You can change the course of someone’s life by seeing something in them they don’t see themselves, and then showing them they can do something they think they cannot.
This is the essence of great mentoring.
I spent my summers as a kid at a pool club. Anyone could go in the three foot section, but to venture into the deeper water alone, you had to pass “The Test.” [cue scary music] It was basically a fifty yard swim with a minute of water-treading at the end, and I was terrified of it, but I never said so. I tried once and failed. So I just did my best to appear content at the deepest part of the three-foot section. I was around eight years old and most kids my age had already passed the test. That was uncomfortable.
I remember my parents and other authority figures egging me on. “Take the test,” they said, “You can do it.” But I didn’t believe them. I didn’t want to fail again. Then one day in a swimming lesson, my teacher led us through a series of drills. It wasn’t easy, but I managed. We finished by treading water. I still remember the teacher counting down the last seconds and surprising me with, “You passed the test!”
He’d tricked me. He gave me the test, one piece at a time, without calling it the scary “test” and showed me I could do it. In content, it changed my relationship to the water forever. I became a state-ranked diver, a competitive swimmer, and a water polo player in college. In context, it changed my relationship to challenge. The thrill of doing something that seems impossible became the central theme of my life and still drives me today.
Did someone ever do this for you? Is there someone in your life who needs you to do it for them?
Lastly, do you have a goal that seems impossible that you want to make possible? That excites me. Let’s talk. Maybe I can help you break it down and show you it’s not as impossible as you think. Find out more about my mentoring services now.