My wonderful niece shared a piece of her writing with me the other day. It’s such an honor to be trusted to read someone’s intimate thoughts, more importantly, it was an extremely inspiring piece of content.
Like most, my niece has had her share of ups and downs in life, and yet, I was impressed by what her young mind was uncovering and the lessons she was learning—she is wise, well beyond her years.
She has recognized her ability to advise others successfully, but she often finds herself stumped with what to do in her own personal situations—this is her internal dilemma.
Why is this?
Solve Your Toughest Problems With a Fresh Perspective
It’s easier to see things clearly from the outside—this is especially true when facing a difficult situation. When we’re in the grasp of a quandary, it can be difficult to envision a way out. We may feel overwhelmed by the “weight” of the situation, but if we step back and take a look at the big picture, we may be able to see things more clearly.
Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh perspective to see the solution to our problem.
In the Middle of it
A fresh perspective is something that I’ve struggled with over the years.
Too often, we can’t see the answers right in front of us. Why? Because our hearts and minds are battling each other. Deep down, you know the answers and what you should do, but unfortunately, your heart can sometimes leave you paralyzed with worry, fear, or anxiety.
“Don’t Listen to Yourself; Listen to the advice you give others”
The key here is to look at the situation from outside yourself—that 30-foot, hands-off view. When dealing with a dilemma or personal crisis, you need to view the situation as if it were happening to someone else.
Start by using these few steps to get yourself in the right frame of mind:
- Define and write down the crisis or situation.
- Assign the situation to a person (real or make-believe that is not you)
- Jot down some of the advice you may give to that person.
Remove the Heart
I may catch some flack for saying this, but when attempting to give yourself true advice, you need to remove your heart from the decision making process. You can’t see clearly when you allow your heart to lead the way.
“Following your heart” will always have its time and place, but in this scenario, we’re focusing on dealing with trauma, crisis, or difficult situations that require a clear head and open mind.
When you remove your heart from the equation, you allow more room for the brain to diagnose the problem and come up with a sound solution.
This is why you can give great advice to your friend about her crappy boyfriend because you don’t have the feelings like love or hate to cloud your judgment. While conversing with your friend, you can see things from a neutral perspective to guide her down a path that makes sense.
“Imagine how better we would handle events & hardships in our own lives if we followed the great advice we give others.”
The Most Honest Advice You’ll Ever Get
My niece isn’t alone in her thinking — she’s right. We tend to give great advice to others but never to ourselves. We also listen to others with more intent than we do our inner dialogue.
True friends get our full attention with complete active listening — we pick up on every little detail, both positive and negative, and use that information to help relay a course of action.
On the other hand, when trying to solve our problems, we ignore the “warning signs” and “signals” and focus on how a situation makes us feel. The feelings and emotions cloud our judgment and make it almost impossible to present a good course of action or plan.
Meditate on it
I want to leave you with one suggestion that I believe will help you become a better “advice giver” to yourself.
Meditate on it before taking any action whatsoever.
Allow the feelings and emotions to come in and float away before making a decision.
If you’re angry, you need to let that feeling go, or that anger will cloud your judgment, and therefore, you cannot advise yourself properly. Your goal will only be to diminish anger rather than truly solve the problem.
Enlightenment Is Possible But Not Necessary.
I have to be honest.
I’m not good with mediation in the “traditional” sense. I can’t shut myself down completely, nor do I believe I will reach a higher level of enlightenment.
In a previous blog, I discussed our “happy places,” one of mine being kayaking. This is when I meditate best. I can be one with nature and just allow any thoughts to come and go.
This release of emotion and feeling allows you to start advising yourself the same way you would advise others. You’re in a quiet and still space, and you can see things outside yourself.
You Can Handle it
It’s great to have the right people around you to provide insight on matters of the heart and mind, but it isn’t always possible, nor is it always necessary.
Being able to move throughout life unencumbered by fear, failure, or rejection is possible when you can see yourself the same way you would your best friend.
Trust yourself and allow the advice to flow from a place of self-love.
Last modified: August 31, 2022
This could not have been worded any better than you have done. You have a gift at taking a thought and expanding on it in a matter, that everyone can understand. So often we are told to listen to our hearts, when in fact it is our minds that are logical and rational. I think it’s important to be able to take emotions out of a situation to see clearly.
I read a book “Who Moved My Cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson, in this book he said “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” Truthfully, I believe most of us make our decisions based on fear. Most won’t admit it’s fear so we can call it being uncomfortable. People love to be comfortable and dislike being out of their comfort zone. If we take fear out of the situation, I’m sure most of us would come up with a different answer.
There’s a quote that says, “ A secret to happiness is letting every situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be.” (Unknown) This is definitely a ‘food for thought’ question as it made me think, how often do we allow fear to make out the situation worse than what it is? It is definitely something to remember when dealing with life battles.
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