I’ve previously covered the value of having mentors and peers. While both are essential for development, the real payoff comes when you intentionally bring people into your world who are open to being poured into, or as we’ll call them, mentees.
Regarding this issue, I often hear people respond, “I’m not ready to mentor someone.” But the reality is that there’s always someone who can glean from the experience, wisdom, and anointing you currently carry. As you progress through life, regardless of where you’re at, there are people who can learn from what you know. It is important to keep in mind that it’s not all about them, you also benefit from having people in your life you’re mentoring. Here are some way you can personally benefit from having people in your life you’re willing to mentor.
1. Having people you pour into it causes you to gain momentum and overcome challenges because you’re constantly recognizing how far you’ve come. Another way of saying it is, it’s often hard to realize the growth you are personally gaining until you start helping others.
2. I talked in my “Mentors” blog post about the benefits of having someone who believes in you encourage you toward greatness and toward being the best you can be. The similar effect here is that, while a mentee might not so directly encourage you in the same way, the indirect effect is the same. The greatness they call out in you will come simply by the nature of your relationship. Anyone who positions himself or herself to learn from you naturally will pull out of you the best, and you’ll find yourself able to help them and articulate the wisdom inside of you to share with them in ways you wouldn’t have previously thought possible. A lot of times, you don’t know what you have until you have relationships that are pulling from what you carry because of what you have fought through. It brings out maturity you didn’t know you had.
3. It helps you craft your life message because a lot of times our calling and our life message come out of what we’ve walked through. God is a God of redemption, so your story has strength. When other people are asking questions and you are the source of answers, permission, and challenges, it helps you craft your God-given strengths and calling.
While this relationship can be beneficial to both you and the person you’re mentoring, it’s important to be intentional about who you let into your world at this level. You decide who stands out, who is hungry, who is teachable, humble, and moldable and receptive to what you have to offer. Choose to only invest in those people, because mentoring people who are not open and receptive will only frustrate you both. When you choose to be intentional, it will reinforce the importance of you being a powerful person in life because you are being proactive where you are choosing to invest your time and energy.
It also begins to build your legacy. Mentors jumpstart legacy, peers link arms, mentee are your legacy. When all is said and done, the people you powerfully choose to invite into your world and mentor are the people who have a piece of your DNA long after you’re gone and they continue to influence their realms, communities, and spheres of influence carrying what you poured into them. Regardless of your age, you can begin to build toward that legacy by choosing to mentor people who are not where you are at and, as I’ve covered in my other posts, it doesn’t have to be limited by age. It’s just finding people who could use the help you can offer in any area: Communication, relationships, finance, spiritual authority, blogging, chicken farming, basket weaving, etc. You’re looking for people who are trying to find growth in the area you are strong in.
We all know that life is built around relationships… having mentees significantly broadens the impact you make in life. The last thing you want is to become like the Dead Sea…. with a source of bitter/salty water but no outlets – an ecosystem like that can’t sustain life. Few people are remembered for the impact they didn’t make. 😉
- Pray, journal, write out the top 5 areas you feel you have a natural or fought-for strength
- Identify one to three people that you see would benefit from the strengths you identify and begin to invest in those relationships (disclosure: you don’t walk up to them and say “I will mentor you.” Instead, you mentor them through the impact you’re making in their life. Begin to have conversations around your strengths and see how they respond. If they respond in a positive way, continue to invest. If they shut down that area of strength, you shouldn’t mentor them.)