If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I am an expat and I’ve been home for a vist back to the USA for the past few weeks. I’ve been spending my time in NY Metro but strongly contemplated a day trip to Philadelphia to bring my children to visit my college campus. I noticed something strange as I went thorough the pros and cons of a visit to my alma mater… I got butterflies when I thought about returning to the campus.
- Would I recognize the campus?
- Would I still be able to find my way around?
- Would I be opening myself up to really seeing how much I’ve changed since leaving the university?
As an undergraduate, I applied for jobs through the Career Center and people in my classes would ask me why, as Sociology major, I thought I could get a competitive job in business? My response was simple: “Because nobody ever told me that I couldn’t.” I was filled with passion and belief that I could and would make a difference. I landed that job and it was the first stop on my personal and professional journey.
Still, thinking about going back to my university brought up some questions for me:
- Have I stopped believing anything is possible?
- Are fear and judgment too present in my life?
- How do I reclaim the confidence and creativity of my youth and marry it with my years of experience?
If you have similar questions, you may want to engage with your coach or mentor to discuss your fears, hopes and concerns. Alternatively, self-mentoring offers both of us some best practices to turn within to find answers. Grab your journal or just a quiet space for reflection and start with these four self-mentoring principles to reconnect with your passionate, can-do college self. The trick is to be candid, honest, and vulnerable – there is nobody to impress with self-mentoring; it’s all you.
We are often our own worst critics. While we encourage and listen with kindness to others, we beat ourselves up for every misstep. Stop now.
Listen to your future self
You are your future self and you can tap into your inner wisdom. What would you tell a client, friend, child or college student? Open your ears and heart to your own advice.
Mentoring is not a know-it-all talking to a know-nothing
Celebrate your experience and let go of your inner critic. The passion pilot light is still burning; you just need to turn up the flame. (Click to Tweet) Ask yourself: What matters most? Where are you focusing your time? What needs to shift?
Learn from failure and success
Mentoring should help you to move forward, not re-create a play-by-play of the past. Be intentional and ask yourself, “What did I learn that I need to carry forward?” NOT “What mistakes did I make?” Don’t stop with the easy answers; go deep and discover new ah-has that will propel you into inspired action.
Self-mentoring can be powerful for learning and reflection but I also strongly encourage you to find a coach or mentor and be a mentor to others. The greatest gift we can give another on their road to success is our time.
What are your tips for self-mentoring and reflective learning? What have you learned from your mentors?