How often in life do we turn to a friend and ask them, “What do you think?” And then if they tell us something we don’t want to hear, we generally disregard their advice. So what is the point?
It seems pretty clear that we already knew the answer before we solicited input from others, so why bother asking? The answer is because you haven’t yet learned to trust your own knowing.
Once you really trust (not just sorta trust, but REALLY trust) your own internal GPS (your inner voice, your knowing), then you will no longer feel the need to ask others their opinions. For you will already know what is the best course of action for you.
As John Steinbeck said, “No one wants advice — only corroboration.” And Cicero said, “Nobody can give you wiser advise than yourself.” These are wise words from wise men.
Try this simple exercise the next time you think you want someone else’s advice. Pretend you are going to ask someone their opinion. But instead of actually asking them, state the question aloud to yourself. Think about what answers the other person might have given you, and then see how you feel in response to each answer.
Those answers you don’t like, you now know aren’t in alignment with your own knowing. Those answers that seem to “fit” (and that are pleasing to you) are pointing you in the direction of what you already knew, but weren’t quite able to define.
After you do this a few times with various topics, you’ll get to the place where you don’t need the exercise at all. You’ll come to a place of surety about what you know, of being more clear about what is right for you and what direction to take.
As Erica Jong said, “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn’t.”
Begin to trust in yourself — somewhere inside you do know the answers that are right for you. And in all honesty, only you know them. All that others can do is project their own perspective onto you, and do their best to help you. But you actually know yourself and what’s best for you.
As you practice trusting your own knowing, it will grow stronger and more powerful, just like a muscle that’s been exercised regularly. And it will continue to get easier and easier to really KNOW what you know, to be clear, to be sure, and to be able to hear your internal GPS.
And one day you’ll realize that you don’t really need anyone else’s input — for you can reliably follow your inner knowing. This is typically what people mean when they say, “I don’t care what anyone else thinks.” It’s not that others’ opinions aren’t valuable bits of wisdom, it’s just that this person KNOWS what is right for him/her and doesn’t want or need outside advice.
So the next time you need to make a decision in your life, turn to yourself and ask, “What do YOU think?”