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Betty-Ann's Both Sides Blog

May 26, 2012

Mentors Precipitate Catalytic Moments

  1. Mentorship
  2. Catalytic Moments
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Research shows that women with mentors more fully live their potential. This vital relationship encourages them to break free of gender expectations to utilize their G-Force, thereby optimizing both Masculine and Feminine Energy. In short, mentors help women put the principles of Gender Physics to work for them.

Spread Your Wings and Fly 

Being born a woman means that you are naturally gifted with a certain amount of Feminine Energy. If cultivated, its attributes can assist when you need to establish a relationship, facilitate a discussion or help divergent opinions reach a consensus.

However, it can also be limiting if you are afraid to step outside your gender comfort zone and seize opportunities. Without accessing your Masculine Energy you can be afraid to differentiate yourself, set a boundary or stand in your own unique power. Being overly attached to one energy means you’ll be polarized and use only half the energy available to you.

All of us have a Gender Pull which acts just like the physics theory of gravitational pull. The latter is designed to keep us in place on the planet and the former is designed to keep us in place in our gender. Both have a purpose, which works well for us until we want to spread our wings and fly.

By overcoming Gender Pull you’ll develop Masculine Energy to differentiate yourself while still maintaining your ability to use Feminine Energy to form good relationships. The ability to use both Masculine and Feminine Energy and flow smoothly back and forth between them is good Gender Physics.

Take The Journey

With the help of a mentor, you can embrace your opposite Energy and turn Gender Pull into Catalytic Moments. That’s when you defy gravity. Just like heroes in ancient mythology, it all comes from taking the journey and a mentor is an important part of that process.

First, a mentor can help raise awareness so you recognize when you are opting for the easy way out and falling back into your gender comfort zone. When you want to move forward, but succumb to being drawn back, it can result in you feeling frustrated, despondent and vulnerable. Remember the old saying, “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing?”

Acting on awareness to cross the threshold and answer the call is a Catalytic Moment. Without the aid of a mentor, a woman is often reluctant to take that risk. A mentor will offer advice and the benefit of their personal experience, which encourages you to move forward.
But a mentor never finishes the journey with you. Ultimately, the journey is yours alone. The autonomous act of doing it yourself is a “Catalytic Moment” that builds resilience, taking you firmly and naturally into Masculine Energy territory. Once you have completed the journey, you’ll find that you are ready to use your good Gender Physics to mentor others. 

A mentor can also be the impetus for you to break out of negative thinking and start a new pattern. Women, especially, need to take advantage of such “Catalytic Moments” as we are more prone to derail ourselves with self-doubt.

Ditch the Labels

There is a reason for this explains neurologist, Louann Brizendine, author of “The Female Brain.” She says a part of the brain is assigned the task of negative thinking and its larger and more influential in women. (We are more attuned to listen for problems with infants and this carries over to our interactions with others as well.)

None of us live in isolation so what others say about us (either verbally or with their body language), affects our thinking. In fact, our brains love to categorize and label so when we hear someone say that we are clumsy (or tone deaf, or poor at math), it sticks. We grow accustomed to the label and recreate it.

What is really interesting is that the positive stuff slips off like it’s on teflon while we look to others to verify the negative beliefs that we have formed. In fact, research from Dr. Thomas Joiner, a psychology professor from Florida State University, shows that the desire for self-verification is so strong that it overrides how much those negative opinions hurt.

Pretty Woman

Aimee Lee Ball wrote a compelling article about this in “The Oprah Magazine.” In it she cited the example of the hooker, played by Julia Roberts in the movie “Pretty Woman.” When her rich client, played by Richard Gere, asked why she did this work, she said,”she didn’t think much of herself.”

He went on to list her attributes but she responded that “the bad stuff is easier to believe.” Staying with the comfort of those negative thoughts about herself kept Julia Roberts downrodden but, in my opinion, Richard Gere helped her break free by acting as her mentor.

He assisted her by introducing her to opera, listening to her opinions, taking her to sporting events, and buying her new clothes. Through him her awareness of her abilities and what she could be changed. It was a Catalytic Moment when she decided that she did indeed had the ability to go back to school! 

Just like Julia Roberts in the movie, each of us can overcome the weight of negative thinking that pulls us back into old patterns. And these Catalytic Moments are more easily reached with the help of a mentor. 

Cross the Threshold - See New Light

Many successful women have embraced a “Catalytic Moment” to step over into Masculine Energy with positive results. Hillary Clinton listened to a small girl who whispered in her ear “Dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton,” when she was giving a speech at a school.  It was that reverse mentorship that convinced her to take a risk and run for the senate in 2000. 

Mother Teresa was only 36 when she answered a call from her mentor St. Francis of Assisi to start her Missionaries of Charity to serve the world’s poor. That “Catalytic Moment” took her on a journey that grew from 13 nuns to a staff of 4,000 who would run dozens of orphanages, AIDS hospices, and charity centers worldwide. She certainly used both her Masculine and Feminine Energy to meet the daily challenges of her work.

Mentors help us cross the threshold to see things in a new light. It works for movie stars, politicians and saints and it can work for you too!