I am regularly baffled by clients and friends who tell me that a friend or family member told them they didn’t think my suggestions were right, that I was coaching them to overeat, or that I was asking them too heavily to lift. My question is always: does this person look what you want to look?
Everyone has an opinion. Just because someone has an opinion doesn’t mean there is knowledge or experience behind it. Sometimes they gave an opinion based on misinformation. Most of the time, it’s biased based on their experience. While most advice isn’t life changing, there are times when it can have a huge impact on your choices or your direction in life. When then SHOULD They take advice and when SHOULD NOT You? Use these questions:
1. Does the person give you advice on where to be? If you don’t want to swap with them, why would their advice be appropriate? Does this friend give you a health advice living its own advice?
2. Are you an expert on the subject? Is your education and experience based on the advice you are looking for?
3. Do you have the best interest in your heart? While most people want you to do well, they don’t want you to do better than them because they may not be ready to make an effort. They can be subconsciously trying to sabotage your efforts.
4. Do you know your goals? You may have great ideas, but they may not fit in the direction you want to go.
5. Do you know them personally? Or do you take advice from the Internet, where people can be completely anonymous and often untrue?
Whether or not the advice was asked for, be smart in taking it. Use your education, experience, and throw in a dash of common sense. If you don’t feel like the person out there is really knowledgeable, don’t take it.
Feedback is important. It helps us stay on the path we are on towards our goals. However, we need to be careful about who we request our feedback from. Most of the time we know the answer to our search for advice. Our gut feeling is rarely a bad choice. But when good advice is given, be willing to listen and adjust your thinking.