Lessons in Choosing Mentors Part 2

We know that we must be a sponge and go around getting the most useful information from everywhere in sight. We must absorb what’s useful from the experts, our mentors, and the people around us. This kind of thinking changes your perception on the day a little bit doesn’t it?

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.       Watch for the limiting beliefs of the mentors

Now you are on the hunt for good ideas daily. The day is a little more exciting because you never know what you will find. You will also notice that you will ask different questions because your curiosity will be sparked. People have gone through incredible experiences and there are lessons there that you can extract and learn from for the future. The issue becomes when life experiences a person has had develop a limiting belief that they may project onto you.

This is where you have to pick your mentors wisely. If you refer back to the manager I interviewed in Part one (https://kel37blah.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/lessons-in-choosing-mentors-part-1/) you remember that he drew the conclusion that learning about a skill such as leadership was confusing and you would just run into conflicting information. This guy may have brilliant advice as to how to manage people but this is a belief that I could not adopt. I knew there was a finer distinction that needed to be made.

Think of beliefs that certain people have put on you about various topics. For example what is life for you? Is it an adventure? Is it a drag? What is a relationship to you? A gift? A chess match? A burden? Where did you draw these conclusions? Most likely from your own, family members, or close friends experiences. It’s worth taking some time to identity some of these and ask yourself, “Is this really a good way to think about__________?”

So while identifying your mentors it’s worth asking what limiting beliefs may be present. For example at my former workplace the belief of the leader was that people hated working out and it was our job to get them to do it. The assumption here was that people hated it and we had to get them to do more of it. What if we changed the game? What if instead the belief was that people come in with confusing representations about exercise, how can we get them love it? Then we would no longer have to “push them” to it, they would be pulled to it. Wow what a shift! This is just an example of how changing that limiting belief changes the game dramatically. There are so many examples and way to do this.

I started noticing that many of my mentors would assume the bar was set at a certain point yet I would see cases where it would be drastically cleared. I started noticing that certain mentors were experts in their fields but they also had many assumptions about what was possible that other people disproved. So while your mentor may have played the game for a long time and know shortcuts, don’t let them limit you in what’s possible. Who knows maybe the background you have is the missing puzzle piece to solving a problem more efficiently. Maybe the skill set you previously had is exactly what is needed in your field. Maybe your insight, beliefs, and attitudes are the missing element! Learn what you can from your mentors and then stand on their shoulders for you have wisdom and insight to add to the pile as well.

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. – Albert Einstein


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