Why do we find it so hard to take our own advice? I’m so good at dishing it out to others, but not so good at taking it.
Something I’m trying to learn at the moment is based on a podcast I listened to a few weeks ago (did I tell you I’m a recent convert to podcasts?? Yes, I know I’m behind the times but I am literally loving them right now...)
So this podcast (Melissa Griffin interviewing Danielle LaPorte) spoke about being your own guru. And I’ve since been hearing a similar message in so many different places (don’t you just love serendipity?) so I’ve been looking into this a little bit more.
It’s good to take advice from others. It’s essential to talk through things with your friends, or hire a mentor if you need one. There are experts who deal in things that you may struggle with, so it’s hugely beneficial to learn from them. But above all, it’s so important to listen to yourself. What is your gut telling you?
Everyone you know may be telling you to do that show that will be great for you – but what if you have an underlying instinct that you don’t think it will be? Or the work involved will take you away from something that is more important right now for you. Then listen to what your body is telling you – you don’t have to do things even if everyone else tells you you should.
Or how about an opportunity that you’re really curious about but a few people have said it sounds too good to be true. Is it? Or do you have a hunch that it could work out really well for you? Try it.
A few years back when we were looking to buy a house, one came on the market that was within our budget in the area that we wanted to be. I remember speaking to a few people and they said it needed loads of work doing to it and it wasn’t worth what they were asking for. So I didn’t even go and look at it. I still regret that decision. Why on earth did I listen to a couple of people instead of following my instinct? Even if I had come to that conclusion myself at least I would have known I’d given it a go. At least I’ve got evidence to show that the decision made was the right one.
You are allowed to go against the grain. You are allowed to ignore other people’s advice if you know deep down it is the right decision. It’s not always good to follow the path of everyone else – even if they are hugely successful. It may not work that way for you.
You are an expert in what you do. You understand your craft, and you know what is involved in your work. You know so much more than anyone else what you need to do. But what you don’t always do, is listen.
By starting to take your own advice over others, you will learn more about what works for you. You can also then take full responsibility of the failure or the success of that decision. By always relying on others to control your decision making means that your life ultimately, is not your own. You are not in charge, and you will find it harder and harder to make decisions on your own.
It’s easy to ask someone else what you should do, and then do that. Especially when you have low confidence and self esteem (as so many of us do) – you believe that you can’t make the right decision and other people know more than you do. Or are better equipped to tell you what you should be doing. But by listening to someone else and acting on their advice, also means that you can blame them if it goes wrong. You don’t need to take responsibility as you weren’t the one who ultimately made the decision.
But where would this lead? It will mean that the less advice you give yourself, the more reliant on others you will be. By all means, ask for support and discuss your ideas with people that you trust and rely on, but a good friend or mentor will help you see whether your own ideas will be the best decision for you. And more than anything they will be alongside you as you work that out, for yourself.
So let’s go back to learning how to take your own advice. What does your heart, or your gut, tell you? Are you unhappy about a certain element in your business? Are you wishing you could pursue something that has been on the back burner for a while? Are there ways you could experiment that you’ve been putting off?
Listen to that voice, or that niggle, or that instinct, and think about whether that is a good route to go down. How will it help you, or in reverse, how will not doing it negatively impact your business or your confidence?
When I tell you that you know what you are doing – I am right. Whether you believe me or not, I am right.
You do. You are in control of your own choices.
You are an expert.
You are your guru.
You, and only you, are the right one to decide where you are going.
Now, how do I learn to take my own advice…?!
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4 New Buildings,
01884 266045 / 07969 044006