the reality is that we need others to assist us in our journey and finding a mentor can make a significant difference to our endeavours.

Whether we’re wanting to further develop in our parenting, our career or any other aspect of life, mentors can be extremely beneficial.

Personally, I have benefitted from multiple mentors over the years and greatly appreciate the contribution that they each have made in my development.

Why should you get yourself a mentor?

Here are five reasons that I can think of:

It helps to talk – Sometimes, just the process of talking with someone else gives you insights as to the next step that you must take.  Bouncing your ideas off someone you trust before taking action is always recommended. Having a mentor in your life enables you to discuss the challenges and opportunities that are in your life and in doing so, the solution often becomes clear without your mentor even needing to open his or her mouth.

They’ve been there – It’s important when choosing a mentor that you identify someone who has a track record of success in your field of endeavour.  This means that they will have stories and examples of what has worked (and just as importantly, what hasn’t worked) for them.  Learning from their mistakes and victories can be of great assistance and potentially save you a lot of time and heartache.

They can increase your network – Many great mentors aren’t valuable for what they know as much as for who they know.  They can point you in the right direction for additional guidance and introduce you to important people in your industry.  If, like me, networking doesn’t come naturally, finding a mentor with a vast network of people can be very helpful.

They can identify your blind spots – We all have blind spots.  There are things that we don’t know about ourselves and weaknesses that we aren’t aware of.  A helpful mentor will help us to identify these areas so that we can make sure that they don’t hold us back.  As painful as it may seem to become aware of such blind spots, it’s important that we increase our level of self-awareness if we want to be successful in any area.

They’re removed from your situation – Ideally, your primary mentor shouldn’t be your boss (although they may provide some mentoring support) or even work in your department or company.  This gives you the chance to speak freely about the different scenarios that you’re facing without worrying about offending someone.  It also means that your mentor will have a different perspective or idea that you and those in your area may not have thought of yet.

When I first decided to find a suitable mentor to help me in my development, I wasn’t sure if they would agree to assist me and was afraid to ask.  What I soon found was that most people are happy and willing to give of themselves to assist others.  They are rapt to be asked and enjoy sharing their experience and knowledge.

I highly recommend mentoring and believe that it can be a helpful part of your development.

If you have been mentored in the past, do you have any other benefits that you would like to share?

Previous post – Would You Do It For Free?

Next post – Three Things to Be Grateful For