I’ve learned from my friends that even if I tell someone a thousand times not to do something, they’re going to do it (or not do it) regardless of what I say. When it comes down to it, everyone makes their decisions based on their own feelings despite what others think.
Even when we’re completely honest with another person when describing a situation, there’s always that 1% that we keep to ourselves. That 1% is what makes the decision. At the end of the day, no one knows you better than you know yourself, so your decisions have to come from within. It can be helpful to hear advice from people who care, but when it comes down to it, their opinions don’t really matter. It’s not their life that will change, it’s yours. People also have their own best interest at heart, whether it’s conscious or subconscious, which can impact the advice they give you. However, take it with a grain of salt because something they say might start to change the way you perceive a situation.
When I decided to change my minor during my last semester of college, not one single person told me it was a good idea. My advisor pleaded with me to change my mind, my parents were nervous, and my friends thought I was insane. But I did it because deep down I knew I had to for reasons I couldn’t really explain to anyone else. It ended up being the right choice and I will forever be grateful to myself for making that decision.
Even when we make the wrong choice and we hear “I told you so”, that mistake teaches us an important lesson. People are so afraid of making mistakes and struggling that eventually they stop taking leaps. When you’re ready to take a leap, you may hear that it’s too risky or you should re-think your decision. Look at where that response is coming from. Has that person ever taken a risk? Do they always play it safe? I find the best advice comes from people who have taken risks and failed because even though their initial goal didn’t work out, something even better did.
This past year I have taken risks and leaps and so far not one of them has worked out the way I thought they would. And I don’t regret a single one. Is it hard to pick yourself up after yet another failed attempt? Absolutely, but it starts to get easier. Rather than asking for people’s advice, I tell them about my next move not to give them a chance to insert their opinion, but just to see how it sounds. “I’m looking for a new job” sounds really different when it comes out of your mouth than when you say it in your head.
We do things our own way in our own time because deep down, we know how to take care of ourselves. Friends still come to me for advice and my favorite thing to say, which I will always say with a smile is, “You do you.”