Why is it so damn hard to take your own advice?
As a teacher, writer, and speaker I give advice. I offer students, readers, and listeners with solutions to the pickles of life.
For the past 8 weeks I’ve been training to run a 5k in September. I’ve been telling you that if I overcome my sarcoidosis and brain damage you can certainly overcome your problems.
All you need is disciple, belief, and the willpower to act and you’ll start seeing limitations as possibilities.
It was easy to dish advice when I was feeling good. And it was easy, when I was feeling good, to be critical of people who were refusing to take my advice.
I was telling you that it wasn’t hard to change your diet and wake up early to train. It’s simple–just do it.
But what happens when we’re not feeling well and lacking motivation? What happens when you’re forced to stare at yourself in the proverbial mirror and realize you’re not heeding your own advice?
We often think that we’re damned to have complex problems.
My problems are always more complicated then everyone else’s problems.
And the solution to our problems is never a quick fix. Our solutions are never easily found.
So we over-analyze and fester and stew and self-victimize and chew our fingernails and lose sleep as we consider the magnitude of our problems. We say things like “Just my luck” and “Why me?” We believe that we have a case of specially designed problems that no one, in the history of the world, every resolved.
“If I trip on the sidewalk, it must’ve been uneven, but if you trip, you’re clumsy.”~ Physiologist Hal Hershfield
So if we can give advice to others, way is taking our own advice so damn hard?
Because taking our own advice forces us to do something we are not well-versed, or even comfortable with– introspection.
We need to get better at loving and listening and having confidence in our ourselves. We need to openly talk to ourselves more and believe that we are qualified to give and receive our own advice.
The next time you have a problem, think about you would say to your friend/spouse/child if they had the same problem.
Chances are your advice would be practical and simple because you would want them to make the most positive, productive choice.
Now, here’s the tough part, can take your own advice and apply it to your life? If you can, you may realize that your problem is not as complicated as you made it to be.