Do you take your own advice?

Whenever boyfriend has a problem I do a thing that really annoys him. I ask him what he would tell me if I had the same issue. His answer is normally always not the same thing he is telling himself, it’s usually really sensible advice. He knows he should follow it, but it can be really hard to take your own advice.

Why is it so hard to take your own advice?

I often have to remind myself to take my own advice. For some reason it is so easy to think of the right thing to say when we are offering help with other people’s problems, but when it’s our own our minds just don’t work so logically. Why is that?

In his Guardian article ‘Why Don’t We Take Our Own Advice?’ Oliver Burkeman suggests a difference between “grasping something intellectually and really feeling it in your bones”. Citing how he has to keep learning that trying to exert more control over the world is not the best way to deal with anxiety.

Don’t feel too bad if you forget to take your own advice

The other day I had a day off that ended up with me feeling stressed out. Why? Because I was getting freaked out about how best to spend my time. You might remember I actually wrote a blog post about this recently, and about how this isn’t a great thing to do. Did I listen to my own advice? Nope.

But finding it difficult to take your own advice seems to be a very human thing. So, I guess it’s okay to do it and we don’t need to feel too bad about it. If you’re anything like me, though, you’re probably going to want to try and change this habit.

How to take your own advice

Here are a few things I might try to practice taking my own advice.

Write it down – it’s often easier to take things in if you see them right in front of you. So maybe try writing down the advice you would give to someone in that situation.

Stop, and actually ask yourself for advice  – sometimes all it takes is to actually stop and ask yourself what advice you would give someone in your situation. Then listen to yourself, and follow your own advice.

Ask someone else  – ask someone who you’d normally give advice to what advice they think you’d give them in this situation. Alternatively, you could just ask for their advice.

Do you take your own advice, or are you trying to? Let me know how it goes! 

About ecarr

Ellen is a writer and theatre maker who has just taken the freelance plunge after too many years of 9-5 office life. She is a yoga teacher in training and passionate about pursuing your dreams.

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