Why You Should Take Your Own Advice

The advice we give is usually the advice we need to receive. You can learn a lot about a person by the advice they give you. You can also learn a lot about yourself by the advice you keep giving out.

It’s just that learning about ourselves is a lot harder.

And taking your own advice can be harder still.

The story of where the lesson comes from usually helps more. We think in stories.

This is my story, of late.

I have been trying to figure out why starting a business involves so much bumping into things. Things I can’t see. Metaphorical things.

It has been like taking off running through a dark, messy house that you don’t know. There has been a lot of cursing and bruising. Followed by spending long periods feeling out tables and walls. Very Start-Pain-Stop-Wait-What’s that? –Start-Repeat.

I wrote a to-do list, with business things on it like “make money” and “marketing”. And I never do them, because they are huge projects, and I don’t really know how. Also I don’t know what my business does.

But, in a stroke of brilliance, I added “half hour self-discovery” to my list. This has been one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.

Usually I just sneak self-discovery in the back door, in off moments, when I drink my coffee, when I am scowling off into space waiting for something. Even though I am obsessed with “self knowledge” topics, and read and write about them all the time. I put it on the back burner while trying to be practical and find my passion.

It’s taken me two days of this self-discovery stuff (following several months of hitting my head on invisible problems) to realize that a career is about becoming self-aware. You have to get to know yourself through how you play with others. And the self knowledge is why it hurts so much. And that is why I don’t get it – because I don’t know myself fantastically well (thus the name of this site).

This is a relic of being super shy most of my life. When you don’t talk to people, you don’t know how others see you. You only know the inside of your own head. And we need that bump from colliding with someone else’s reality to clearly interact with the world.

I’ve been colliding with other people’s realities, and through the eyes of other people, I see myself as someone who I don’t want to be. I play social games I don’t believe in, or I mysteriously avoid interactions where I sell out.

These are telegraphs from the unconscious, in the form of paralysis and icky feelings. And my progress has been slow because I haven’t taken the time to figure out what these telegraphs are telling me. Without looking at them, the only choice is to painfully bounce off them, or cower in avoidance.

All of this has taken me a very long time to figure out, because I have been taking advice that doesn’t work for me.

I try to rush forward and just do something, anything, as per advice. I try to make a checklist and be productive, as per advice. I try to be practical and make mistakes, as per advice.

Those are great suggestions for other people or other times.

But none of it was my magic bullet because I needed to acknowledge my intuition and hear what I kept trying to tell myself. About owning this as a self-discovery process, and taking the time to do it properly.

In order to move on, you have to first acknowledge and process what you are going to have to do anyway. First thing’s first.

So figure out what your subconscious keeps trying to make you do, and do that for a while, rather than listening to expert opinions. Take your own advice.

So that’s my advice. What’s yours?

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  1. Take your own advice before you give advice to others
    Kathryn Dilligard recently posted…The Site OwlMy Profile

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