I have always been challenged with listening to advice. When I was younger, I simply remained stubborn and probably fought to do the exact opposite of what anyone told me to do...with complete disregard to how well intentioned the suggestions may have been. Now, I am getting better to listening to my friends when I know that they know what they are talking about. Not just listening, but listening and acting on what they have to teach me. It takes me some time to marinate on what I could change in my life to benefit myself, but lately, I have noticed that I am getting around to accepting good advice.
I have always had horrible battles with running. There are a lot of reasons why, but basically, I never believed that I was cut out for it. I could always walk for miles and miles and miles, but for me running was practically impossible. About a year ago, I started running and walking, and I was doing okay, baby steps style. Then after one run, I threw my sciatic out…so again I was in the place where I thought that my body just really wasn’t made for it. Then two things happened. The first was that one really good friend of mine told me I needed to get a good pair of running shoes. Thank you Lis. It is not like I haven’t been told this before, but in that moment what she said sank in. The second thing that happened was that I read an article that talked about running, and noticed two specific things it recommended. It stated that runners having trouble need to focus on slowing down and standing up straight. That rang a bell for me because I am a huge posture campaigner. So I went out and got the shoes and I tried again. It was brilliant; those three components were what I needed personally to get going. I can run, and I am getting better at it all of the time.
I think that it is possible that strong independent people sort of filter out information pertaining to things that they think they are supposed to know. Like a lot of men in regards to sex…they would be insulted if you asked them to read a book on the subject, right? They are supposed to be born knowing how to be sex gods, or so many of them think. When I though back to running, and doing it as a kid, all that I remember was that the gym teachers would throw us out on the track and tell us to go. I never got one iota of instruction. So in my mind, running was something that you just knew how to do, not something that you needed to learn how to do. Why would I listen to people who told me if I tried this or that, then maybe it would work out for me? Because I was stubborn, and believed that I had tried many times and failed, so I was never going to succeed.
Most of the time, our friends can see the challenges that we are facing more clearly than we can. It’s that whole perspective thing, and how when we are too close to an image, we can’t make out the whole picture. I recommend, which is advice in itself, that we all work harder to truly listen to what our trusted friends have to tell us. It can be challenging, and humbling, but we stand to gain a lot. If I can do it, I think that anyone can. It doesn’t just apply to the running. When I take my time and finally accept my husband’s suggestions; things usually turn out pretty well. Our friends and families serve many purposes in our lives, and helping to lead us in the right direction is one of them. Of course, we must listen to our own inner voices, and determine which people in our lives are truly helpful in leading us. I know that I have friends whose advice I definitely should not follow, but if I am discerning, I stand to learn a lot.