Advice.

Understanding the relationship between good advice and where to seek it can often be confusing for any of us.

I’m grateful for the hard work, emotional pain, and personally trying times I went through to enjoy some of the best relationships I’ve ever experienced. Because, from these relationships, come my most trusted advisors.

Now whilst it may seem that I’m painting an impression of almost biblical proportions about the quality and virtues that exist within my relationships, it’s more important than that! The people in my closer circles do one thing differently to those who exist outside them. They’re never afraid of answering my requests with what I might not want to hear. The truth.

Truth.

The truth can be an annoying thing at times. Not just because somewhere deep inside, we know it’s the truth. But also, the advice the truth brings can often be challenging. And that’s why I like to remind myself that, when I’ve sought advice and found it either uncomfortable or thought provoking, it’s best it not be ignored. More so when it’s come from those very same people I enjoy great relationships with.

When I’ve sought approval or surety about topics close to me, I’ve never dismissed alternative opinions to my own. Seems silly to me to be asking for advice, and then dumping it without giving it due consideration. Unless of course, you’re doubting your sources? Surely that’s a sign you’re in front of someone with an opinion instead of trustworthy advice? Remembering of course that a less than worthy source doesn’t help placate our self-doubt.

Doubts.

Self-doubt is a thing, and we all experience it. Trusting ourselves is often bloody hard. Not helped by the nay-sayers who cast their social commentary on whatever it is we’re trying to achieve. Hence the need to have quality relationships, not just a suite of yes-men, or women. We’re hardly likely to receive quality advice from that lot. Fact; Good advice stems from quality relationships.

Conversely if our sense of confidence is high in what we’re about to embark on, then seeking further advice might be a waste of our time. It’ll niggle at our self-doubt. I’d suggest that’s more likely a smoke-screen for a lack of action, or a subconscious stalling tactic. If you’re confident, then crack on and have your self-doubts proven unworthy by your results.

And that’s the best thing about advice and the trusted sources we obtain it from. We know it to be a quality combination. It’s not a matter of absorbing or accepting that fact, it just is. The next move? Do something with it. Stay focussed on what you’ve received and work hard with that.

Signals.

Remember also that the ‘truth’ bit, that uncomfortable part when we realised what we already knew, that’s not a stop-sign for us to sit and contemplate. It’s great big green flag telling us “yes, you had your doubts. But now you know so get off your butt and go do!” That’s your call, your sign, your whatever meaningful marker. Think time is over, do time is ticking.

The quality of our relationships is what lifts us. From those whose advice we seek, and what we do with the advice received, come the results we’re all trying to achieve. Quality people are those who wish to see others get ahead. So I say, use ‘em up! Yes, there’s always going to be a piece inside some of us that suggests we don’t like asking for advice. But seriously, if you’re lucky enough to have even a few quality relationships available to you, ask away.

Many of us know that the truth is we could all do with advice that points us in the right direction, and helps make life a little easier. So go on then, improve your relationships, seek quality advice, and in turn improve yourself.

And when that happens, why not offer to be a quality piece of advice for someone who might be struggling to ask?