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The Mentor Myth

The Dark Side Of Seeking Mentors

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published 4 months ago 4 min read

It's been commonly said in the personal development and leadership development worlds that you need to seek mentors in your life.

Is there a truth to this?

Perhaps some, there is indeed wisdom that can be found from others' experiences.

But how much are you supposed to "follow" someone?

How much should you allow someone to "mentor" you?

I have been speaking with a lot of people recently who are telling me that they feel like they are missing something in life.

When I ask them what they feel is missing, it's all the same kind of stuff.







There's a longer list, but you get the point.

I then ask why they want these things.

Almost every time the answer is the same.

I saw others with these things and want them for myself.

However, when I look at those same individuals that are mentioned, I tend to see something different.

More often the people who claim to have these things don't really have them upon closer look.

There are so many "experts" who I have spoken to who talk about the importance of balance, who don't feel balanced in their own life.

They talk about fulfillment, but never feel fulfilled in their work.

They show off all their fame, money, and travel, but seem to get nowhere in life.

It isn't always very obvious.

But if you pay attention, you'll catch the signs.

They make an off-handed remark about something seemingly small, but emotionally it hits them hard.

There is a look in their eyes when they talk about the same thing over and over again - the look of sad knowing that they don't truly have it.

They talk about wanting more, even when they seem to have it all.

The reality is most people in the world don't truly have what they want, and many claim to have more than they do.

They have a "lot", yet deep down they know they have nothing.

They show a mask to the world and hide their true feelings in shadows underneath.

When they finally implode, everyone seems surprised.

How could they talk about these things, yet not have it themselves?

This is why I always talk about being an "exemplar" of whatever you believe.

Talking is never enough.

However, the challenge we come across is that if we need "mentors", then who should we follow?

Especially when so many people truly have nothing of deep worth to give as a mentor.

Well, there are three ways you could look at it.

The first way is to only follow someone with a proven track record, and only for the specific thing they are great at.

Sometimes this works well enough.

But most people's lives are deeply interconnected - how they conduct themselves in one area of life is how they conduct themselves in every area of life.

So if they seem to have a good business, but a horrible marriage, there's a high likelihood that their business is actually horrible too.

You just have only seen one aspect of it.

The second way is to analyze as many aspects of a person's life before you take them on as a mentor.

If they are truly an exemplar, they won't be afraid to share the truth of their life with you.

Whether it is good, bad, or ugly - true exemplars know who they are and are not afraid of it.

On the other hand, it may be difficult to tease through reality if the other person has a tendency to lie about their life.

The only way to see through the webs of deceit is to have a deep understanding of psychophysiology which is not something everyone has.

The third option is to not have a mentor.

The truth is you don't "need" a mentor to succeed.

Sure, you may have to gain experience the hard way, but it also guarantees that you aren't blindly following the blind.

I'm not here to tell you which way is best for you, only to show the reality of what there is.

Most "mentors" aren't worth their weight in anything.

Most "mentors" are completely overrated.

There are few people truly worth devoting a lot of time to "following".

Mentors can be good to have in certain situations but often aren't nearly as important as many people make them out to be.

At the end of the day, there is you, and no mentor can change your life as much as you can change your own life.

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About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the 4X Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Speaker, Writer & Podcast Host | For More of Cody Dakota's Work Go To: https://www.TheLeadership.Guide

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