"If you do not learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them."

Yes, you learn from your mistakes, but if that is the only way you learn, you are in for a long, slow process. Learn from your mistakes, and in addition seek the help of a mentor, guide, teacher, or coach. Always ask for help. Make it a principle. Regardless of what you do or aspire to do, there is bound to be someone who can help you move forward more effectively than you can even imagine ? because you are not there yet!

Learn from your mistakes certainly, and in addition learn from those who have travelled the road ahead of you.

It is rash to imagine that you can attain your best without wise counsel, support, and mentorship. If you feel that you have gifts to offer the world why would you deliberately hold yourself back from doing all you can from maximizing your ability to share them? Professional athletes have coaches, great spiritual teachers have mentors, and organizations have consultants.

Even the Dalai Lama still has teachers to instruct him. The best athletes may have an entire squad of coaches and trainers. Leaders with the greatest responsibility and reach seek guidance from those whose perspectives they trust.

Why would you imagine that you deserve less, or could achieve your best with less? The more creative and competent you are, the more this is true.

I have always looked for teachers that could guide me and help me move forward. I now invest a great deal to find teachers who will do more than that; who will move me forward, hold me accountable, and kick my butt (and my 'buts'). Sometimes it feels scary. I have learned that when it does I am probably on the verge of a new and exciting opening; personally or professionally.


Working as a spiritual teacher and Clinical Hypnotherapist for many years, (before I started working more directly with entrepreneurs) the vast majority of people who came to see me were looking, among many other things, for approval.

Whatever else we may aspire to; many of us have wounds that turn approval and validation into a critical need. Being largely unconscious of that need, we play it out in different ways.

It is, of course, wonderful to like and be liked by someone. Mutual affection and respect are ideal in a situation of learning and growth. But the first obligation of a coach or mentor is to help you to become accountable to yourself.

Do not look for a co-dependent relationship. Do not expect to tell your story repeatedly, looking for that always elusive validation. It is bad enough when friends tolerate such things, worse for a coach, who does not serve their clients by doing so, and should know better.


Life may not be easy. In fact, the better you get at something the harder things may become. Like graduating from college sports to the professional arena, the sport is the same, but it becomes a lot more of a challenge. However hard and challenging life is, it does not need to be complicated. Look for a someone who has a simple model you can easily learn and replicate. Whether you are transforming your life, or transforming your business, keep it simple!

Do you know the acronym K.I.S.S.? Keep it simple sweetheart! There is no value in complexity for its own sake. Certainly, there is plenty of complexity in the world, but there is no intrinsic value in applying complexity to the way you understand and live your life; or to the strategies you adopt on your journey towards congruence, balance, and success.

Look for a coach or mentor who keeps it simple. They may challenge you at times with apparently impossible problems; but make sure it moving you towards greater understanding of the bigger picture, greater simplicity. You do not need to share your mentor's values, though you will probably share some of them. Make sure that one of those values is directed towards clarity and simplicity, and make sure you model it - in your own way of course.

In short, when you invest in a mentor, or invest in a coach, make sure you not projecting your 'stuff' on them, and do not look for complex solutions to problems you have made complex when they were in fact very simple. The greatest successes, and the greatest examples of leadership, have based their achievement on disarmingly simple strategies and principles; from Gandhi to Henry Ford.

I coach and mentor people on their journey of transformation towards excellence and success. I also train coaches. I have a twelve day training, http://www.nlpAlchemy.com, as well as longer internships, and I find that the principle of simplicity is the hardest to absorb, and the most valuable when you do.

Have you ever felt that you had more to offer the world than you were currently expressing and manifesting? Get your free e-book and subscription to the Manzanita Minute at http://www.manzanitavillage.org.

Author's Bio: 

Caitriona Reed is a seminar leader, group facilitator, and agent for phenomenal personal change.