An adviser is typically someone who is considered an expert in a particular area that she has excelled in, studied extensively in or even succeeded in. This individual has at some point decided to use that in which she has learned to assist others that are seeking advice in that area. In order to be considered credible, a good adviser has proof of her credibility.
As we transition in life and take on new roles, positions and goals we must realize that our advisers may and probably should change along the way. There is a huge difference between a supporter and an adviser. We should be very careful that we do not take advice from everyone.
When seeking advice about improving or sustaining a healthy marriage, you may not want to seek advice from someone who is in an unhealthy marriage or has never been married at all. When struggling with a rebellious child, you may not want to seek advice from the parent that can’t handle their 3-year-old in the grocery store. In attempting to find ways to make your money work for you, seeking financial advice from the individual that has filed bankruptcy five times may not fatten your bank account. Why ask someone that failed math to tutor you in math or ask someone that has never been in a committed relationship how to get over a broken heart? The reality is all that these individuals can offer is what not to do.
Now trust that this does not mean that your best friend may not offer support or love in any area of your life in the time of pain or hurt. However, beware of taking advice if he or she has never walked in or studied the shoes in which are now on your feet. Mom can still offer that stable and comforting shoulder when you need to shed tears, but even she doesn’t have all the answers. There will come a time in life when those closest to you will not be able, available or capable of giving you the proper guidance in how to handle a situation.
These are the times when we must:
a) Be silent, reflect and look within. You may be surprised that you have the answer to your own questions.
b) Fellowship with those that are in or have overcame a particular situation. Those battling addiction have been more successful through AA or NA as those that have lost a loved one suddenly have grieved more healthily through grief support groups.
c) When all else fails and you have done all you can, the burden may not be yours to bear. Let go and release.
Many have found themselves in the same situation over and over again or worse off due to following poor advice from those that do not have the credentials to give sound direction. Advice is often what we ask for when we already know what the answer is, but wish we didn’t.
Thanksgiving: Being grateful