Can you relate to this? Sometimes even if advice is offered in a kind and supportive tone, I notice that I immediately don’t want to take the advice simply because I don’t want to give the person who offered it to me a chance to be right. At these times, I definitely don’t want to admit that they know more about a subject than I do.
And my desire not to take another’s advice is much, much stronger if the advice is given to me in a stressed or angry tone.
I notice that these reactions have little to do with the actual value of the advice I am being offered or the impact that it could have on my life if I implemented it.
When did this resistance to taking advice set in? When we were kids in grade school, we took a great deal of advice as we learned to read and write. There were countless decisions on how to pronounce and spell words that needed to be made. And we needed our teachers’ expert counsel to make them. Think how our lives would be if we hadn’t taken any of this advice?
Our immediate reactions of not wanting to take advice are helpful in that they remind us that we are free not to take another’s advice.
If we ultimately have complete freedom not to take another’s advice, wouldn’t it also be useful to give ourselves complete freedom to choose to take advice, if it is useful to us, no matter who offers it or what tone it is offered in?
It occurs to me that we can create a way of separating advice from the person who offers it and then at our leisure deciding whether or not we want to implement the advice into our lives.
So I’m going to give some advice on creating freedom around deciding whether or not to take advice. (Please remember that I’m typing this advice in a very kind and supportive manner:)
When someone gives you advice and you immediately feel yourself resisting it because of the tone or the manner of the person giving it, simply remember the advice and write it down as soon as possible. After doing this, just leave the piece of paper somewhere where you can find it and let your feelings about the person’s tone or manner totally dissipate.
Once your feelings about how the advice was given to you have dissipated, go back to the piece of paper and consider just the words on that piece of paper, as if you are reading it out of a book written by an author who you have never personally met. After reading the advice from this perspective, consider whether or not the advice is useful to you and something that you want to incorporate into your life.
Game of the Day
What will you do to create freedom for yourself the next time you are offered advice?
Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska. He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset. For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.