"You didn't expect me to substitute your judgment for mine, did you?" -Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"
I'm lucky because, in my experience, most of the time when people offer suggestions about what I should do with my life, they're sharing their opinions because they care about me and truly just want to help.
But I've learned that just because advice is coming from a good place, it doesn't mean you should take everyone else's ideas and let them override your own. Knowing when to take advice and when not to all comes down to where it falls on the YES!/nah/NOT-IN-A-MILLION-F-ING-YEARS! scale. In other words, does the person’s suggestion get you excited and wanting to start taking action immediately? Does it do nothing for you at all? Or does it make you want to scream and do an angry Phoebe run as fast as your little legs will carry you?
Let me let you in on a little secret: even if you specifically ask someone for advice, and even if their advice makes perfect logical sense, if your initial (i.e., gut) reaction doesn’t fall into the YES! end of the spectrum, it’s not the right advice for you and you don’t have to take it. And if you're worried about how they'll react, try repeating one of my favorite mantras, which I learned from Brené Brown: choose discomfort over resentment. Yes, the advice-giver might be mad, but how will you feel about yourself (and them) in a week, a month, a year from now if you follow their suggestion solely to avoid a negative reaction even though it clearly doesn't feel like the right choice for you?
Yes, I realize the irony of me advising you on how to deal with advice, so I want to make it clear that this—along with everything else I write here—is just a suggestion. I’m sharing my perspective based on what I’ve learned in my life, and if it resonates, I’m thrilled. And if, on the other hand, it falls into your “nah” or “never” categories, and you ignore it or disagree, I’ll still be thrilled. Why? Because that’s you trusting your inner GPS, and every time you do that, you get clearer on your road to joy. And THAT is exactly where I want you to be.
Katie Baron: life coach, freelance writer, animal and nature lover, musician, relentless optimist