How often do you hear “You know what you should do…”. Or “You should try this!” The world is quick to have an opinion on what is best for us. Sometimes that is good. Sometimes that leads to new answers and solutions. I had a client recently turn me on to these amazing allergy eye drops – Zatador – which have solved my swollen, itchy, allergy eye issues. (If you saw me before I discovered the eye drops – you know how great a find this was!) I’ve had friends recommend restaurants that have been delicious. Shoot – if I think about it – a friend talked me into trying Pilates and look how well that’s turned out! Some advice is great!
Not all advice however is best for us. Not all is true to who we are. While the advice-giver certainly has the best of intentions, they don’t know you as well as you know you! Most of us have desires, hopes, thoughts, ideas that maybe we aren’t ready to share. I thought about opening a Pilates studio long before I did it or even talked about it. I was offered advice from well-meaning colleagues on what my next job should be or what skills I should develop for my current job. None of these suggestions lined up with what I knew to be true to me. People don’t always understand when you don’t take their ‘good advice’. And we can feel pressure to please others around us and do what’s expected. But we can only be happy when we are true to ourselves. We need to trust the path we are choosing and go for our own version of happy.
Even today as a small business owner, I am consistently offered advice on how I can grow my business. I have one particularly aggressive rep. from Google insisting that my business will grow by leaps and bounds if I use Google advertising. I’m sure he is correct in that I would get more exposure but is it the exposure I want? I like having a small home business and keeping my Pilates studio personal, friendly and not intimidating like larger studios. My clients like my set up and prefer it to what they have found at other studios. That kind of exposure could force me to have to change my set up – hire other instructors and lose what makes my business special and me.
I am also offered advice about signing up for another marathon. While I love running, I know my body does better when I keep my mileage in check. The long runs of my 20’s just aren’t the best thing for me anymore. Too many stress fractures later I’ve learned to listen to myself. It’s tempting at times to join friends and think about competing on that level again but if I am true to myself – I know I can remain injury free and happy at a 1/2 marathon or less distance.
We know what’s in our gut when we get these requests or suggestions – there’s that little hitch in our thinking that says I’m not so sure about this – we just need to trust that instinct. Being true is not the easiest thing to do but it is the quickest path to being happy. Be true to yourself and be happy!