I wanted to note a little about how I came to mentoring. It felt relevant.
How I came to Mentoring
I’ve had a tricky path. Not compared with lots of people I am sure, as I am remarkably lucky. But the fact remains I’ve not enjoyed myself, or felt calm or relaxed, that much in my life. And yes, it’s considerably less tricky for me now.
One key element for me, was that from at least the age of 7, I had a stutter. Still do, though I’ve learnt well to manage it and most people don’t notice it these days. I’ll post more on this as we go through, but it’s been influential.
I also was never guided by anyone, that I can remember, about how to think. How to manage how I was feeling. Only later in life have I started to get the picture. I’m now 38, after all, and a Dad, and still working on it.
Mindfulness has been a big part of my ‘getting a better grip of myself’, if I can put it that way. My mother was influential in this, when, after a friend’s stag do, I was very hungover and suffering slightly from what I call poison-paranoia. She noticed, and pointed out to me how I was breathing. And her input rekindled an interest in meditation. Mum then put me onto the Headspace app.
Somehow, I’ve retained an ability to enjoy the childish side of myself, and to relate to youngsters. Such a joy to be childish, say silly things, have fun being as ridiculous as possible.
I didn’t feel that listened to, as a child, and spent lots of time paying attention to the minutiae of social life due to my stutter and social awkwardness. I felt that life was “really unfair”. Maybe as a result I find I listen well, and notice how others are feeling.
All these things, alongside a conscientiousness that I’d bet was instilled in me by my parents, have all led me to be the person I am.
And, as a result, over the years, it became clear that other people thought I’d be a good mentor.
Recently these have included a friend’s aunt, after we helped put together a fantastic wedding in the south of France. She took me aside and asked me specifically. Actually she recommended teaching, but this was based on how I encouraged and worked with everyone.
Then, when I was rethinking my career after our son arrived, my wonderful wife pushed me firmly and with great encouragement towards something of this sort.