To grow requires going beyond what you know, what you are comfortable and familiar with and even what you have learned from any lived experiences you have had. This will test you by asking you to go outside your comfort zone which can get un-comfort-able. But know that you don’t have to make the journey alone. If your deepest desire is to be of influence and to make a difference in the world, I highly encourage you to reach out and explore any opportunities to participate in a mentorship experience. I believe that mentorship is one of the greatest investments you can ever make in both your personal and professional development for how it can ignite and influence your growth and fast-track the results you desire for yourself. The greatest leaders and athletes of our generation have mentors they work with and rely on. I have experienced mentorship from the position of both mentee and mentor and know firsthand the value this practice and process can create. Mentorship can help give you permission, confidence, the push, the hand that you need to take the next step, leap, or jump. It is important to remember that what you need in mentorship will evolve with the phases and stages of your life and career path so it is possible and natural that you will have several mentoring relationships as you grow. Every mentor you have will provide you with a different tool, technique, lesson, or insight from their experience. Some of these may be immediately life changing for you to put into practice, some may not, others may not resonate with you in the moment, but down the road will become increasingly valuable. Caring and compassion are always integral to the mentor/mentee relationship. It is a two ways street or partnership. As a mentee you need to care about yourself, have a desire to MO’ve forward in your work and life, and respect your mentor’s experience and advice–even if what they tell you may be difficult to understand and implement. As a mentor, it is important you care about and are compassionate with your mentee. Remember how you felt when you were at their stage in your own career, business, and life and what can you do to help them in as considerate and compassionate a manner. The power of investing in yourself in the present through mentorship will help you pay it forward in the future. This is how ripples of influence are created. What I mean by this is that you will learn the value of mentorship by being mentored and what you learn as a mentee can serve you to mentor others. So how does one find mentorship opportunities? The best way to do this is to put yourself out there by going into new spaces – including virtual spaces. I encourage those looking for opportunities to surround themselves with the average of those who ‘lift you up’ (versus bring your average down). You want to “be in the room” with these kinds of people who will help elevate your energy, motivation, confidence, competence, and drive. Those who rise become stronger from the collective energy and strengths of others. It is about lifting each other up. The power of connection is the greatest power we have at this time because while a pandemic can separate us physically nothing can keep us from connecting on deeper levels. What communities can you become part of that reflect your industry, values, vision, goals, and aspirations? Joining new communities of like-minded women can open you up to and present to you both formal and informal opportunities for mentorship.
Speaking of opportunities, all WIFA members have the opportunity to opt-in for the WIFA Peer Mentor Program. I really believe this is one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of being a WIFA member, and it’s included in the membership of $99.00! This is such an incredible value – provided you take full advantage of this program and invest in the mentoring relationship aspects. Remember, a successful mentorship is like a two-way street–it comes back to the connection, the commitment and what both parties invest in the experience. When you commit, the connection and the results of that partnership have the potential to blow away both of your expectations away. All you have to do to opt-in for the WIFA Peer Mentor Program is fill out a simple form you can access here to be paired with a mentor! Mentorship pairings happen in rounds and at certain times of the year, so make sure you get on the list for the next round! Not only do I love talking about the benefits of mentorship, but I also love seeing it in action and nurturing it in different contexts. For example, I mentorship is a key component within Women Who Influence, an event I designed to harness the power and influence of women within the fitness industry to come together and share their story and impact and empower their peers with important life lessons. This event is at its heart a seismic mentoring opportunity. This year’s Women Who Influence track on Friday August 14th as part of the canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series. It will feature speakers with diverse backgrounds and experience including Petra Kolber, Jenalyn Pacheco (from the World Of Dance Canadian Dance Duo Luka & Jenalyn), Dr Rumeet Billan, and Ashley Callingbull, who are all featured speakers on The Power of Women Panel which will close the day leaving you influenced and inspired! You can find more information about Women Who Influence Track and the canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series here. I hope I have opened your eyes to the power of mentorship and inspired you to seek opportunities and experiences for your growth and development and see how and where you can act as a mentor. Now, more than ever, it is important we reach out to inspire and connect with one another.