Byron's Babbles

Overrated Advice

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Education, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 13, 2022

It’s one thing to give advice to someone else, dispensing thoughtful words of wisdom. But have you ever noticed that when you try applying those same suggestions to your own life and it often falls apart. I was reminded of this when I heard someone yesterday say, “Taking your own advice is highly overrated.” Really it is all about vantage point. It’s much easier to identify the most rational option, on the other hand, when you’ve got an outsider’s vantage point. From your own perspective it is hard to be your own coach because you’re too close to your own problems, and so your emotions are more likely to cloud your judgement.

It’s not easy to step outside of our minds and see ourselves objectively. To see our own abilities and to know that we’re just as strong as anyone else out there. When we don’t take our own advice and encouragement, however, we become a hypocrite. In as much as we look to others to set an example, they also look at us to do the same for them. Let’s also not forget that on some issues we have a tendency to prefer their own opinions, irrespective of their merit, and the fact that careful listening is hard, time-consuming work. Maybe the best example we can set is to always seek sound coaching, counsel, and advice from others.

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