Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Listening to your own advice


Sometimes in life on top of the challenges which we are constantly trying to tackle and work on, other obstacles get thrown into the mix. I feel amongst my friends I dish out advice often. It can be hard to give advice on situations which you have never faced yourself. However, you are still able to give advice and I base this upon what I think I would do if I was in their shoes. The advice you give out I often don't think I will ever need to deal with myself, but then life happens and a spanner is thrown into works. This has happened to me recently. It can be crazy to think about how easy it is to dish out advice which you think is correct left, right and centre but when it's yourself everything changes. I have constantly been thinking about what I would say to others. This is so important in any decision making. Giving advice can at times be brutal, but I always want to give an honest and open opinion as that is what I would want to receive in return.

When my friends have asked for advice I like time to think about what I want to say. There are situations when advice is needed in an instance and that can be hard. I like time to process and think. I have often been in situations where I have gone back in a day or two and put in a different spin on my take. Recently I have learnt that sometimes I can beat around the bush on what I really feel in order to protect the feelings of my friends, I'm often the person who puts in an alternative opinion to try and help them see things from both points of view. I am not however a person who holds back, but I like to think I am protecting their feelings as sometimes they need a gentle approach. I listen to everyone in the discussions input as this may trigger your opinion to slightly change when you hear it from someone else's perspective.

What I have learnt is listening to your own advice can be much harder than you may think. It becomes frustrating as often you know what's right, but you are thinking of the alternatives on repeat. My friends have often said to take a few days to think about things and let it stew. I am not great at this and like to get things sorted as soon as possible, but in this scenario it worked for the better. I allowed myself to think of all the different options knowing that it's up to me to put a time limit on my decision. If you are certain of what you want I would always say go ahead and nip it in the bud. If you need time, give yourself time. These situations always seem to happen when you are at your busiest, already trying to juggle life and work and then this gets thrown in as well. I think it is often important to prioritise it when you can in order to make a decision which has been well thought through.

Depending on what you have decided it will now be the time where you actually need the most advice from those around you, whether you have made the choice to go against what they have said or not. As the person receiving the advice though you have to sometimes understand that it can be difficult for the other person to see it from your point of view. I would always hope that this would only happen because they love and care for you. I have been in situations when someone has asked me for advice which I think has been open and well-rounded. The person has then done the complete opposite. That can be hard for you to get your head around, and can be difficult to offer support but that's what friendships are about - being there in their hardest times. On top of this it can be a time where you learn who your real friends are. Who actually sends a text to ask if you're okay and who doesn't bother.

I have found in many different situations that consciously you know what to do. I often think about the bigger picture, think about in a month's time or even a year where do you see yourself. This may be that you're thinking about getting a new job, but you've been too scared to take the plunge. It could be something completely different to do with friendships or relationships. I am often a here and now person which can be great. I would say I try to be as optimistic as I can be, but I struggle at times. I do believe in having a gut feeling about something and it is a lot of the time right. Contemplating backwards and forwards can you leave yourself feeling crazy. Depending on what is going on, taking a risk can sometimes be worth taking. It is important to think about all the possible outcomes, and if it ends badly whether you are willing to take the risk and be able to deal with the consequences. Most importantly, you know some decisions are only going to end in hurt and the likelihood for a happy ending is very unlikely. Something which makes you happy for a short period of time is better to end now, rather than prolonging and ending in a much more complicated and hurtful way.

Listening to yourself and following what you know you should really be doing is the best advice which I will ever give to anyone. You have to be selfish and think about yourself and what is best for you. Taking a few days or even weeks to make a decision is fine. We often feel as though everything has to be done there and then, if it is something important to you ensure you are not going to regret your decision. You are in control of your decisions and outcomes. In months or even years you often look back and reflect on decisions you have made. In my job we are encouraged to do a lot of reflection, in order to look at the positive, negatives, barriers and improvements which can be made. This has made me an open thinker, but also an over thinker. I allow little things to build up and bug me and others probably think I am just over thinking which I know I am. I do however think I am good at listening to my own thoughts. We need to learn to all be kinder to ourselves, and this is something which I try to continuously work on and often encourage others to do as well. I am also a firm believer in what is meant to happen, will happen.

Lucy
xoxo

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