The Danger Of Wrong Advice

Why we don’t have to entertain everyone’s advice.

When you need an advice, who do you go to?
When you have completed your project, whose feedback do you seek?

My parents always told me one thing, when you are in doubt, ask people so you don’t get stuck. I didn’t know whether they just told me because I was bad at direction so I wouldn’t get lost or they actually meant I should always be asking for people’s opinion. Well, I took it a bit further and did the later. I kept asking people what do they think about almost everything I was doubting myself with. Soon, I build my life and work based on what they think was right — not what initially wanted.

Funny thing was, I didn’t realize it for almost fourteen years. There were two things I had done in my life which were purely my decision, when I took computer science major and when I started my digital magazine — and that was my wake up call.

When I wanted to start a digital magazine, I was in doubt. I didn’t much about digital media. I didn’t have any experience either. So I started to ask people. Each one of them came with one or more advice. One came with a whole new theme, another told me how the logo should look like and so on. I was able to put up all of it together and the first mock-up was ready. How was it like? I was disappointed. It was nothing like what I initially planned it to be and when I gave the mock-up to the same people who gave the advice, the began criticizing it. They pointed out each and every flaw on the magazine.

I was disappointed and discouraged. But who could I blame? them? Wasn’t it I who asked for their opinions and acted on it? I sacrificed my dream magazine to match with their opinions and expectations thinking my vision was a trash and theirs would be the perfect one. Yet, whose dream was it? mine or theirs?

Does my story sound familiar? You are not alone. Like you, I have sacrificed many of dreams just to appear perfect in front of them. Just so they know how much we respected them and valued them in our life. But who are we hurting? Ourselves. You may not yet witness the damage it has caused to you. You can say, “but they are always right and I’m always wrong?” Well, let me tell you one thing, you are wrong because you think you are wrong. Have your think, what if you are right and they are wrong? Are you ready to live the rest of our lives, regretting the chances you didn’t take?

There’s nothing wrong to seek advice, but remember these few points:

1. Seek an advice from who have walked your path. They know the journey, they have fallen over the same stones, they have taken the same wrong turns. They know.

2. Seek an advice from who you want to be like. If you want to know more about the stock market, you should be looking for Warren Buffett, not your neighbor.

3. Seek an advice from yourself. Before you ask anyone else, give yourself some time and space to think over the situation or the project you have finished. What do you think about it? Allow yourself to step out from your shoes and emotions and ask yourself an advice from the third person perspective.

Read my previous post about how I overcome my fear and allow myself to step out from other people’s opinion.

Sares is founder and writer at Next Generation Digital Magazine, a social action & education platform that wants to solve the world’s biggest challenges.On our platform you can learn about issues, take action on what matters most and join a community committed to social change. To learn about our work, subscribe now

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