3 Things To Consider When Deciding To Ask For Someone Else's Advice
It’s easy to ask for other people’s advice.
But here’s what I’ve learned: not all advice is good advice.
Not all advice is relevant advice, and just because someone has something to say doesn’t always mean you should follow it. You can listen to what they have to say, but you don’t have to follow their advice.
When I first started Wholehearted Woman, I asked everyone for their advice. Literally everyone. (Let me just say it was not a good idea because I ended up really overwhelmed and lost really fast.)
Until one today, I realized I had to listen to myself and I had to be okay with messing things up. Imperfection, y'all. I had to be okay with things not being okay and be okay with making mistakes, because that was the only way I was going to learn what I needed to learn.
You have to be okay with not knowing all the answers.
And that can be extremely scary. Trust me, I get it.
When I finally made the decision to listen to myself and stop asking other people what they thought Wholehearted Woman "should" be, it was really terrifying because... what if other people didn’t get it? What if other people weren’t okay with me figuring it out as I go along? What if people weren’t okay with my best effort at the newsletters?
What if what I put out there wasn't in alignment and didn't make sense?
What if I got it all wrong?
But I realized that the only way to find out was to ... just do it. Take action. TAKE ACTION. So many of us skip the most important part.
Learn, make mistakes, learn some more, make better mistakes, and show up. I knew I needed to start showing up.
Sometimes, we ask for other people’s advice so we don’t have to hold ourselves accountable.
Do you ever do that? Because I know I’ve done that a few … okay, more than a few times in my life.
I could say that it was someone else’s idea, so I wouldn’t have to take full accountability and ownership of my actions. It can be scary to announce to the world, “This is me, this is who I am and this is what I do.” unapologetically and wholeheartedly. It can be scary to go all in, to trust yourself, to trust that things are going to work out. But you know what? Things are going to work out, and you're doing a really great job.
But there’s something incredible that happens when you do take full ownership of your actions, behaviors, emotions, ...
You stop doing things for other people. And for their approval, which can be extremely exhausting. (I'm sure you know how exhausting it is.)
And you start doing things for yourself. You allow yourself to mess up, to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, to stand back up again, and to show up imperfectly and authentically.
There is so much pressure from other people and ourselves to live a certain way, to be a certain way, to say things a certain way, etc. The truth is that you can’t make everyone happy, and you’re going to make yourself absolutely miserable if you try and do that.
(Related: Don't Forget To Love Yourself)
So when is it a good idea to ask for other people’s advice?
Here are 3 things to consider when deciding whether to ask for someone else’s advice.
1. Decide what it is you need advice on and why.
When do you ask for advice? It makes sense to ask for advice on the bigger life decisions like if you're looking at houses or making a career change, but you also need to make sure the people you're talking to understand your situation and have been through it themselves (and have gotten the kind of results you're looking for) - which we'll cover in the next point.
But if you're asking for simple, day to day things like what to get for lunch every day, maybe it's time you decide what you want to eat. Not what other people think you should eat. Seriously, have you ever thought about how much time and energy goes into eating? From picking the restaurant to looking at the menu to ordering, etc. It's a lot of time! Time and energy you could be doing on other things...
You don't need someone else to tell you which taco to get.
2. Do those people understand your situation?
If you're looking at houses, you'll want to talk to people who: know what they're talking about, have your interests at heart, and you trust.
So if someone doesn't have any experience with looking at houses (i.e. me), don't talk to them about it. Don't ask advice from people who have never been in your situation. Quite simple because ... they don't know what they're talking about.
And I've been guilty of this, too. I've asked for business advice from people who have never owned a business. What was I thinking?! I mean, it's totally okay to talk to your family, friends, acquaintances, people you meet on the street, etc. about your business and maybe they'll give you something to think about - but always take people's advice with a grain of salt (yes, including mine).
3. How often do you ask for other people’s advice?
So here's the thing: I spent a lot of my life asking for other people's advice. And I knew I had to stop doing that, at least for a while.
I had to learn to trust my own intuition and be okay with making mistakes. I have a really hard time making mistakes - so much so I allowed it to stop me from doing even starting in the past. Maybe you can relate? Maybe that's you too? If so, it might be a good idea to stop asking for advice for a while and just do what feels right to you. And yeah, maybe it won't be right. But that's how you learn and grow - that's how I learned.
At the end of the day, you have to decide on what it is that you want for yourself.
Because if you don't, someone else will decide for you. And is that what you really want?
It is your life after all. You're the one that's going to deal with the outcomes of your actions and behavior.
So if something feels good to you, do it. And if not, don't do it (even if the experts say you "should").
There are a million things we've been told we "should" do, but does that mean we should actually go out and do them? No.