Most of my life, I was so sure I knew what direction I needed to go, so sure that I was right. It’s everyone else’s fault I’m not a success. Not popular. So shy. Career stagnating. Girlfriend sucked.
Kind of crazy thinking looking back, isn't it? But that’s what traps us in our current situations. We’re so sure we know how the world works, so sure that we’re going in the right direction. It’s everyone else that’s wrong, stopping us succeeding.
My first mentor, Michael Valmont, was helping out with direction, confidence and relationship advice. I went in after coming out of a disastrous 3-year relationship, and I needed help.
I'd finally started to realise that maybe the problem was with me, it was something I was doing wrong. I just didn't know what. I was a nice guy, right? A hard worker? Why wasn’t the world treating me better?
Michael sees these problems holistically. We can't take one aspect of our lives and just try to fix that when we've got other massive issues in our lives. Life just doesn't work like that. My problems in my relationships were just aspects of bigger problems in how I was living my life.
One of the things Michael asked to me when we were talking on the first day was, what’s the difference between those that change & those that don’t?
Michael was talking about growth vs. fixed mindsets of course. Looking back I didn’t get the concept. The idea of personal change was alien to me. I’d never changed before. I was who I was, that was fixed, right?
And this is the crucial role of mentors in our lives. Mentors have usually been through the crap we’ve been through. Mentors have worked with many others who’ve been through the same crap as well. We come to them looking for a solution to one problem. They will give you that solution, but they also give us what we need.
I saw this video a few months before reaching out to Michael. Watching that video hurt. I *WAS* the person Zig was talking about. The victim mindset. The negativity. Living a life with no gratitude.
From then I started on the daily gratitude journaling. I went from that to reading more & more self-help books, going out socialising much more – at meetup’s, meditation weekends. I changed my diet and lost a load of weight. I
Change starts with a decision. Are we willing to make ourselves vulnerable? To make mistakes. To fuck it up. To listen to advice from others who see the much bigger picture and take it on board & not let the ego shut it down.
Unfortunately, this sucks. But there is no easy way. There is no magic pill, no ‘hypnosis trance’, no weekend retreat that will just remove all our problems. Change happens when we live the new lives we want, and we take personal responsibility for our lives.
Change is hard, but the process is simple. Do the work, and stick to the principals that have been around for thousands of years. The seven habits of highly effective people, the seven deadly sins. It's not rocket science.
But our brains make it into rocket science. This is when the BS excuses come up. I’m not that kind of person. My parents didn’t love me. My second-grade teacher humiliated me. You name it; I’ve thought it. If I could have spent that time & energy coming up with excuses on new business plans, I'd be a millionaire right now.
And this is a second crucial part of mentoring; Mentors keep us motivated. We all know what we need to do. It’s the lack of motivation & falling into excuse mode that we need. Coaches reframe all the excuses & keep us on track.
Since working with Michael, my life has changed in so many different ways. It's very hard to relate to the person I once was. My social circle has grown hugely. My confidence. My health. I'm now working on my own, left the day job six months ago. And I've been dating a fantastic girl for the last few months.
None of this would have been possible without making that first move. That first decision. To go through that pain.
Some great resources on mentoring on coaching:
- How to find mentors by the awesome Ryan Holiday. Ryan talks a lot about mentorship in his blogs & books
- How to become a person of Interest - Podcast on The Art of Charm. All about coaching and why we *all* need coaches / mentors.
- Mastery by Robert Greene. Robert goes deep into apprenticeship and mentorship now and throughout history. Robert has also been a mentor for Ryan for the last 10 years.