There are many times that we ask people for advice when we already know the answers. There are other times when people offer advice when we’re not looking for it. It is important to know yourself well enough to be able to weed out the good advice from the bad.
Last week, I wrote a post on my blog about dealing with feelings of “dislike” towards another person.
A few days later, I was talking with my boyfriend about how my writing was going and he said something that struck me. He said that he felt like sometimes I write things that sound so positive and then I act differently, almost hypocritically. Whoa. Talk about blunt honesty. I knew he was referring to my last post, as I’m still working through that process myself. My first thought: I don’t want everybody to know I’m actually still struggling with this stuff!
Although I know that this is probably true for a lot of people, his comment hit me for two reasons:
What kind of role model could I be if my readers knew I wasn’t always walking the talk and why was I still reacting in a negative way in this situation when I know better?
This caused me to take a serious look at myself and fess-up to my shit. I was thankful for his honesty, because I knew I was avoiding working through this negative thought pattern due to the crap it would bring up.
Truth: I’m still not through it. I will be meditating on it and re-wiring my brain until I am. But I’ve owned up to it now, fully, and that’s the biggest step.
The point I’m trying to make here is that there are plenty of times in the past that I would have been completely hurt and offended by his statement, and probably mad at him. Through my self-love work I’ve realized that my reactions are totally up to me, and I’m choosing to begin to react to criticism differently.
So how can we know what’s good and bad advice?
Instead of being upset, or on the other extreme going with “I don’t care what you think of me”, pause for a second and evaluate the person on the giving end of the advice or criticism:
1) Does this person know you well enough that they may see something you don’t (or in most cases, are not willing to admit?)
2) Even if you don’t agree with what they say completely, is there any part of their advice you can use to grow? Something that if you work through would make you feel more like the powerful creator that you are?
Whatever conclusion you come up with, trust it. And whatever you do, thank the person for sharing their opinion. Because don’t get me wrong, people’s opinions are not always right, and can often be a reflection of their own insecurities.
But if something strikes a cord, own up to it. Your future self will thank you.