I’ve been mentoring someone -let’s call him George – and he was simply scared. All I did was ask questions and listen.
I slowly helped him peel back the artificial wrappings of a box of rotten candy – and the metaphor has nothing to do with Forrest Gump. He had the courage to look straight into the mirror and clear the fog that obscured his own image. He took a stance and made a decision: to stop being (and feeling) afraid of what others might say or think about him; to be honest and honor his integrity and professional standards.
Yes, it is as simple as it sounds: Think through the consequences of how certain actions might impact a situation, see the options, potential and possible outcomes and decide. In the end it always comes down to only two questions:
- Can anything happen if you do nothing?
- What do you have to lose?
So, this guy said that as he was talking to his boss, he could hear my voice in his head, and he was imagining me guiding him. I smiled when I heard that. “Challenge for thought, support for action.” I had nothing to do with what he chose to say and do. He simply felt comforted by thinking I was there to guide him. He did it all alone – I was nowhere near him.
In the end, it’s only human to feel the need to have a friend, an advocate, a supporter. As long as this idea does not make you need permanent crutches and it only serves as the training wheels on the brand new bike when you are only three, it’s OK.
So, here’s to you, George and congratulations for being bold and brave to do what you really wanted to do.