I was scrolling through Instagram and stumbled across this amazing quote in my feed. Brace yourself—it’s so good, you’ll gasp:
”Before you heal someone, ask him if he’s willing to give up the things that have made him sick.”—Hippocrates
Whew! I know, right? Knocked the wind out of me, too.
Let’s be honest: we’ve all been guilty of asking for advice and not taking it. That’s not what this quote is referring to. However, there are some—maybe even those of you reading this—who find themselves constantly stuck in a cycle of asking for advice from their therapist, life coach, friends or family, yet they’re not putting the advice into action. True, we all need to make preparations for big life changes, and that takes time. But constantly talking and never doing is problematic, not only for you, but the ones who are advising you.
This post won’t be overly long, but potent and to the point. I’m hoping it serves both the advisor and the advice seeker. Let’s get into it…
Advisors: You can’t force anyone to listen to your advice, therefore you must be very discerning when offering your counsel. My rule of thumb? Before going any further, ask if the person you are advising wants your opinion. Do not give unsolicited advice…please.
Another word of warning? Don’t give the same advice over and over. Once or twice? Sure! But no more than that. The person heard you, and will make changes when they want to. Trust me, you will drive yourself insane playing the role of a tape recorder on repeat. Make certain you hear the person all the way through before you interject. Stop thinking of what you will say while they are talking because you very well may miss out on some valuable information and the overall energy of the conversation.
Advice-Seekers: Be clear when you want advice or when you don’t. If you do want advice, you can make it known with questions such as “what do you think?” or “what would you do in this situation?” When you do get advice from someone that you trust, take the meat, spit out the bones and listen. If what you’re hearing doesn’t feel or sound right, that’s okay. You don’t have to listen. But please don’t go back to them asking for the same thing. Remember, there’s a thin line between complaining, venting and seeking advice. Don’t ask anyone anything you haven’t asked yourself first. Deep in your gut, you always know—trust it. Don’t wear out your friends’ ears. Yes, they love you and will support you, but sometimes certain situations are above their pay grade. In other words, you may want to consider talking to a therapist.
Lastly, be ready to do the work. Life changes take time, effort and intention. If you aren’t willing to bring all three to the table, then don’t bother bringing it up to anyone. In the words of our friend Hippocrates, be ready to give up what has made you sick.