“Find a mentor”
“Do you have a mentor?”
“You should ask X to be your mentor to help you with that”
Let me be honest. My experience with mentors has been limited, and not exactly positive. I’ve had women in my life who I assumed were mentors. Women who were older, wiser, living in a stage of life several seasons beyond mine who could help me as I traveled this new road. But when I chose differently, or God called me to something new, they stopped reaching out. Or life got busy. Or they moved on to someone else whom they thought they could help more.
Or, in one case, they were pushed on me to “fix me” because I obviously couldn’t manage on my own.
I firmly believe that mentors are important. We need those specific people in our lives who will speak truth in love, who will teach us what they know, who will cheer for us when we succeed and bring us coffee when we hurt – who will pray with us and over us and for us and believe in us. I also think that my assumptions about who my mentors have been in the past had a huge flaw – I never actually told THEM that I saw them in that role. They didn’t know I was holding them accountable to hold ME accountable – and that lack of communication and clarity in the definition of the relationship meant that I was left confused. And they had no idea.
I’ve also discovered that I tend to gravitate toward women I want as mentors because they are who I’d like to be…and there are usually several other women heading that direction as well. I’ve often confused friendship with someone I look up to – and who is willing to answer a few questions – with a mentoring relationship.
I don’t have a mentor right now. I don’t have someone who consistently calls me to check on me, who knows what scares me and pushes me to do it anyway. I don’t have that one person who has walked where I am who has the time to pour into my life, because all the women I know who have been here? They are busy, y’all.
So what do I do? What do you do? How do you find a mentor? What expectations do you have for your mentor? I’d love to hear your thoughts!