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Education Article

Cultivating Self-Mentorship: A Path to Personal Growth and Fulfillment

Cultivating Self-MentorshipWe frequently discuss how you, as a service provider to customers both internal and external, can deliver exceptional service with every interaction. This article takes a different approach, focusing instead on the important concept of self-mentoring—guiding yourself toward happiness, health, fulfillment, challenge, achievement, and satisfaction.

  • Show yourself kindness. Acknowledge that perfection is unattainable and mistakes are inevitable. Give yourself grace during times of poor judgment or their consequences. Embrace negative experiences as learning opportunities to avoid repeating them.

  • Challenge your excuses. Self-kindness doesn’t mean accepting constant excuses or self-defeating behaviors. If you find yourself often saying, “Oh well, that didn’t work out”; or “I should have thought that through better”; or “I’m sorry,” you are enabling poor behaviors and perpetuating a cycle of unfavorable outcomes. Instead, recognize the need for change and commit to it by following the suggestions in this article.

  • Strive for improvement. Aim to be better than yesterday; better than others may expect of you; better than the last time you experienced this opportunity. Better doesn’t have to mean leagues of improvement; just better than the last time. Not perfect—just better.

  • Find support systems. We have frequently addressed developing and tracking goals, but always remember that you will likely need support to achieve them. Rare few things can we accomplish on our own. Assuming you don’t have all the knowledge and experience yet to achieve your goals and their objectives, seek out those systems and people who can guide you to accomplishing your intentions within a timeframe that may even surprise you!

  • Embrace alternative approaches. If your current methods aren't producing the desired results, be open to trying different strategies instead of growing increasingly frustrated with ineffective ones. Acknowledge when a strategy is not working; step back and find one thing (not an entire process—just one thing) that you can do differently; assess its outcomes and determine if that one step made a positive impact. Then find another step and continue implementing small, incremental changes for improvement.

  • Recognize and celebrate achievements. Acknowledge even the smallest accomplishments, whether or not anyone else notices them. Reflect at the end of each day and each project on any personal and professional victories, no matter how minor, any way you improved someone’s day, and take pride in your contributions. Give yourself a shout-out or a pat on the back or a “Way to go!” Don’t wait for public acknowledgement. Be your own best cheerleader!

Finally, again, be kind to yourself. You are a work in progress every moment of every day. Take ownership of that progress by planning, challenging, tracking, achieving, being guided, finding alternatives, celebrating and starting all over. Remember, investing in self-mentoring is an investment in personal excellence.