Is Advice Good for Your Health
My life has been full of advice, some welcome and some not. Most of it is easy to sort into good advice, and WOW, that’s bad! For example, if someone advises me on a better way to peel an avocado or how to make my latest poem have more depth, that’s good advice. I might even take it. Bad advice, on the other hand, is when somebody makes a suggestion to me about my life and my choices that I do not agree with. I may respect the person, their opinion, or not, but their view clashes with my own. This advice is usually easy to ignore, but sometimes it gets tricky.
Last year I decided on a career change. You lovelies all know that I am giving my writing a chance on many different forums, but I also signed up for the Open University. I chose a path, and many of my friends and family thought it was a good idea. But someone very close to me said they thought it was risky and “dumb.” They couldn’t understand how I would make a career of it and suggested that I find something else.
I already tried that option once. I was unhappy and unfulfilled, having given up my dream job to be in a classroom. Big mistake, bad advice from loved ones. They weren’t thinking about ME and what was best for me.
Now I need to be honest. I can’t stop thinking about it. I am almost done with my training, but keep putting off the last course and the exam. Some of my friends, including one with this career path, have been supportive and encouraging. But the one person who I need to believe in me just cannot see how I will make it in my new profession. Why does it matter to me so much? They don’t know everything. So, I sat back and reflected on what this person was saying to me. I admit that I’m scared, and maybe it isn’t the best option, but it is a viable one, if risky. Honestly, all my career choices are risky and certainly not Fortune 500 material.
Like many of you, I often find myself asking for advice when I already know the answer. It is because I don’t like it. I feel resistant to the advice that is telling me what I already know but don’t want to accept. So now that I’ve bled a little for you peeps let me get to the purpose of today’s post. What should you do when you must deal with that tricky category of advice? The one where you cannot decide if it’s good or bad. Here are my tips.
- Listen to your gut. Gut instinct is there for a reason. Does your gut feel uncomfortable with the advice? Why? Is it wrong or has someone brought the hammer down on the nail head? Are you feeling annoyed? Are you defensive and snippy? I feel that if something makes you all riled up, then there is something there for you to learn.
- Get a second opinion. And a third, fourth and fifth. Go to a mixture of people you trust, who care about you, and have experience in your situation. Encourage them to be brutally honest with you. If lots of people are giving you the same advice, it doesn’t mean it’s right, but you might want to pay attention.
- Give yourself some time to let the advice sink in. Get some distance. If you are feeling annoyed, you won’t be able to think objectively. Take a look at how the advice looks tomorrow.
- Consider who is giving you the advice. Do these people have your best interests at heart? Are they biased? Do they understand you and your current situation? Have they given you good advice before? If they don’t share your values, then their advice might not be the one you’re looking for right now.
- Reflect on the advice you’ve gotten. Let your mind wander to different scenarios. Think about your end goal and what obstacles you are looking to avoid. Be curious if you get defensive with yourself and explore that feeling.
- Listen to your gut. Again. It’s time to trust yourself. I know this is the hardest part, especially when those closest to you are pushing you in another direction. But you won’t be happy unless you follow your dream, your gut. Remember, you have more information about what is right for yourself than anyone else does.
As a final note my friends, I want to add that even if I don’t know for sure that it’s the right thing for me to do, sometimes it’s more important to try it out and learn from my mistakes. Advice from others can save a lot of time and energy. Just be sure you follow your heart.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕