3 Ways to build your confidence as a youth mentor
Do you feel like you’re standing at the precipice of a new venture, passionate about mentoring youth and sharing their journey, yet feeling those butterflies of nervous excitement? What a place to be! You perhaps already have a strong vision of creating a heart-centered youth mentor business, but are feeling a little nervous about actually starting.
Perhaps you’ve already done some training, like our Youth Mentor Training certification where you’ve learned how to be a great mentor AND developed your own program and business plan with us. Or perhaps you have some experience already working with young people and a pretty good idea of how you’d like to do it your way. But actually launching your own thing, even if you’ve got your ducks in a row (programs created, business plan done, marketing and launch content clear) has got you wanting to run for the hills and hide away!
Firstly, let me assure you that this is TOTALLY NORMAL. Quite often we can be waiting to feel confident before we start. But courage comes before confidence, as the saying goes. You can’t wish for confidence if you haven’t had a chance yet to practice and take that courageous first step. So sometimes there’s a step that needs to happen between you knowing what you want to do and taking the big leap.
A combination of courage-building and play so that you can take the pressure off for a moment and get to see the impact you can have as a youth mentor without the pressure of it being your own thing.
So, I’m here to help you take that first step with confidence. Woo!
Here are three ways you can start to build your confidence as a youth mentor, practice and move yourself closer to feeling ready to launch your own youth mentor business.
1. Join Established long-term Mentorship Programs
This is a great way to practice connecting with young people, with support around you. Many countries have some kind of mentoring programs in place where they are always looking for volunteer mentors, ready to be paired with a mentee. The beauty of these programs is that they provide you with a structured, supportive environment and a great place to ease yourself into it. You’re not alone; you’re part of a community with shared goals.
As you participate, you’ll find your feet, discover your unique mentorship style, and observe how other mentors work with young people. This firsthand experience will be your foundation. Trust me; it’s a powerful way to boost your confidence.
When any of our youth mentors have participated in a program like this, they usually say something like, “Oh it was just so good to be reminded that all I need to do is show up and listen – I don’t have to know everything!” Lots of our youth mentors love to start volunteering with an established program in their community while they are completing their studies with us or while they continue to implement everything and grow their business.
2. Volunteer CASUALLY with Youth-Oriented Nonprofits
Established mentorship programs like I mentioned above can take a lot of commitment. Often a twelve month commitment where you’ll show up weekly for a young person for an entire school year. Another way to build your mentoring confidence, but without the huge long-term commitment, is to volunteer with a local youth-oriented organisation in an ad-hoc way or for a specific event, like a youth camp they are running.
It’s another incredible way to connect with young people, even before you officially start your business. You’ll be right in the heart of youth mentorship, contributing your skills and passion and getting to see behind-the-scenes of how other businesses do it.
You’ll experience their challenges, hopes, and dreams, which will not only make you a more empathetic mentor but also help you build the self-assuredness you need to go further.
3. Co-Mentor with Experienced Mentors
Lastly, consider co-mentoring or partnering with mentors who’ve been on this journey longer. I’ve seen this collaborative approach work wonders, especially with our youth mentors. More experienced mentors can guide you, share their wisdom, and help you grow your mentorship skills but even collaborating with mentors who are at a similar level of experience as you can be a wonderful way to take the leap together! It feels less lonely, you can work through problems together and you can share the workload and space holding. If you’re thinking about collaborating with someone, take the time to get really clear on your expectations of each other, how you can bring your own individual strengths together and complement one another and make sure you have everything in writing. There’s nothing worse than collaborating with someone and realising later that they are just not as committed as you are or you are not on the same page about important things.
For some people, collaborating in this way grows into a beautiful business partnership where they can’t imagine doing it on their own. For others, it’s a wonderfully beneficial experience for one-off events where you get to tap into each other’s strengths, passions and even communities.
One things for sure, working with someone else can help you to take the courageous steps you might still be feeling unsure about taking on your own.
However you decide to get started with your mentoring journey, know that we need you. You and your unique set of experiences, passions and ways of showing up and holding space. There are young people just waiting to get a chance to chat with you, add to their own tool kit and grow in their confidence. So whatever you need to do to take the pressure off, play and get started – get to it!
This world of youth mentoring, coaching and facilitation of youth programs is beautifully supportive and oh-so-FUN! You’ll find potential mentees, mentors, and allies who can support you when it’s time to venture into your own heart-centred youth mentor business just by reaching out to already established businesses and organisations.
So, my fellow mentor, remember that this journey is a learning process. It’s okay to have doubts and a few jitters. In fact, they’re an essential part of your growth. I’ve been there too. But with every step you take, you’ll inch closer to the mentor you aspire to be and closer to building that heart-centered youth mentor business you’ve dreamed of.
~ Keep your heart open, stay true to your purpose, and believe in the positive impact you’re going to make in the lives of the young people you’ll mentor. Your passion and commitment will shine through and inspire your mentees.
~Take a deep breath, my friend, and step into this amazing world of youth mentorship with confidence. You’re ready for it.
~ Your journey has just begun, and it’s going to be an incredible one. Embrace it, learn from it, and, most importantly, share your heart, because that’s what will make your youth mentor business truly exceptional.
I’m here to support you every step of the way.
With warmth and encouragement,
P.S. the 3 pictures featured on this page are from different events we’ve run with others or participated in – we love volunteering at some of our youth mentors’ events too! No better way to mix things up, get in front of a different group of teens and learn something new.
If you’d also like to become a youth mentor and be part of our Shine From Within community, as well as start your own youth mentor business in your part of the world, here are a few free things to get you started!
- You can take the free quiz, ‘Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Youth Mentor?’ and discover your youth mentor archetype here.
- You can listen to our podcast, The Youth Mentor Podcast here.
- You can watch the free masterclass, ‘Mentoring Youth: From Ideas to Action’ here.
- And you can check out our annual virtual Youth Mentor Conference here.
And when you’re ready to go further and get the support you need to build or grow your youth-related business, come and join us in the Youth Mentor Training!
We also offer business coaching and consulting for more established businesses or folks who need a more personalised approach. Book in a complimentary 15min call with me here or reach out via email at email@example.com