First published on Huffington Post – 27 May 2016
What if we’re not an island? …. What if we weren’t meant to ‘go it alone’?
It’s funny, the way we’re conditioned to rely on community but we’re also expected to ‘make it’ on our own.
Today’s way of life sees us funnelled into the drive to success at an early age – disguised under the banner of wanting us to have every advantage. While I have no doubt that this intention is well meaning, it’s created a life of competition, judgement, exhaustion and overwhelm that sees us push ourselves beyond our limits in our quest for success – and we tell ourselves it is so we’ll be set up for our future.
From the second we leave formal schooling – whether that be high school, college, university and so on – we feel the pressure to rise in our career – and quickly! Often after a couple of years out of school we start to fear that we might never amount to much if we haven’t made it already.
We find ourselves constantly busy – there are never enough hours in the day and we often panic about trying to fit everything in and keeping everyone happy. On top of this, you feel the pressure of trying to excel at the requirements of your job so that one day you might be promoted to a better job with more money.
Then there’s the pressure of trying – and feeling like we’re constantly failing – at meeting the same level of commitment that others around us are giving to charitable organisations. You’d love to donate to charitable causes but you feel pressured to meet high standards and it cause you to feel stressed about earning more money.
Where do you turn?
Most of us start trying to work harder – giving everything we have to everyone else in the hopes that someone influential will recognise our efforts. We end up exhausted and secretly terrified that our life will be like this forever.
We can find ourselves turning in every direction – attending every motivational and inspirational event we can find in the hope that it will give us the golden nugget we need to accelerate our success. We’re left feeling like our head is constantly spinning, looking for the way to success – but we don’t really know what success looks like.
We end up resigned to the fact that it will most likely be a slog until we retire.
Googling holidays or planning an escape to live on a remote island where we can be carefree forever starts to appear in our day. We don’t want to be totally honest with ourselves because if we were we’d be completely overwhelmed and have no idea where or how to change things.
What if it doesn’t have to be this way?
What if there’s another way to live – and it doesn’t involve anything more complex than learning to think about things a bit differently?
The first thing to understand is that we’re not alone! A high percentage of the western population live their lives in exactly the same way that we are currently living. We’ve all jumped on the drive and migration to success – just like everyone around us.
For all of the above reasons we should bother with a mentor.
A mentor can help navigate the minefield of life – you get the benefit of learning from their wisdom, experience and knowledge without having to go through all the pitfalls of their journey. A mentor can help you move out of the cycle you’re currently in and onto a different trajectory in life.
BUT – not all mentors are the same and it’s really important that you work with the right people so you can connect with the wisdom and knowledge that is right for you.
How do you find the right mentor for you?
- Find someone whose values match with yours
It’s vitally important to find someone who values the same things you do – there’s no point learning from someone who doesn’t place the same importance on things that you do – it won’t get you anywhere.
- Find someone who is prepared to share openly with you
The best way for you to learn is from someone who is prepared to share openly with us. You want to make sure that you’re learning from people who are willing to guide you.
- Find someone who encourages you to be you
The fastest track to success is always through authenticity. The person you work with should always encourage you to find your own path – if you try to walk someone else’s path in life you take a lot of detours until you find your own.
- Find someone who is going to challenge you to grow
Make sure you work with someone who is going to encourage you to try new things, think in new ways, develop yourself and grow your knowledge. Anything else is a nice chat and potentially a nice time but probably won’t help you break out of the cycle you’re in.
Want to chat about this? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
If you want to access other tools on living and thinking differently, there are loads of tips and tricks in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.
Bronwen Sciortino is a global thought leader who empowers simple connection and the author of Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; www.facebook.com/sheiqlife or https://au.linkedin.com/in/bronwensciortino.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]