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June 13, 2023

Why It’s Hard To Take Your Own Advice

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Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but have you ever found that you give such good advice for other people but have a hard time taking it for yourself? Instead of feeling confused or like a hypocrite about it, hopefully an explanation and new perspective can help you unlock all the value you have to offer.

First, if you’re giving good advice, that means you have the information. This is great news! With good information you have good ideas about how you can solve problems in your life, relate with situations in better ways, and get resourceful to implement positive change.

But again, if you have all of this information but you have a hard time applying it for yourself, that can feel hypocritical. But don’t believe that it means there’s anything wrong with you. There’s one fundamental difference between the advice that you give to others and the advice you integrate for yourself.

That difference is emotions.

When you’re giving advice, you can step into a more objective awareness, allowing you to see the big picture and assess how everything comes together. This is much harder to do for yourself because, well, it’s your life. There’s so much more pain and connection to everything going on that you draw conclusions that are biased. Understand that this is happening unconsciously. 

Our emotions create an environment that our rational mind makes decisions within. The challenge is that we’re often not aware of the influence our emotions are having on us in the moment. This causes the thoughts we have to seem to completely logical when truthfully they’re coming through the filter of your current emotions.

This is one of the reasons why it’s good advice to “sleep on it”. Instead of making a big decision or responding to something that upset you in the moment, you give yourself the space to return to a more unbiased state of mind to review what you actually want to do. 

So when you’re in the depth of a moment, with all of the emotions that it brings, and it feels hard to take your own advice, that’s why. The advice doesn’t seem as practical or valuable because your thinking is biased to see things a certain way. And that disconnect causes your mind to create a story about why the advice won’t work, or doesn’t apply, or you should do something else - which then discredits the quality of the advice.

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