On Taking Your Own Advice

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Taking your own advice is hard. You know exactly what to do in the situation you’re in but you can’t accept your own advice. You’ve said the same exact words to someone else but listening to your own words is very difficult. Sometimes it’s best to hear it from someone else other than yourself.

– Anonymous

Everyone knows better than to deviate from their own advice. Unfortunately this doesn’t stop people from doing it every day, myself included.

Why is it so hard to take our own advice? Arguably because the most honest advice is the hardest to take. No one is closer to your situation or understands all sides of your problem better than you do. But even if you give yourself the best, most insightful advice possible, it’s not always easy to act on. Doing the right thing is rarely easy, even if you know it’s for the best in the long run.

But the question stands, what should we do when we fail to take our own good advice?

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

It’s easy to beat yourself up when you make the wrong call. However, knowing that you had the chance to take your own advice and ignored it can be so much worse. You might linger on the issue and get upset that you didn’t take the great advice you gave yourself. Whether it’s going back to an old flame, falling off of your New Year’s resolution, or letting yourself procrastinate on an important task, it’s easy to fall into the trap of beating yourself up.

Don’t fixate on the failure for too long though. Use the opportunity to fail forward. Remember how it feels when you break a promise to yourself  next time you’re thinking of going against your own advice.

Modify Difficult Solutions into Realistic Ones

If you know what you should do but you just can’t bring yourself to follow through, try the next best thing. Modify that advice into something you know that you can stick to. If you know you need to get healthy or kick a bad habit, set yourself up to succeed. Everyone knows that a nicotine patch can help you quit smoking, so when you need to break a bad habit find that metaphorical nicotine patch. Perhaps you’re attempting to curb your poor spending habits. In this case your metaphorical patch could be picking up a new hobby that doesn’t cost any money. Make sure that the advice you give yourself is attainable. It’s okay to set the bar high, but it’s even more important to stay realistic.

Do you stick to your own advice? Let us know in the comments!

Editorial Intern for Beauty Coated Life

Nutrition Student and Health Educator at NC State University
Avid reader, aspiring author, and health enthusiast
Passionate about women’s health and global equality