Mentoring sometimes is a lot more challenging than most people think. It is teaching someone how to embrace their uniqueness and become the best they can be in it. It’s encouraging someone to slowly peel the layers of their past life back, embrace it and understand that it has made them who they are and who they will soon become. Mentoring is a relationship; and just like any other relationship, you have great days and you have not so great days, but you are committed to stay in the game.
I have had the pleasure and honor of mentoring quite a few beautiful women in my time. Some of them have been rewarding and others have made me question my call to ever do it again. Either way, there are things that I have mastered and things that I have learned along the way. Mentoring takes a determination that can sometimes be frustrating and tiresome, but the transformation you see in one life can give you the energy needed to press for others.
I have invited one of my mentees, Nadine Burroughs, to come and share the value of a mentoring relationship with our readers. This will help give some insight from both perspectives.
The Mentee Prospective:
There are many benefits of being in a healthy mentoring relationship; however, I will narrow that very broad list down to three cornerstone benefits that I have received over the years.
1. Accountability – One of the chief benefits of entering into a mentorship is mutual accountability. It is like a shoring post or undergirding; it upholds you when you feel that you don’t have the wherewithal to endure or journey through. It provides a sustainable partnership that fosters growth and repudiates regression or stagnation. There are times when this can seem extremely inconvenient, it’s usually during those times when we want to do something that is contrary to what we know is right or best. Accountability forces a raising of the bar and deliverance on that which was promised without compromise.
2. Wisdom. Insight. Guidance. – I love being around people, particularly women, who have been there and done that. Mentors typically have had experiences in areas that we have yet to encounter and thereby a greater understanding of how to navigate through those things. I like to call that offering obstacle awareness. The beauty of having a mentor is that you can pull on them at any time for wisdom, insight, and guidance. Mentors are great sounding boards; I run my most random thoughts/ideas by my mentor followed by a one-word question, “Thoughts?” Though I do not always agree with or follow every piece of advice, I do have an appreciation for the objective perspective that’s offered. It gives incentive for me to take a step back and change the lens through which I am viewing the situation.
3. Support and Encouragement – One of the greatest assurances that mentorship provides is that someone is committed to journeying alongside me…even through the trenches. It’s comforting to know that I am not alone on the road to self-discovery or dream actualization and that someone is as enthusiastic and dedicated to the manifestation of the aforementioned as I am. As we, mentees, unmask ourselves, mentors are privy to the good, the bad, and the ugly, yet they are committed all the same reminding us of who we were created to be and all that we’re purposed to do. They continue to breathe words of life into us regardless of the present situation or circumstance. In my experience, unwavering support and encouragement has proven to be life transforming.
The benefits of mentorship are invaluable. When both parties are fully engaged and committed, growth in virtually every area of the mentee’s life is inevitable. However, it’s important to note that growth should happen in the mentor as well. As we challenge, promote, and provoke growth in our mentees, we should also seek out growth opportunities. Mentorship is not for the faint of heart; it is far from a walk in the park, but when you are dedicated and determined, you will experience undeniable success and fulfillment.
Kashonna Holland is a Speaker, Life Coach and Writer. With contagious energy, a vibrant smile, and straightforward message, Kashonna passionately and purposefully journeys alongside women from the point of breaking through the process of breakthrough – personally, professionally, and spiritually.
Nadine Burroughs is a prolific writer, passionate speaker, and dedicated mentor. She embodies the attributes of an audacious leader and humble servant. Nadine has a particular motivation to help individuals endure adversity, overcome obstacles and stereotypes and to experience a life of true happiness and freedom.