Mentoring Others to Shine Their Light

The whole “there is two types of people” narrative is one that drives me crazy because people are complex and can’t be categorized simply. But lately, I have noticed different demeanors that are resonating with me.

Those who inspire you and push you to move forward.

Those who push you to stop what you are doing and create constant doubt.

I have been both, but I am trying to be the former more than the latter.

But let’s talk about the two paths.

People will try to separate the two above into “optimist” and “realist,” but I think the person who inspires can be both an “optimist” and a “realist.” They can redirect while still pushing forward.  The best leader I have ever encountered NEVER gave me a straight “no” on any idea, but she would say, “No, but I would consider this…”

Do you see the difference here?  Although the path could change, it was still about moving forward.

On the other hand, I have worked with people that are all about “no.” They had a problem with every solution and would make sure they would tell you why you were wrong. All. The.Time.

Your light shining, in their head, was dimming their own.

Here’s the other thing…sometimes these two people can exist in yourself. Self-doubt can be a good thing to make us think about our path, but can also become a bad thing where it stops our progress.

It reminds me of this story that I have seen shared often:

It is easy to solely criticize.  It is hard to mentor.  But mentorship is not without criticism, yet it is meant to grow a person, not diminish them.  Including mentorship of yourself.

As a reminder for myself when I feel negative…Teaching and education are all about the light you help others shine onto the world.

Source: George Couros