Taylor Swift is known for writing songs about her exes, and I’ve decided to follow in her footsteps, kind of—except I can’t sing. Instead, I write stories about the people I meet and share the lessons I learned from them.
As a portrait photographer, over the last couple years I founded Phototherapy® and the #loveYOURSOULfie movement—both based on self-love principles. But because I was a pioneer in photographing the law of attraction, I had no idea how to share my gift with the world.
Related: How a Self-Portrait Changed My Life
I decided to look for a mentor who could help guide my steps into the unknown, because that’s what they’re there for—to be someone who provides guidance and support by sharing knowledge and wisdom, especially when you’re in the developmental stages.
My mentor’s experience ended up being a perfect match with mine. But then something happened. He ditched me when I needed him most—when it was time to execute all the great ideas we had collaborated on.
So I shook it off à la Swift and was inspired to write this blog post to share with you the eight lessons I learned after my mentor breakup.
1. People cannot give you what they don’t have.
If you don’t have it within you, you cannot give it. If you aren’t good at loving and giving to yourself, you won’t be very good at loving or giving to anyone else.
2. Don’t panic.
Everything is “figureoutable,” as Marie Forleo says. I figured out I needed to find another mentor—one who knows how to give.
Trust that the universe knows better than you, and that if this was meant to work out it will. I needed to stay open to receive something better, to allow something new to enter my life. So I let go of my ideas of how things should’ve work out and trusted that a mind greater than mine was just rearranging the pieces of my life for my own good.
4. Be an optimist.
Stay grounded in your happiness, never let situations or people disturb your joy. Things might not go as planned and that’s OK—you and I will survive it. It’s never “the end”; it’s a new beginning. The right people stay, the wrong people leave to make space for bigger and better things.
5. Give power to the solution.
I needed to remind myself to be solution-oriented in my thinking and figure out a new plan of action and persevere.
6. Practice persistence.
Have the courage and conviction of purpose, no matter how hard it seems. I realized this obstacle was worth overcoming in the big-picture vision for my life.
7. Accept change.
It’s important to focus on how this change will be beneficial for you. I trained my brain to think of all the positive outcomes that could come from this and learned to find excitement in the opportunities that this situation would push me toward.
8. Pass the test.
Sometimes I think the universe is testing my commitment to my goals, so I learned to stay focused on my purpose and keep thriving past the obstacles.
Although my mentor and I are “never ever getting back together,” I now realize the gift I was given. I’ve learned so much from this experience that I can only be grateful to my mentor for teaching me these valuable lessons.
Most importantly it was a reminder of my refusal to give up, my acceptance to learn the lessons, to keep developing myself, to keep the right mindset in the face of adversity, to keep moving forward.
And it paid off, because I now have two new mentors who are guiding me through my new journey.
Related: 10 Ways to Find Your Ideal Mentor