Don’t Listen To What They SayBy: Angela Schaefers Apr 19th, 2012
Category: Your Story Matters
Have you ever thought about all the advice along the way that others have given you? Things like what you should do or not do, if you do this something bad will happen, or if you try this you will fail? What about when someone tells you their own experience and says ‘don’t try it, I did and it doesn’t work!’.
Or sometimes people tell us all the reasons why we should do something. They say we should; take that new job, get a divorce, leave our partner, marry our partner, move to another country and so on. And don’t forget all the little things; dye your hair red, wear that (ugly) green dress, ask that guy/girl out and more.
I think that most people mean well when they give out advice, especially when they are asked for it. Of course there are many people who are never asked for their opinion but they are really good at sharing it! Sometimes people may not take the time to think through their response when asked their opinion or are really distracted when they are spouting off ‘well meaning advice’.
But seriously, have you ever looked back at old pics, thought about your past relationships or other choices you made and remember that others suggested these things that were not right for you? Do you ask yourself, ‘why did I listen’? Though others may mean well and have the best of intentions towards you, it still is our responsibility to think through our actions. We cannot blame that bad outfit we wore on our first date, with the future love of our life, on someone else forever!
In the moment something may sound great and a good idea, but there are times if we think it through and not rush into it we find a better solution. What works for one person may not work for another and vice versa. What one person thinks looks great may not be what someone else thinks looks great or doesn’t look good on you! If you want to look good, you have to ‘feel’ good in whatever you are wearing. The same goes for other choices, you have to feel good internally about it.
I have learned from and surrounded myself with some talented and successful people. They are each unique and bring special gifts to the world. I thought that if I sought advice from them or listened to their suggestions about my personal and/or professional life, I would be successful too.
That’s not exactly what happened. Some things that others thought I should do or not do were not the right thing for me. I was following others advice, or lead, at times and not realizing that I was unique and special and it wasn’t because I was just like someone else! I discovered that what works for some people will not work for me and yet I could still learn from and get support from the amazing people I know. I just don’t need to listen to everything they say.
Instead I have to seek my own inner wisdom and truth. I have to understand who ‘I’ am, what my unique qualities are and what ‘my’ purpose is. What I know now is that NO two people have the same purpose or gifts to share with the world. I need to value my time and efforts in life by doing things that work for me, that help me to move along and grow personally and professionally. That will not always align with others, even those closest to me.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I VALUE community and connections immensely. I love being with people, conversing, and socializing. I like offering my support or advice and comments when needed and asked. I think the world goes round because we are all humans in need of one another on some level and who can also be greatly enhanced by one another. But now I know that connecting, communicating and supporting one another does not mean we need to always take each others advice or do something simply because others are doing it.
When I thought back to all the choices I made based on others advice vs. my own, I realized I did much better when I followed my heart and my intuition. I also noticed that many times when I did ask for comments and advice, I did not do what someone suggested anyway! Maybe sometimes we all ask for others opinions and suggestions because we want someone to blame for potentially bad outcomes? Or maybe we let fear keep us from trusting our own gut?
Don’t listen to what they say… Unless:
- You are sure whatever it is, is in alignment with who you are
- You can honestly say you will not blame them if it is ‘bad’ advice and doesn’t work out
- You are not listening to them to be a ‘people pleaser’
What things have worked or not worked for you when you listened to others?