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Don’t Listen

I'm reading a book right now, a self-helpy sort of thing (I won't say what book right now since I'm actually still early in). And I'm bristling. The author is speaking from a place that sounds a lot like blame, saying that everything that's not right in your life is because of your bad choices and if you just make the right choices everything will start looking up and being positive. So far there's no acknowledgement of circumstances that you can't control (finances aren't all about spending less, for crying out loud!).

I spent a little time thinking about if I was reacting this way because I feel like I've done all the wrong things. And while I may have made some bad choices, the author's view is too simplistic. Their black and white view is not right. Not for my life, anyhow. I know what's happened and what is going on now, and I know that their viewpoint is missing a lot of important stuff.

My takeaway on this: If you're reading or listening to something, even from an "expert" or "professional," and it isn't sitting right with you, don't listen! You are the expert on your life and experiences. And if you're feeling like something is off about the advice, you're probably right. It's great to listen to other ideas and opinions, but remember to listen to yourself, too, and remember that you are always going to know your life better than anyone else can, so you're always going to be the first voice you should listen to.

I feel like this needs one of those clever sign-offs like "that's it, that's the tweet." That's it, that's the post. Listen to yourself. If you feel like someone's advice is off, pay attention to that. Trust that you know things, because you do.


18 thoughts on “Don’t Listen

    1. Kim

      We all have to learn for ourselves to trust ourselves, don't we? It's not something that's taught very much.

  1. Cheryl Turtlemoon

    Yes! You’re absolutely right! If you don’t agree, you don’t have to listen. This follows in every area of your life, I speak from experience lol! Great post, excellent reminder!

    1. Kim

      Yep, we get to make the choice of who gets in our heads! And we should let ourselves be a good, strong, loud voice.

  2. Amy

    This is one reason I struggle with self-help books quite often. The reach must necessarily be broad to appeal to many readers, but then the knowledge doesn't work within the specifics of my life.

  3. Donna

    Yes Yes Yes, you are so right. Howe often are we conditioned to listen to someone because they are the expert... I guess at 50 I can now sit back with my experience and just "know" when something isn't right, but oh I wish I could tell my younger self not to listen to them but to listen to me!

    1. Kim

      Oh yeah. We're trained to listen to the experts and authorities, and they do have things to offer, but I wish we were also taught that our intuition is important, too.

  4. Kimi

    Thats an important message. I hope when "professionals" come at things from their place of privilege without understand their audience.

    1. Kim

      Yes. I think they just don't look beyond their own experiences to see that it's not always that way and pretty much never that simple.

  5. Effy

    That "you create your own reality" stuff rankles me, too. I did not create the experiences I had when I was a child, I didn't create C-PTSD in myself, etc. It's so *ableist*. Argh.

    So, yeah. I agree. <3

    1. Kim

      Exactly! We have to find the ways to grow and move forward and get things done without all this victim blaming!

  6. Jean

    So so so so so so true!!! I'm glad you wrote this. I actually feel it is cruel for someone to say we are at fault. Each of us is different. I got so frustrated reading a book like this I threw it against the wall and screamed at it! It felt good. Then I threw the book in the trash.

    1. Kim

      I think it's cruel, too! Or at least thoughtless. I think if something makes you feel angry or guilty, it might be something to throw out!

  7. Angela Fretwell

    That is so true, the experts don't know everything that is going on in your life and the circumstances behind them. Always trust your gut instincts and yes, read books with a critical eye and take out what is meaningful to you (not harmful). Hugs xoxo

    1. Kim

      Absolutely. There might be useful parts, but that doesn't mean we have to use and believe all of it.

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