One of the best pieces of advice that I’ve heard many times over the years is that if you want to excel at something, you need to find someone who’s already succeeding at it, connect with them, and try to learn from them. In other words, you need to find a mentor—someone who can help you see what in your practice or technique you might not know, notice, or even think to look out for, in order to help you improve.
Sometimes therapists can be reluctant to give (or receive) feedback because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings (or get their own hurt). But if you look at it in perspective, you’ll see there’s nobody better-qualified to give you honest, actionable feedback, tips, and new techniques than someone who is already busy with a thriving practice.
How do you find a mentor when you are a massage therapist? Well, contact the most successful massage therapist that you already know and offer to give them massage in exchange for feedback. If you don’t happen to know someone like that already, then you could shop around at local spas or massage clinics until you find someone fabulous. You could also comb through online reviews on sites like Yelp, as well as your local newspapers’ annual “best of” lists to see who has built a strong following.
Once you get together with your mentor, put away your ego, mercilessly invite their honest feedback, and really open yourself up to it. Don’t worry; we all have blind spots. Asking to see yourself through their eyes only helps you to see more. Plus, when you go ahead and put yourself on the line to receive that feedback from a true pro, it gives you the chance to elevate your own practice and take it to the next level.