Stage 4 | Meeting a Mentor
Sometime around the Call to Adventure, heroes encounter someone who has experienced a similar Call to Adventure.
At this point in your Hero’s Journey, you may be convinced that finding a solution is impossible, the whole thing is totally unfair and disaster is imminent. But … a Mentor can begin to replace your despair with hope.
Mentors are living proof that scary, even terrifying Calls to Adventure can be resolved. They too had a similar Call to Adventure that upended their lives and created a significant life problem. They too experienced SEPARATION from their old life and found themselves overwhelmed with fear and sadness. They too had to undertake obstacle after obstacle, task after task, experience setbacks to gradually address and resolve their problem. They too had to learn polar opposite skills.
Such people are well placed to pass on to you information and skills, provide words of encouragement and maybe the occasional ‘kick in the pants’ to get any reluctant hero moving. They are your very own helper and support person on your very own problem solving Hero’s Journey. Mentors have learned the one key lesson: the person in most need of change is ourselves and we will probably resist this most valuable lesson.
Mentors will help you learn, one mistake at a time, that you are more than you think you are, more capable than you know and that you had better get moving.
Mentors come in all shapes and sizes
Mentors help us when we are lost and afraid.
The job of a Mentor is one of temporary teacher and protector. This may sound warm and cosy, however mentors may have to be anything but nice. To teach and to protect they may have to push, praise, encourage, reward, coerce, plead, demand or call us on our ‘bad’ behaviour. Some may even resort to yelling just to get us off the couch and start moving! Remember, in the early stages of an Unwanted Call to Adventure, the Hero has little or no motivation to change. It may be the mentor’s job then to instill in the Reluctant Hero the need to take action. For many a Reluctant Hero, this is the last thing they want to do.
Some Mentors then may appear as pains-in-the-arse. Such Mentors may appear to block our efforts to resolve our problem. This may be the manager who asks us to lift our game, our partner who says our behaviour is not acceptable, or the teacher who says ‘can do better’. It may even be the colleague who for some reason, drives us crazy. Such people are asking more of us, and we usually don’t like it. But what if lifting our game is the very thing required to resolve our problem?
Read more about Mentors here.
- In the difficult moments of your life, has someone appeared to help? Have you gone looking for a Mentor? Someone who has been through what is happening to you?
- Have you met people who were supposed to be helping you but it felt more like a hinderance? Did they ask you to do things you didn’t want to do?
- What did you do with these people? Avoid them? Argued with them? Dismiss them?
- Was what they were asking of you of any value? What might happen if you did what they requested?
Return to the 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey here.