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I am pissed at myself for having, yet again, spent so much money on a super-expensive lesson I refuse to learn.

I keep relying on other people.

More specifically, I keep relying on self-branded mentors.

The last time I hired a one-on-one mentor was last year way before my first eye surgery. I hired him because I wanted help growth-hacking my blog readership.

What did I get out of that?

Nothing. Literally nothing—except another opportunity for life to slap me in the face with the biggest lesson I need to learn.

After the first email acknowledging my payment, this guy—who’s very well-known in the young (and, honestly, unsophisticated #sorrynotsorry) Philippine Internet marketing industry—practically ghosted me.

I sent him an email about the schedule of my upcoming surgeries. He replied that we were going to work around my schedule.

That was followed by several whole months of me not hearing from him.

I didn’t rush anything because, at that time, I was having computer-related headaches after laser on my left eye.

After almost an entire year of not hearing from him, I messaged him on Facebook asking for a refund. He apologized. He said a lot of things were happening in his personal life. He said he knew it was his fault for not messaging me sooner. And he said he still wanted to help me with my blogging goals.

I really want to grow my audience—because I’ve got an important message to share—and I wanted to give him a second chance. He’s got a lot of hype, after all.

Sad to say, our relationship didn’t last.

I just didn’t feel him invested in my success like he claimed he was.

After being ghosted for months after I had already paid in full, I expected more than one short email about goal-setting and a couple more promises yet again undelivered.

So I told him I changed my mind. I told him I prefer the refund. Not just because I couldn’t see our mentor-mentee relationship progressing, but also because I sure as hell am not fit to be a mentee. To him or to anyone.

I did not get a refund.

In fact, I did not get a simple fucking reply acknowledging my email and refusing to offer a refund.

I can live with not getting a refund.

But the lack of reply just goes to show your favorite mentors—the guys you call sir and coach and master—don’t care much about you.  

And a little hint? If your business mentor can’t get his shit together on his personal life, he most likely can’t get his shit together in business as well. He’s just really good at making you think he does.

That’s the lesson I refuse to learn.

I keep pretending I need to learn more from my superiors.

And I keep shying away from just fully owning my knowledge and skills and insightful wisdom that’s way ahead of the time and place I was born in.

Most of my life, I kept being thrust into leadership roles I was always hesitant to take.

I was the quiet, awkward girl whose voice is too small to be heard in groups, but I kept finding myself being pushed toward the spotlight anyway.  

In college, my friends practically bulldozed their way to get me to become president of my student organization, which I never saw coming.

At my first job after graduation, I applied for an entry-level position but received an offer to manage a team. I almost didn’t accept it because—why me? I was a fresh grad with no experience.

While enjoying my chill life at a busy news website, I was promoted to a managing editor position. I quit soon after because I didn’t want to handle the pressure of leading a team.

I realized several months ago that maybe, probably I finally need to become the leader I refuse to be.

I wrote about it a lot for a while. You’d know if you’ve been following me.

But there were also many times I swung back to being just another anonymous follower—albeit one who was constantly dissatisfied at the way most self-proclaimed leaders showed up.

So I started looking for mentors.

I couldn’t find the courage in myself to just step forward and claim myself a leader. I needed other people to claim that place for me. I needed them, again, to push me into a role I am scared to take on but feel like it’s what I need to take on.

And pretty much each and every time, I get disappointed in the results.

In fact, pretty much each and every time I see their marketing, I know in my gut I wasn’t going to get much out of it.

But I’d hire them anyway because I still fall for the hype. And because I was and still am scared of going at it alone, of plugging away at my blog day in and day out with not much in physical results even though that’s what my intuition is telling me.  

And I’m too scared to admit that, deep down, I don’t really need an Internet marketing guru or a life coach to help me.  

I don’t want people to think I think too highly of myself.

“Who does this bitch think she is?”

“She’s so full of herself.”

“She needs to tone it down a bit.”

Plus, there’s all this talk about community building and connecting with your tribe and, well, pretty much groupthink.

I’ve been part of many groups. I’ve learned a lot from them. But the biggest lesson I’m learning is that I wasn’t made for groups. I’m so intensely unique and independent-minded that I can’t stand the way most “tribes” actually work like a cult.

Then again, I can keep getting disappointed by people and grow resentful at life. Because, bless them, I know they’re doing their best.

Or I can just finally admit that I hold very high standards for, well, everyone, most especially for people who call themselves mentors, coaches, and leaders. And if no one can meet them, then I’ll just have to go out there and meet those standards myself.

Not that I plan to be a coach or mentor.

I currently don’t feel it in my heart to build any sort of formal or informal coaching or mentoring business.

I only feel like writing more about the things that matter to me, being more assertive when I’m not happy about things, and claiming my awesomeness more.

And whoever is lucky enough to step into my light receives all the blessings.

Sometimes, you just have to admit you’re more than good enough.

And, sooner or later, you’ll have to step into the role that you came here for.

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