That Advice You Thought you Needed

The Need for Advice

In my opinion, the need to ask for advice derives primarily from the fear of being successful and the fear of messing that success expectancy up. We don’t want to take the risk of stepping forward into darkness. We might be taking the wrong turn, we might say the wrong thing, or we might just completely wreck an opportunity.

In situations of anxiety, it common to develop a habit of doing what any person might do in a complicated situation. Ask for advice. Simple enough, right? Not really. What I didn’t know at this time was that advice can be against you more than it can be for you. Asking for advice can be dangerous if you are not careful.

There are plenty of valid reasons to ask for advice; there are also a cloud of reasons not to. Valid reasons to ask for advice might be for example, asking for directions to the nearest bar, or asking for help on writing an essay. But when we begin to challenge our own thoughts and beliefs to the point of being blind, we lose all perspective of ourselves. It is then that we feel that we have to constantly ask for help over every small task. We become the opposite of self-dependent.

When I was completely unsure of myself, I would ask for feedback on just about everything. I would ask advice on how I can talk without offending someone. I would ask for advice on how to approach my boss. I would even ask advice on how to tie a knot. When I got feedback, it was mostly unproductive and biased. I had my own ideas of talking to my boss, and my own ideas of talking to people. And what other people offered seemed even more offensive to say than what I thought mine would.

Serve Yourself First

The individual giving feedback wants to act as a consultant. His role entails that he assists you in evaluating all possible movements that you can take and how they will impact the outcome. Together you work as a team to find the best possible solution. He explains the benefits and downsides of every turn you can take. Together, you collaborate to come up with the ideas that help you form your own solution. Unfortunately a lot of feedback masquerades as the real thing.

You might find that when you ask for another individuals advice,  that you get a lot of biased emotions and experiences built in to the mix. Any answer to a problem based only upon another individuals emotional thoughts are the nails that builds a house of failure. Emotional feelings are very useful in feedback when they are not used in a manner that is threating or forces change, but emotions should not be enough. It is always important to give both the emotional side and the realistic side.

To go about any problem correctly, you need to build the basics of what you want to do or feel that you should do. Then you ask for neutral advice and feedback. You then discuss the options and multiple avenues that you can take to complete it.

We Stop at an Answer – Not the Answer

Be Prepared for the Darkness

Can we be honest for a minute? Good. We all do not know for sure where we are going, or where we are going to end up in twenty years. The most unknown to us is the future. We do not know for sure if that next presentation will go well or if our next job promotion will be actually worth it. But by taking unsolicited advice from other people, we are bankrupting ourselves of our own feelings and thoughts.

The problem in giving advice is that every situation is unique. What might work for another person might not work for another person. I am not saying that all advice is useless. This is the reason behind computer advice being so damaging, they do not have the power to see your unique situation and offer advice based on that.

There is a lot of good advice on the internet, but there are also enough bad advice for you to be alert. Most of the advice I have received from behavioral places were useful in helping me in designing my own solutions, but I have to say that most advice I got of the internet was useless since it is generalized and not personalized.

There are two halves to every whole. Obviously you can’t depend on everyone to help you along for the rest of your life. We all have our own unique situations, thoughts and experiences. The secret is to depend on yourself and use everyone’s advice as a modifier to your own only in moderation. If their advice raises a red flag, then dissect it and figure out what you need to change. The idea is not to shut people out but to consult yourself first and foremost.


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