Have you ever bought a book just because the title piqued your interest?
I have, many times, and I still do.
My ridiculously tall teak bookshelves are peppered with unread, yet interestingly titled, books. They keep company with the many books I’ve actually read. It’s not that the unloved books aren’t any good. How would I know; I haven’t read them. It’s just that at the moment I’m not ready to read them.
Why aren’t I ready? I don’t know; I just don’t feel like it – they don’t seem important right now. I’ve got other things on my plate and I’ve decided to leave them for Ron. Who’s Ron? Ron isn’t a person. It’s old fashioned Aussie slang (known as Strine) for ‘later on’.
One such book sat on my reading table for years. Every time I dusted the table I picked the book up, dusted its cover and put it back. I’d kept it there because I felt I needed to be reminded of its message. That book was Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by the late Susan Jeffers. I did eventually read it, and while I found it helpful, I’d gained just as much benefit from simply seeing its title every day.
At that time my life was a mess. I’d taken one of those questionnaires to assess the amount of life stress I was under, and my score was off the scale. I was living in a fog: my brain was working overtime, I wasn’t sleeping and I was losing too much weight. I didn’t have enough spare energy to read the book, but I knew I had to face my fearfulness – and overcome it. I was sure that if I didn’t I’d fall to pieces.
What’s this got to do with me being happy for you to ignore my advice?
Advice is well meaning opinion from someone else who’s not facing the circumstances you’re facing. It’s up to you what you do, or don’t do, with it. That’s because you’re the one living your life and facing the consequences of your choices.
I’m writing because I’ve learned some things and I hope that by sharing them I might help others. In the end, I don’t know what’s right for you.
I’m happy if you ignore my advice, or downright disagree with it, because it means you’ve considered it and decided it isn’t right for you. In the process, you’ve helped yourself narrow down what is right for you.
Somewhere inside us we know what’s right for us. It’s that inner voice we’re seeking to hear when we go looking for information and advice.
Knowing something isn’t right for you means you’ve tuned into your inner-self. I believe that can only be a good thing for you, and the people you touch in this life.
I wish you all the best.
Jacqui Alder is a respected HR executive, writer, and mentor to women.
I write these articles for you and value your feedback. If you’d like to hear about a topic, have tried one of the exercises, or used any resources please let me know your thoughts. You can contact me by posting a comment below, send me a message via the Facebook page, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.