Dr Susannah Ward
At work we draw on mentors to help navigate our career direction & development. But career isn’t the be all and end all for many of us and life can be tough. So, why not find a mentor to support you along the whole journey of life?
Cue the concept of a ‘Life Mentor.’ In need of more convincing? Well, here’s 4 reasons why you might have one.
- Because sometimes we just need to phone a friend. It can be a relief to speak with someone you trust about issues that are challenging. As humans we have worries and feelings that need support & nurturing. For whatever reason, our colleagues or loved ones may not always be able to provide us with this guidance. Ideally a life mentor is a person whom you feel comfortable talking with and are able to open up to about things on your mind when others can’t be there for you. I have a couple of life mentors with whom I have a mutual agreement to offer non-judgemental support when needed. More than simply someone fun to be around, these people are there for the serious chats too.
- Because our cognitive biases can get in the way of perceiving reality. Have you ever not seen things clearly? (Ahh…..yes, like all of the time!?). Seeking a trustworthy external opinion on issues in your life can provide new perspectives. Even if your life mentor tells you what you don’t want to hear, at least you will know that they have your best interest at heart. This can be really enlightening and may even reveal the dialect to a given situation.
- Life is stressful. We know this and it’s OK to feel this way; you wouldn’t be alone in doing so. No one ever expected life to be easy nor for you to manage all your stress by yourself. A life mentor can serve as a guide to see you through the stress towards success. Why bear it all alone?
- Life is unexpected. Not many people float through their journey of life unscathed by some sort of adversity. So back yo’self and up your resources as a preventative measure. You may feel you don’t need a life mentor now but it’s a ‘nice to have’ just in case you are one of the majority who go through some turmoil as they meander through existence.
Buddy up & go forth!