Since I broke the news of our pregnancy, I’ve been getting a TONNE of advice.
Some solicited, and much of it unsolicited advice.
I’m an older mommy so I’m one of the last of my friends and peers to have a child and I regularly see my feeds plastered with mommy blogs, parenting advice, and people sharing their challenges.
There is a lot of noise when it comes to parenting because everyone seems to have an opinion.
In the weeks leading up to our 20 week ultrasound, I got a lot very strong opinions on if we should find out the sex or not.
We had decided early on that we wanted to know the sex if we could, and are proud to say that last week we found out that we are going to be the proud parents of a little BOY!
But it’s not just parenting, people have opinions on everything: what you should eat, what’s healthy, how you should exercise, the best kind of yoga, how to find a partner, what you should wear, how to have good relationships, a good sex life, how you should think, and really everything you should, or even could do. Right?
With so much noise out there in every aspect of our lives, how does one navigate the waters, especially when everyone seems to have an opinion, and often a REALLY strong opinion?
Read on my friend…
Do you know what do you want?
Aaaaaand HOW do you really know what you want?
Have you ever made a decision because you knew someone expected you to do it?
Whether it’s what to major in school, or what jobs to apply for? How did that make you feel, and looking back, how happy are you with that decision now?
Have you ever agonized over what to do because you knew deep down what you wanted, but felt you needed to ask everyone else first to validate your choice?
Did that empower you, or disempower you?
Have you ever purchased something at the store because the sales help were oohing and ahhing at how great you looked in it, even though you didn’t feel it was quite right?
Then once you got it home asked yourself: what was I thinking?
Or here’s a big one: when you look back on your life now, are there things you wish you hadn’t done but did anyways because others expected you too, or encouraged you too?
We are so easily influenced by each other because we are mammals which are emotionally driven creatures.
We are naturally tribal creatures who depend on each other for our well being and there is no worse punishment for us than not belonging.
We will do almost anything to be accepted.
There’s a reason Time Outs are so effective for disciplining children. Or if you have ever trained a dog, turning your back to them will stop an undesirable behavior. There is nothing more painful than not belonging to us and we will correct our behavior to be in good graces once again.
So, what about the big stuff, like your own hearts desires? Your right path? How do you make those choices without being drowned out by all the noise of what other’s want you to do?
Here are 3 things you need to know about how to deal with the noise around you:
1) Other peoples advice is a gift…and I’ll tell you why.
When people offer you advice (solicited or not), they are sharing something important and personal about themselves with you. They are sharing their model of the world, and what is important to THEM. It is not about you. If you can look at it from this perspective it’s easier to not get charged or influenced by the advice offered. Most often advice is well meaning, and is based on THEIR personal experience from their life’s history. It has nothing to do with what is right for you and your life’s circumstances, even if you decide to consider it when it aligns with your own beliefs.
2) If you don’t know about something, it’s useful to research it.
I often ask people I respect for their opinions and advice on things I know nothing about. Choose to ask with the intention of collecting information to understand the topic better and have more data to make a decision that fits with your life. I want to be clear, that this is different than asking what to DO, it is asking for the sake of collecting information only, not to influence what is inherently your decision to make.
3) Follow your inner compass.
There is a part of you that already knows the answers because everyone of your resources are within. Your life will not be answered by more money, status, or stuff. You already know this. This is the hardest one of all because it is entirely internal and it takes a lot of trust to follow through with choices that may be unpopular even when you know it is the right thing for you.
It takes courage and confidence to live authentically.
It’s not always easy or comfortable to stand in your truth and not to be drowned by the noise of expectation and the wants of everyone around you. It’s natural for many of us to want to be, and try to be, all things to all people….and it’s impossible and exhausting.
So you do you.
Tell me what you would add in the comments below!