Being afraid to make a mistake and always wanting to do the right thing has its drawbacks. It has you looking to others in a way in which the scales are out of balance.
I can compare this to our GPS navigator that we used to have. Sometimes we would be in the middle of nowhere and the voice coming from the device would announce, “You have reached your destination.” Sometimes it would tell you to turn, only to discover you were on a dirt road that headed nowhere or a side street through a neighborhood. Many times it failed to know that the road we were traveling on even existed, such as a frontage road right next to the highway. We learned quickly that you cannot just automatically follow the device’s instructions. You have to think for yourself.
Many, many times in my life I didn’t just want advice, I needed it. I felt paralyzed without someone else’s opinion.
As I look back over these times, I have made some interesting observations.
You should never replace someone else’s judgment for your own. No one knows every detail of your life’s experiences, your hopes, dreams, or fears. They can give you something to think about, to consider. They can offer you a different point of view. But they cannot be you. And more importantly, they don’t have to live with the consequences of the choices you make in life. You do!
And more often than not, they will not be there to support you if things go wrong. They will more likely criticize you, either to your face or behind your back.
It is a rare person who can truly celebrate with you when you succeed! Which means it is a rare person who truly has your best interest at heart. If you want to know who your true friends are, show up in life. There won’t even be a need for words. This is one area where people cannot hide their true feelings.
So if you live by others’ advice or opinions, you may be left suffering alone. If you are surrounded by people who are afraid to let you shine, you will never be free to show up in life and experience the joy of living.
This also works in the opposite direction. We need to be careful when giving advice. It should not be careless and unintentional. We should be very careful in handing out advice to another person.
We don’t have to live with the consequences of the advice we give another human being. So our advice should be served with sacredness and with a sense of empowerment to the other person. It should be offered in a way that conveys our belief in the other person to make the right choice for themselves. That this is their life and that we believe in them to make choices that are right for them. And that we will support them no matter what they decide.
Even if we believe they are making the wrong decision, this is their life. We all get to have our own successes in life and make our own mistakes. After all, you can’t live life fully without experiencing some failures.
It is not the failures that define us, but what we do with those failures. Life is a mixture of failures and successes.
It is those who remain by your side through both that are worth keeping in your life!
We are all told to dream big. But you can never dream through another person. It would be like a hot air balloon that rises, but never beyond the height of the staked ropes that hold it back. It only rises fully when it is cut loose to rise on its own!