These past few weeks I have come across multiple posts on what people would write to younger versions of themselves. It’s inspiring to see that so many people feel the need to be out there for their younger versions, to be someone who they needed at that point of time. Then there are those one message kind of activities – what is the one thing that you would tell yourself now that you’ve seen life.
“This too shall pass” to “Life is anything but predictable” to “Be thankful for what life denied you”; the one message that I found super useful is “Just get on the bus”.
This is of course the metaphorical bus. There’s a bus that took me out of India to Switzerland and from corporate to my entrepreneurial life. I am still on the journey finding bits of myself, painting my picture one day at a time and being supported by a board of mentors.
My colleagues have buses of their own. Some are returning to work after prolonged breaks. Some because they feel they want to explore more of themselves now. Some because they feel they can give back now. And some because they know that while they can’t reach back to younger versions of themselves, they can reach out to younger ones who are at that stage right now and tremendously value their guidance.
Life also has this great way of teaching you generosity. The more you give back, the better it shapes who you are becoming. As someone famously said, “those who say money cannot buy happiness have not given enough away”.
When thrivewithmentoring was launched, it was a platform that connected women mentors to women mentees. Today, almost 2 years down the line, that still holds true, but it has also become a place of profound connections, where mentees might be helping each other or mentors helping the entire community.
Mentoring relationships accelerate self discovery, make you available for opportunities that would’ve otherwise gone unnoticed and make you future ready in our ever changing reality. For many, signing up to be a mentor or to be a mentee is akin to getting on the bus. Women accomplish amazing things when they support each other; when we become interdependent rather than compete.
What’s so special about women to women mentorship relationships?
Naomi Osaka insisted that Coco Gauff be a part of the post match on- court interview. Osaka had just handed a loss over to Gauff and the latter could barely hold back tears. Osaka also went on to say that it was better to cry on the court than alone in the shower later.
With women, you don’t have to explain why you are feeling a certain way. Being unapologetically compassionate, unconditionally supportive to an opponent, who could probably someday best her at her own game, Osaka was what women mentors are all about – radical generosity. They make you aware of the fact that you’ve accomplished so much and there’s still so much more to go and claim out there.
Have you heard about #squadgoals; it’s what your squad does. Women mentors and mentees are a squad. Mentoring is like giving props to girl power. Every woman out there knows that the best way to get over a shitty day is to dash on a swipe of the bright red lipstick and spend the evening with our girlfriends. Beyonce is never without her squad, right from her music videos to her public appearances. Women lift up other women.
With other women around you supporting you for what you bring to the table, the search for validation ends. Your journey into the self starts.
Look at Shonda Rhimes- from Grey’s Anatomy to How to get away with murder to Scandal, all have women in super lead roles across seasons. She’s one of the most impactful creators on TV today. She offers a mentorship for women who are trying to break into directorship roles in television. A 3-week stint where they get to shadow her and learn whatever she does.
Together women mentors today can enable the next generation to become far more imaginative in what they can accomplish. There are many opportunities to help women break barriers- some of mindset, some of society and some of structure; and another woman who has walked that same tight rope can pull you up.
But- you need to get on the bus for that. You need to sign up to be mentored or to be a mentor.
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