Giving advice is simple, taking it is the hard part

Whether we are willing to admit it or not, at some level, we have the habit of being know-it-alls. We like being helpful and the easiest way to do that is to offer our input.

After all, giving advice is the easy part but taking it is difficult. 

Why is it that we are more likely to give good advice to others than we are to accept and apply it to our own problems? There are several obstacles that we must overcome before we are truly open to the counsel that is offered to us.

The first hurdle we have to overcome is our tendency to value our own thoughts and opinions over others’.

We do this because we know our own mind and intentions in a way we can’t understand others’. Without realizing it, we often see the advice of others as being less valid than the suggestions we would offer.

We also tend to underestimate our shortcomings and have trouble seeing our areas that would benefit from advice.

To overcome this, we have to open ourselves up and admit that we have these flaws. It is difficult to acknowledge that these inadequate spots exist and troubling to know that other people can see them so plainly.

We also worry over criticism we think is hidden in other people’s advice.  

If our perception is that their advice is meant to change who we are as a person, our reaction will be to ignore it.

Though we encounter many obstacles on the way to accepting others' advice, the personal growth has its benefits.

A Harvard University study found that people who ask for help are perceived by others as being smarter and more competent.

It is not just a perception! People who utilize advice are proven to be able to learn new things, reach their goals quicker, and have an overall higher satisfaction with their decision making

It may be a difficult journey, but you can take your first step now by taking the information above and applying it the next time you are offered advice.


T.D. Jakes is a charismatic leader, visionary, provocative thinking, entrepreneur and compassion humanitarian with a voice that has reverberated from the world's most prominent stages. His look at life comes from the perspective of a father, a student, a pastor and a friend. His daytime talk show will be premiering this fall across the nation.

Follow @tdjakesshow on Twitter!


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