When you were young, did you have a mentor in your life? Someone who constantly reminded you of your value, showed you the ropes and took the time to listen? If you answered yes, you are likely smiling right now and fondly remembering a great lesson your mentor taught you. If not, you are perhaps wondering what that type of impact must have been like. This year, help more girls answer ‘yes’ to this question. We promise that you will reap just as many benefits – including increased overall happiness – in the process. And in case you need 5 other reasons to become a mentor, please check out our list below!
Shape tomorrow’s leaders
Investing in young people today, creates a stronger, more equitable and inclusive future for all tomorrow. So many young people have sparks inside of them but lack the confidence to let their light shine. Great mentors teach mentees that their sparks warrant a spot on this earth and can lead to a future of endless possibilities. Without this faith, encouragement and consideration, young people often struggle to access the parts of themselves that are destined for greatness. Become a mentor and unlock their potential!
Widen your perspective and learn new things
As a mentor, you are given a unique opportunity to step outside of your usual conversation topics and friend circle and gain a new understanding of another person’s reality. Your mentee’s world may look a lot different from your own, but by learning more about it, you grow as a person and gain a greater appreciation of who they are. Through this relationship, you will accrue knowledge on different subjects and maybe even discover new interests. Giving your mentee the chance to teach you on a subject of their choosing helps boost their confidence, engagement and above all else, trust. After all, they are talking about something they enjoy and isn’t that what friends do?
Share your experiences for the betterment of others
Use your own discoveries and experiences – good or bad – as a learning opportunity for your mentee. By opening up and sharing lessons you’ve learned throughout your career (including failures) you teach mentees how to find success, avoid mistakes and think intelligently about their actions. An experience that may not have worked out for you could be the exact advice that changes a mentee’s life forever. Honestly sharing these details with your mentee will demonstrate that you trust them and are deeply invested in their progress, goals and future.
Sharpen your skills
Oftentimes, when we are put on the spot to showcase a skill or talent, we practice ahead of time and double-check every detail to ensure everything is perfect. With mentorship, the same habit should apply. As youth look to mentors for guidance, skill development, information and support, it is important for mentors to deepen their own learning and stay sharp. Repeating the same advice on a loop to a mentee is ineffective and will decrease trust and interest. The responsibility of being a great, wise leader includes not only maintaining a strong skillset, but seeking out new ways of broadening your skills. Ultimately, this ongoing learning will enhance your own life as it will widen your understanding and appreciation of a topic you enjoy and are passionate about.
Increase your own happiness
It’s no mystery that by helping others, you increase your own joy. The feeling of making someone laugh after they’ve had a rough day and offering hope in moments of uncertainty provides a warmth unlike anything else. Sometimes youth do not have the luxury of being a part of a strong community, robust friend circle or big family. Mentors help fill in those gaps and remind kids of their self-worth, and in the end, this process increases their own happiness. Offering your time to a cause, such as coaching at Girls on the Run, is a wonderful way to spread positivity throughout your community and make it a more habitable place to live. Kindness is contagious, so why not spread feelings of goodwill to youth during their most formative years?
Find purpose in something that really matters
It’s incredibly easy to get distracted by comfortable activities that, frankly, do not matter or make the world a better place. Between scrolling on social media for hours, binge-watching shows until the sun comes up or online shopping for things we don’t need, it is easier than ever to fall into lazy, but familiar, bad habits. This year, become a part of something that changes lives and increases joy throughout your community. Intentionally replace meaningless activities with important ones. Breaking a habit is difficult but think about the type of person you ultimately want to be and the type of impact you want to leave on this earth. Find purpose in making life brighter and more hopeful for another person. Your mentee will never forget you for it.
Are you ready to become a mentor with us at Girls on the Run - DC? Learn more about how you can become a Coach with us! Click here.