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Mentoring from our intrinsic selves in 2022

Who am I? This question is fueling the trends we are witnessing going into the new year. The underlying question is, how do we find the answer and more so, how do we help our kids avoid the pitfalls of an extrinsic society?

As we came out of 2020, we discovered how many people actually began doing intrinsic healing for themselves in search of the answer to this seemingly simple question. The business world was the first to see the results of this deep healing. You’ve heard of the “Great Resignation”, right? As people woke up to the fact they actually have choices in their lives, one of the first choices they made was cutting out what was contributing to their stress. That was quite the wake-up for employers and businesses worldwide.   

Now, as we roll into 2022, the focus on teens and young adults is growing. We discovered throughout the pandemic how much the young generations were actually struggling and how much we tended to blow off as just “typical” teenage behavior. As we uncover and rediscover who we are, reigniting our passions and adjusting our lives, we need to keep in mind that the younger generations are watching us. Not to criticize us or rebel against us, as it has been assumed they do. Teens watch and mimic us as they grow into adults. They look to us for guidance, and the guidance they look for is truly in our actions and daily behaviors. 

If you’re thinking, “Great. On top of navigating all this other stuff, now I need to worry about being watched by my teenager?”, there is no need to worry, my friend. Teens really just want to learn, be a part of something, and inviting them on your journey of self-exploration is one many of them are willing to take with you. 

As a highly trusted youth mentor, the level of trust that exists between myself and each teen I mentor was built on my willingness to be authentic, vulnerable, and non-judgemental. This has allowed for an environment of safety to develop. Every human being wants to feel safe, regardless of age. In return for creating an environment where they can safely practice being themselves, I also gain an environment where I am able to continually put into action being authentically me. This is a win-win situation.

I have found there are 5 ways to build a trusting, genuine relationship that allows both parties to grow and flourish:

 

  • Avoid trying to impress others
    • Knowledge, experience, and achievements are great, however, who we know, how much we make, and what awards we have really aren’t as impressive to those around us as we’d like to believe. More times than not, others want to know how we handled ourselves when it wasn’t all rosy and ideal.

 

  • Keep agreements 
    • This is a real trust builder. Making promises we don’t keep teaches others they don’t need to keep promises either and it is hard to trust someone you can’t depend on. 

 

  • Be vulnerable
    • This takes courage. Admit failures, wrong decisions, and setbacks. Everyone knows humans aren’t perfect. Big lessons can be learned when we share our struggles along with what success came from those struggles. 

 

  • Listen without judgement
    • Genuinely listen and allow others an opportunity to talk through their own struggles, more times than not, the answer will be discovered without ever having to say anything. We don’t always need to provide the answer, just the space for the answer to be discovered. 

 

  • Walk the talk
    • It is easy to tell others what to do, it is much more challenging to lead by example. When those around us see us doing what we are saying, we build even more trust, reliability, and credibility. 

 

Even if you aren’t mentoring young adults, as we implement these into our lives, everyone we come in contact with will benefit. It just takes one person to have the courage to be brave, and to put these into practice. As we all work to create change, let’s make sure we are starting with ourselves in 2022 and be the change in the world. We never know who is watching.

Charity Buhrow
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