Why We Need A Mentor at Any Age
It is not uncommon to feel like you are stuck. Maybe you have fallen into the same patterns or routines and it seems like there is no way to change. Maybe the people around you aren’t supportive of your decision to lose weight or further your education or grow your business. Maybe you feel like you have no concrete goals or direction in life.
You are not alone.
As I began writing this piece, I realized that I have had a coach at nearly every single point in my life, EXCEPT when my career felt like it was at a standstill. I attribute that standstill to the fact that I didn’t have an objective person pushing me in the right direction. So here are some reasons why it essential to have a coach and/or mentor at any age:
1. A Coach or Mentor is Objective:
Your parents may love you to pieces, but they also would have a hard time advising you without discrimination (for better or worse). A good coach will take your feelings into consideration, but will also push you to achieve more and become more as a person. Though you may consider your friends to be objective, I have had clients in the past whose friends become jealous of their success and work to sabotage it. I know that sounds terrible, but it does happen. Part of the reason that I decided to work with my current coach is because he is brutally honest. The first time I ever began to make an excuse about why I couldn’t be as successful as he was, he replied, “those are your own issues you have to deal with.” At first, I was a little hurt. Then I realized he was right! I was letting preconceptions get in the way of my success. You want a coach who is looking out for you, but also willing to be really honest with you and call you out when you need to be called out.
2. A Coach Will Hold You Accountable:
I had the option of working with my current coach or doing his online program. Though working with him was significantly more expensive, I wanted to be accountable to him specifically. This is something that we all need. So many people have wonderful dreams and ideas but are not held accountable to anyone. Unfortunately, then these beautiful dreams remain concepts that never materialize. You are going to need to be pushed sometimes and you are going to need someone to tell you when your mindset is hurting your progress. My coach gives me so much to do and he expects it to get done without making excuses. We all need that push from time to time. If one of my athletes don’t work as hard as I know she should, then we are going to have a very realistic conversation about dedication. Sometimes these conversations are hard to have, but it would be worse to have her progress suffer.
3. You Need a Role Model:
It always helps to have someone to look up to, even if you are already pretty successful. I chose my last few coaches because of their abilities to do things I thought I couldn’t do. After they had mapped things out for me, I realized that all of the things that they accomplished were attainable for me. Coming to this kind of realization is well worth the money and effort. They have shaped the way I look at life and myself. Life should be lived where you are constantly improving and constantly striving to be the best version of yourself. If you have someone to model that behavior for you, all the better. A wonderful side effect of this is that if you continue to emulate that ideal behavior, then you will eventually become a role model too. Other people begin looking up to you. I work really hard to be a good role model for my clients and I encourage my older athletes to mentor the younger girls and each other. In this manner, we create a really nice family environment, where we all help each other out.
4. You Need Education:
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a complete bookworm. I have educated myself on so many different topics and I love doing it. Educating yourself has its pitfalls, however. Whom do you ask for advice when you’re stuck? How do you narrow down your reading materials so you pick the best? Coaches often create worksheets, online videos and specialize in one-on-one attention. Those are tools that are difficult to come by on your own. I also believe that multiple different forms of content are very important, since everyone has different learning styles. You might not learn well by reading, but you might excel if you watch a video. A good coach will make adjustments for different learning styles.
I have been a coach for over twenty years, and it has to be the most enjoyable and rewarding job in the world. Part of what makes me a great coach is that I love learning from others. A coach who refuses to be coached is a hypocrite. I have met so many amazing people and have been able to make amazing changes to my life by following the advice of others who have succeeded in the ways I wanted to be successful. I hope that reading this inspires you to do the same.