All The Good Advice I Never Took and Why
“Don’t base your decisions on the advice of those who don’t have to deal with the results”
We are living in a world where we are constantly bombarded by people’s bad opinions, suggestions, advice and ideas.
Wouldn’t you agree?
“Do this! Don’t do that! Eat this! NOT that! Say you’re sorry! Tell ‘em to fuck off! Travel the world! Buy a house! This really worked for me, you should try it!”
No wonder so many of us have such a hard time silencing the outer world and listening to our inner world – the chatter never stops. The input is overwhelming and we take way too much of people’s opinions to heart – even stranger’s.
Where do you draw the line? How do you sift through the bullshit and allow your heart to guide you?
It’s simple: question what you hear. Rather than getting all judgy about advice/suggestions/information, get curious.
Here are some examples of advice I’ve questioned, and kindly declined:
DO SOMETHING EACH DAY THAT SCARES YOU.
Ok I’m (not) sorry, but are you fucking out of your mind?! Who am I?! Evel Knievel?!
Listen, I am all for getting outside of your comfort zone and doing things that scare you, but every day?! Yeah, no thanks.
AFTER YOU READ A BOOK, APPLY WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED BEFORE MOVING ON.
Yeah, no. I like to read, and I trust that with a little bit of effort and mindfulness the information will apply itself on it’s own. Plus, I LOVE to read, so why deny myself that?
SETTLE DOWN, GET MARRIED, HAVE KIDS, BUY A HOUSE….
Sure, this sounds all sunshine and rainbows, but ‘traditional’ isn’t for everyone.
I don’t mean to sound all Debby-Downer, but we only have a snippet of time here on Planet Earth and it’s essential that we live it in a way that makes US happy, not everyone else.
Don’t let the external pressures of our society, or societal norms (which who made that up?!) guide you, let your heart do that. So if traditional is your thing, rock it! And if it’s not, do your thang!
ANYTIME ANYONE TOLD ME I “SHOULD” DO ANYTHING.
Ugh, that word makes me want to barf. It’s riddled in shame, guilt, pressure and makes me feel like I just ain’t good enough. ‘Shoulding’ something is like saying, “Yeah sure! I’ll carry around that thousand pounds of guilt and shame! Why not?!”
Here are some examples:
“You should really think about buying a house” – shame.
“You should call your aunt Susan” – guilt.
“You should go on a diet” – shame, not good enough and guilt.
“I should have said that differently” – guilt, regret, shame.
“I should have gone to medical school” – regret and shame.
“I should have said I was sorry” – guilt and shame.
The trick here – turn the ‘should’ into a ‘could.’ It feels so much lighter! Try it!
“I could really think about buying a house” – when I am ready.
“I could call my Aunt Susan” – probably much more apt to do it now, by the way.
“I could go on a diet” – but I am good enough as I am and so much smarter than that!
“I could have said that differently” – now I know better for next time.
“I could have gone to medical school” – but I didn’t and still could if I really wanted to.
“I could have said I was sorry” – and maybe I still will.
Guilt, shame and regret tend to paralyze us and keep us stuck. They make us feel horrible about ourselves, and yes, if we mess up as humans often do, please, make it right. But don’t OVER-USE guilt as an emotion.
This word used to be my go-to. It was how I lived my life, day in and day out. I hustled my ass off, I made sure I checked every single thing off my list, I rushed from place to place, made the phone calls, ran myself ragged, was exhausted and really fulfilled that “American Dream” of all work and no play. No ‘T’ was left uncrossed, no ‘I’ un-dotted.
I do believe that there are some benefits to hustle, achievement and accomplishment. I also believe there are times for flow and letting go and not trying to control every little thing.Unfortunately for me, my ‘hustle’ and productivity equaled my worth. Fortunately, I know better now I don’t have to accomplish shit to prove my worthiness. I just am worthy, and so are you.
Great advice I have taken and continue to use:
Be vulnerable (Brene Brown)
Be the real you so The Universe can find you (Danielle LaPorte)
Be humble and kind (Tim McGraw)
Cowabunga, dude!!! aka, live the fuck out of your life (Bart Simpson)
Live a life that has meaning and purpose (Stephen Cope)
Play with the world (Shannon Kaiser)
Don’t let a piece of paper (money) decide your life (my darling, Kyle Gordon)
Be who you are, not who people expect you to be (Jen Pastiloff)
Show gratitude each day (Oprah)
Support and love your family unconditionally (my dad)
Measure your success by how much fun you’re having (Gabby Bernstein)
Really, what’s most important here folks, is that you listen to your own inner truth and guidance. Ultimately, only you know what will be best for you. Please don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
One piece of advice, and please, take it or leave it – know whose opinion and advice really matters to you. Seriously. Pick 4 people who you truly care about and leave it at that, everyone else can fuck off, right? Your dad or your spouse’s opinion, probably want to care about that one; Joe Schmo down the street, probably not.
Now I want to hear from you! What’s the best (or worst!) advice you’ve ever received? Let me know in the comments below.