I remember a moment before climbing a stage in one of the biggest European testing conferences for the first time: I looked around, spotted all those “professional” looking people, and then all possible doubts about myself started creeping into my head. Louder than bells while the bustling audience was getting ready, I heard myself repeating: “I’m young, maybe I have nothing interesting to tell - people in this room look way more experienced. I’m a fraud, why did I get myself here?.” Then, I saw a notification on my phone - my colleague sent me a short text: “Lina! All the best for your talk! It’s a wonderful talk, I’m sure you’ll do great.” At that moment I chased my doubts away and told myself: “If these brilliant smart people I trust in believe in me, I have to at least believe them. Even if I cannot believe myself.” I took a deep breath in, and, presented my talk.
Fast forward a couple of years. I have delivered talks in numerous countries to hundreds of people. I had multiple articles published on some of the most visited websites. I still get nervous and doubt myself, but I grew enormously. I learned to find power in authenticity. And, I have had people come over to me after hearing my talk or reading my article expressing lots of gratitude for sharing my thoughts to which they deeply connected, and telling me that it empowered them. It warms my heart. I love helping others.
So, when I saw an opportunity to join a mentoring club, I just had to join it and find some of my free time for it. Schedule a free call with me if you want to talk. I am there to listen, provide feedback, and help you grow. Be it quality analysis, consulting, writing articles, or speaking at conferences.
Talking about mentoring, let’s remind ourselves that behind every successful person there’s a lot of people who believed in them. The same goes for me. I got to the point where I can mentor others because… I was mentored, too. I was supported by encouraging colleagues at work, people I met at conferences who were either fellow speakers or attendees with whom we could talk about everything & anything, and many other everyday heroes I encountered who taught me a lot.
Every person carries something worth learning. Feedback is a gift, and, the ones who provide us feedback are helping us grow.
I am so grateful to all the people who sometimes believed in me more than I believed myself. A lot of those relationships are two-sided mentorship journeys which are never strictly about one topic. When vulnerability and growth are involved, we touch on very personal topics. So, mentorship, in this case, is so much more than a mentor-mentee connection. Often it’s a bumpy road of… friendship. Here’s a short video by Simon Sinek on mentorship that got shared by a fellow mentor from the mentoring club summarizing this idea very well.
Concluding this ramble of thoughts on mentoring and growth, I must thank some of my main career-turned-to-life mentors. Just to name a few… Thank you Marcsi, Maja, Amela, Stuart, Nadine, Tibi, Dani, and Phillip. Each one of you made me become who I am now and grow a bit more.
Mentoring is a growth journey. Thank your everyday mentors, and don’t forget that you are also helping them grow, too.
Photo by Madeleine Kohler on Unsplash