guides

How to Find Guides on Your Journey (+ 4 Reasons You Need Them)

The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.
— Joseph Campbell
How to Find Guides on Your Journey - Ezer + Co.

We look for a guide when we’ve been awakened to our status quo. When we can no longer tolerate our current reality, we search for a guide. When we are ready to go to the next level, we look for who can help. We never live into our full potential and experience wholeness without a collection of guides. No one is self-made, including you and me.

The transformation journey is a beautiful mess.

You were designed for transformation because it’s about becoming more you. It begins internally but shows up externally. But transformation is optional; you have to choose it. Life presents opportunities every day to become more whole.

Most of my guides haven’t been formal or official. We haven’t had weekly meetings or much structure. Some I have paid a lot of money, others I have paid for their meal, but I have been mindful to add value somehow in each relationship. 

  • Mindy accidentally became my spiritual director because I kept inviting her out for lunch and asking her pressing questions about soul care and God’s presence in my life. That was over 15 years ago, but we are still connected. Our family hasn’t made a major life decision without her. 

  • Dr. Henslin mentored me as my therapist and I paid him for it. I’ve been in and out of his office when I’m stuck since 2007.

  • Hendre has coached me at different points of transition so I could build a bridge toward the future I want to create. 

  • My favorite two Nancys are on speed dial when I need their voices of leadership. 

  • Middle school students have mentored me in curiosity, wonder, and honoring doubt.

  • My Girl Gang are friends who have been my entrepreneurial buddies and cheerleaders as I navigate starting this company of warriors.

Each of them have been critical in my journey toward fullness and wholeness.

4 REASONS YOU NEED GUIDES.

+     Guides call you forward. Unless you want to stay stuck, stagnant, and stale, you need outside voices to move you toward where you want to be.

+     Guides push you into who you really are, even when you don’t want it or aren’t living fully into your truth. External voices guide you toward transformation even when you don’t willingly choose it.

+     Comfort is in opposition to your transformation. Character is more important than your comfort if you want to be transformed. Inviting guides to call you out is an act of bravery. 

+     You don’t know what you don’t know. Ask guides to point out your blind spots. When you’re doing what you need to do but it’s not working like it used to, a guide will unveil new levels of growth. 

 

4 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE YOUR GUIDES.

+     What do I need? Transformation requires that you know your needs, so you know who to ask for help.

+     Do I want to be like them when I grow up? You become who you surround yourself with. Choose wisely.

+     Do they have something that I want more of in my life? They can guide you toward your preferred future even if they aren’t the expert in that area.

+     Will they tell me the truth no matter what? Invite them to speak what they’re seeing that you need to be more aware of.

The fun part is that guides can be older, younger, and peers. Throw out old models of mentors. 

Final word of encouragement: Collect guides before you really need them. When you are in a dark or hard place, it’s much more difficult to reach out for help. Of course, there will be seasons when you reach out to a new therapist, spiritual director, or coach when life has kicked the crap out of you. But it’s far easier to say “YES” to transformation when you already have trusted voices. 

As you consider the guides to walk with you, may you say “YES” to this invitation to transformation:

When you are breathing your last breath, what do you want to be true of who you are and what you’ve done with your life? 

Commit yourself, Warrior, to the journey of transformation, no matter how difficult and ugly it may be.

And may know that you are enough. We need all of you in this world. So no hiding, no holding back, no half-ass version, no partial participation. We need all of you. And that’s enough.


I talked all about finding guides and mentors on my friend, Tash McGill’s fabulous podcast, The Transformationist. Each of her guests tell stories of transformation that can help shape you’re own. You can hear the full episode with these thoughts and more on The Transformationist podcastBONUS: Tash is my favorite Kiwi so her New Zealand accent makes listening to the conversation even more fun.

3 Guides Every Leader Needs

Guides - Ezer + Co.

No woman is self-made.

You can’t fulfill your potential and calling without guides to move you forward.

You need others to help you move forward in life, but how do you know who the right person is to invest into your life? One of my favorite Proverbs is “plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.” Collecting and engaging reliable voices in your life will be a huge predictor of your life’s wholeness.

As a certified coach, I’m often asked about how coaching is different from other types of mentors or “guides”. Because of the popularization of coaching in the last decade, there’s a lot of confusion about what makes coaching different and what makes a coach qualified.

I am also a firm believer that if you’re a leader, committed to wholeness, you need each of these 3 guides to help you work through your past, pay attention to your present, and move forward to design the future.

Here are the over-simplified, not comprehensive distinctions between the 3 approaches:

THERAPIST: past focus

A therapist is a healing science, focused on the past. A great therapist knows how to help you heal from family of origin wounds, trauma, process past hurts, and know yourself better in light of your past experiences. I’m a huge fan of therapy. I’ve personally had about a half dozen periods of time in my life where I’ve utilized a trained therapist for my specific issues. Every member of my family has been to counseling (even my 7 year old!). The healthiest of leaders I know are people who’ve spent significant time in a counselor’s office. I consider this healing discipline a requirement for healthy, whole-hearted life and leadership.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR: present focus

Spiritual Direction is a mystical practice, focused on the present moment. A spiritual director is someone who helps you hear the voice of God in your life right now. A fantastic spiritual director has discernment and often prophetic gifts that can help you tap into the mystical nature of God. Direction offers you the opportunity to open yourself up to a deepening relationship with the Divine. I’ve had the same spiritual director for over 15 years. Brian and I haven’t made a major life decision without asking her to help us hear from God well. I’ve utilized another spiritual director this last year as I needed to know where the Spirit was in the midst of some confusion and pain. Spiritual Direction is a beautiful and powerful practice. “Be here now” is a great mantra for a spiritual director.

COACH: future focus

A coach is a behavioral science, focused on the future. Coaching applies the art and science of transformation for how a person wants to move forward in their life. A trained coach is intuitive enough to know people are complex, thus coaching is an artful process. However, they are also skilled in how people change on a neurological and behavioral level. Coaching is rooted in behavioral science. It’s mandate-based, action-oriented, and results-focused. A coach’s job is to see how people relate to the future and to use that as leverage for the present.

TRAINING MATTERS

It’s ideal when we have access to all three modalities of transformation. When I’m coaching someone I will often recommend using a therapist or spiritual director in partnership with coaching. Since they each focus on different aspects of transformation, each of them offer a unique perspective and approach. There are different periods of life when each modality is necessary and needs to be a priority.

However, just as you would never go to a therapist who’s not trained and certified, I strongly encourage you to work with a trained and certified spiritual director and coach. I’m not a certified therapist or spiritual director, so I don’t offer this kind of transformational work. I am a certified coach and, because coaching has changed my life, I love providing this space for others. It’s so empowering when we’re able to achieve our goals and move from here to there.

There are a lot of “coaches” these days. The majority of those who provide coaching offer reactive, advice-giving based solutions. That approach has its benefits, but it’s not coaching. They’ve positioned themselves as the expert with the answers for your life. Since coaching is a developmental science, be sure to get a coach who practices the art and science of results-based coaching. Before you jump into a coaching relationship, ask about their training and ongoing coaching development. Not all coaches are the same.


We offer 3 different types of coaching:

  • Join the next Coaching Group HERE. Don’t delay. Spots are filling up!!

  • Activate 1on1 coaching to design your future.

  • Become a certified coach so you can guide others toward holistic transformation. Learn more and register for October’s training HERE.