Finding a Mentor, When There Isn’t One
Finding mentors is hard for me. Maybe I’m a bit different. Or maybe I’m just too much of a jerk. Either way, when I look around for older wiser Christian men who might be a little further along, I don’t see many who might want to help me.
So if you feel the same way, here’s a few tips:
First, we should all seek out mentors. Mentors help us. They can shorten our learning curve, point the way, and mostly help steer us out of the ditches. Trying to do it our own way is a recipe for hard breaks. Being a self-made man usually means being too stubborn to learn from others. Thinking we know better is just pride. Get used to falling a lot.
Second, it’s false to think there aren’t any mentors out there. No matter what you’re in to, or want to do, there’s plenty of others who have been down that road before. Sorry snowflake, but you’re not really that unique. We’re all people, or at least most of us. And everyone I’ve ever met suffers from the condition of being human. We have more in common than we often realize. So there’s always another human being out there who can relate to you, and help you.
Next, yes sometimes we are a little different than the norm. And if that’s you, fine. I’m different too; and don’t relate to the average guy very well. Still, there are plenty of guys I can relate too. And so can you. Just realize it might be a smaller pool you’re swimming in, but you can find better fish than you. They are out there. And you can model yourself after them.
Be purposeful and persistent. Not every candidate for a mentor is actually going to be your mentor. They may turn out not to be a good fit. They may not be interested or accessible. Fine. Reach out to the next one on your list. It takes some thought and commitment to seek and select a mentor. You usually won’t get lucky on your first few attempts. So, it’s a long-term goal.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast, and this guy’s name was mentioned. I googled him. Come to find out, he lives near me. I’m skimming his blog, his facebook posts. Then messaging and chatting. Then setting up a coffee. That’s how it works. Maybe for you it’s twitter. Or asking around at church. Whatever. Just take action. Make some inquiries. Seek and you shall find.