Four Words Might Just Change Everything


M_HeatherOkay, we made it to the end. And I have something super simple to ask of you.

Write down four words.

Look, I get it. A whole week on mentoring is a lot to take in, isn’t it? A whole week—amazing stories about mutual support, power being shepherded to build up women around us, expertise and influence shared, relationships nurtured and used for good things.

It would be so easy to sigh, and think, Hmmm, lovely. But where to begin?

It would be even easier to forget. To file “mentoring” away in a mental drawer and shut it. To say later.

No, I want to challenge you to do something right now. I want to challenge you to write down four words.

Have you found a piece of paper and a pen? Okay. Write this:

  1. One area you could mentor someone in. This is your experience.
  2. A name. Who could you mentor?
  3. One area you need mentoring in. This is your hunger.
  4. A second name. This is a person who might mentor you.

Two areas of your life, two names. Write them down, because then you won’t forget.

Then you’re forced to notice them.

I love this definition so much that I’m going to repeat it. Deep Mentoring Authors Randy Reese and Robert Loane described mentoring in this way: “[It] is a slow and deep work, and it is fundamentally a work of paying attention.”

Paying attention.

Paying attention to the people around you. To your own life experience and insight. Paying attention to where you want to go. To the influencers and leaders who might guide you there.

Paying attention to yourself and the precious people around you. Deeply noticing all of those things, and honoring them with your gaze.

And right now, a great way to be attentive is to write down something simple: four words. Notice them, think about them, and ponder what they might mean for you.

Look, let’s not make this harder than it needs to be.

You don’t have to write down the perfect words. You don’t need to be right about who might mentor you. You don’t have to anticipate whether the person you thought of mentoring might be interested. Maybe you’re not sure what area you could mentor in.

That is okay. Write something down anyway.

I give you permission to write down those names, these areas of your life on a whim. It’s okay just try and see. You might write down lists of four words a few times before you see fruit.

I would bet that if you’re really scared (like me) you could even just write down the words and pray over them and then do nothing else. I would bet something surprising would happen anyway. God has been known to carry us past our resources.

You can experiment because a small act of intention is a powerful prayer before God that will echo much louder than you’d expect it to.

Here’s why: when you start noticing your influence and your hunger, you start seeing yourself in a vast, interconnected web.

You plant a seed that will grow despite the puniness of your effort. That grows surprisingly large for such a small speck. That shelters all the birds of the air in its gorgeous branches.

And lest you think you’re alone in feeling scared about this, I am super-nervous about writing these words down too.

Oh, friends, let’s do this together. Let’s not wait any longer to start connecting together in powerful networks of influence. Let’s shepherd and encourage and lift up one another and learn how to do this important work of mentoring together.

Four words. A big deep breath.

Heather Caliri
Heather Caliri is a writer and artist from San Diego who is happily content with being an awkward Christian. Tired of anxiety controlling your life? Try her mini-course, "Five Tiny Ideas for Managing Anxiety," for free here.
Heather Caliri
Heather Caliri