It’s always easier to give advice than to take it. Giving advice makes us feel like we are helping somehow to make it better. Most days, I’m giving advice because I can’t help believing in the dream, and sharing ideas on how to get as close to it as possible. I am an eternal optimist, always in solution mode.
When someone comes to me hurting, I feel their emotional pain, and immediately go into healing mode. Instead of just being compassionate, I want to spare them having to go through more and instinctively, I am reminding them that it will get better, often by sharing testimony from personal experience, just to reinforce the encouragement.
Here’s the funny part. The same inspirational talk I just delivered, typically is what I need to be hearing and absorbing, for my own problem solving or healing. I rarely ask for advice and support, and yet I am expecting my friends and family to come to me for emotional support, and I am so happy when they appreciate my advice.
I don’t claim to have it all together. Like everyone, I’m trying to figure it out as we go along, and when I find something that works for me, I hope it resonates with others who are struggling with similar questions. That’s why I share it in this blog, and on my social media accounts. Writing helps me process, and internalize the Ah-Ha! Moments and helps me practice what I dish out.
If like me, you are more comfortable giving advice than asking for it, then you may like the following tips/reminders, to reach out to others around you for knowledge and support. Did you ever ask yourself why people are on your path in the first place? What if they hold they key to what you seek?
Stuff I preach but don’t practice
1. Recognize you need support too. You are not perfect, and there are days when you too need to unload. Also, you can always learn something new by opening up to someone else about a problem and getting a different perspective.
2. Find an accountability buddy
Just like you’re that go-to person for others, find one for yourself. This person needs to be someone you trust, someone you know will not spill your beans around town, someone who may not be a part of your daily life but can easily integrate in and out, and will help you be honest with yourself.
3. Be intentional in sharing your stresses Be open and commit to being vulnerable, and receiving advice. Don’t tell just half the story if you are sincere about getting help and advice.
4. Write down the advice you give others, and then read it from time to time. I can’t tell you how often hearing my own advice helped me in the moment or later.
While we typically only ask for advice from the people closest to us, there is immense value in asking advice from people whom we want to get closer to. The bonding power of asking someone for help is so great that you can use it to turn an enemy into a friend.
To maximize the bonding power of your request, tell people why you chose them to ask for advice from. The more context you can add to your request the better.
Here are some reasons why you would seek someone’s advice.
- They have a leadership style you admire.
- They’ve accomplished something you are trying to achieve.
- In the past their insights have helped you through difficult situations.
- Including the reason why you want their advice allows you to begin your request with a compliment and shows that you value their opinion.
Thank them for their valuable insights and tell them how you plan on implementing their advice. People often forget about the second part but it is crucial for relationship-building because it shows that you value their time and expertise.
Later, don’t forget to let them know how acting on their advice worked out. Doing so gives them a sense of pride in your accomplishment and allows both of you to bond over your success.
Today’s journal prompt: my best advice
Intention for today’s meditation : I intend to quiet my mind