Advice is overrated. There I said it. I believe advice is something like a cookie you get with your sundae – you don’t need it, it’s just extra calories and usually it doesn’t taste that good anyway. But since it’s there you might eat it, or not. Advice should be something served on the side for you to take it if you feel like it. It should not be forced upon you, like it often is.
People think most of the day as a life coach all I do is give people advice. A lot of coaches believe it is their job to give advice. Both are wrong. Coaches are supposed to help guide you and help you find what works for you with different exercises and techniques. Because no one knows what is best for you but the only person who has lived your life is you.
We have all received advice from different areas in our lives. Family, especially parents are the primary source feeling like they need to give you the lessons that they have learned. Many feel it is their job to protect you and one way is to tell you not to do the same things they did. Yet, some lessons have to be lived, no matter how many times someone tells you, nothing forces you to grown like experiences itself. While it would be nice to imagine a life where you don’t make any mistakes, it is by far unrealistic and frankly boring. You are meant to fall on your face, and often or not you are also meant to fail, just to learn how to get back up. Advice hinders you from that.
Different advice can come from different sources and it often is confusing which one you should listen to. I say none. How often are you given advice on how to exercise more or how to live healthier? How to stand up to your boss? Just because one way worked for someone does not mean it will work for you. Advice often feels so forceful. Rather that it seeming like a choice, it seems like a rule someone else has laid out and if we don’t adhere to it, we do something wrong. Yet if you follow other people’s advice rather than your instinct and it doesn’t go in your favor, you will find yourself regretting it. If you follow your instinct and it doesn’t work out well, at least you can say you did it because it felt right for you at that time. With the knowledge you were given, at that time you did your best. When you know better, you do better. When you don’t, you did the best you could. Listen to your gut and explore things in your own manner and your own time. At the end of the day, the only person you have to justify your decisions to is yourself.