You may have come into this world by yourself and you will certainly leave this world alone; however while you are here everyone needs someone including you, me and we. I know for certain that the women in my life helped shape who I am today and I am grateful.
When I was a young girl and teenager, I didn’t realize the significance of having role models and mentors because those terms were not used. I recall women in my family and the mother’s of my friends answering questions, sharing experiences and offering insight. They were mentoring me and I didn’t even know it. It’s important that we intentionally explain to our young girls and young women what mentoring and role modeling is and make it a point to either be the mentor/role model or ensure they have one or more in their life.
There is absolutely no way I would be the woman, wife, mother and business owner that I amhad I not had someone to talk to, share with, dream with and or learn from. Mentorship for me is not a choice but rather a duty, a responsibility and my joy. Every woman stands on the shoulders of the women who came before her and thus we need to be shoulders for this generation of young women and those come. Mentoring does not have to be complicated, extensive or formal; here are some simple yet effective ways to positively impact the lives of girls, teens and young women.
- Strive to become your ideal, highest self allowing you to lead by example. Young people absorb more of what you do versus what you say.
- Do more than talk about your dreams actively create, pursue and live them. This inspires young people to see you walking the walk instead of just talking the talk and encourages them to do the same.
- Listen twice as much as you give advice and be sure to listen with your heart and eyes. A youth’s behavior can tell you much more than what their words ever will. This improves the trust in a relationship and young people will share more often with those they trust.
- Be emotionally aware and awake in your relationships with young people. It’s just not enough to be physically available or financially supportive. Youth need to know that you genuinely care about their feelings and experiences.
- Encourage young people to dream and dream big and provide opportunities for them to explore different events, activities and interests. You never know what might spark the next genius, poet, writer or scientist.
There are a multitude of things you can do to mentor young women and be a role model to facilitate success in their life. If you are not able to officially volunteer through community organizations, you can volunteer at your church or support community programs designed to empower young women. Mentoring is not so much about what you do but more about who you are and how you show up and engage with the mentee. Every woman needs a mentor and I encourage you to be creative in deciding how you will inspire, empower and equip the lives of young women in your life and community.
The best thing you can do to become a great mentor is to become a great woman. When you show up in the world strong, wise, brilliant, authentic and brave you set the bar high and “show” young women how to “be” which is again, more powerful than any words you can say. Step up, show up and give back to your community with a pure heart, clear intentions and from a place of love and service to the world. It’s your duty, your responsibility and do it with a joyful heart!
About Catrice M. Jackson, M.S., LMHP, LPC
International Speaker, Fear-Free Living Expert, Published Author
Owner of Catriceology Enterprises “a global speaking and coaching enterprises designed to help women create and live fearlessly delicious lives”