This week’s “Do This” is, ironically, about advice.

There is a certain kind of person, the kind that goes off and makes decisions, with her wind-tossed caution and her “what’s the worst thing that could happen” attitude, and everything seems to work out just fine for her.

Then there’s you and me and everyone we know–we are the agonizers, the maximizers, the fact finders, the get so paralyzed by choicers that, if you’re lucky enough to have two of you in a relationship, you routinely end up in stand-offs over what to eat for dinner, not because you don’t agree, but because neither of you can choose. “What do you want” turns into “well, what do you want” turns into “oh my god we’ve been having this back and forth for ten minutes and I’ve gone from curiously peckish to incredibly hangry”(that’s hungry and angry for the uninitiated). Dinner isn’t the least of it–I’ve seen clients and friends and myself turn what should be a basic decision into something so complicated that it involves several rounds of advice seeking through a systematic org chart of people in their lives.

Until you just get so exhausted by the process, you throw up your hands in overwhelm and either choose to do nothing, or just pick the next available, easiest thing.

So, I’m going to suggest something radical. If you are the kind of person who loves to poll everyone you know about what you should do–your coach, your mom, your best friend, Prudie, your mailman–try this: take a break. Stop asking for advice.  Do the minimum amount of fact finding you need. Make a choice, preferably the one that feels best to your mind and body. And then learn how to deal with the results.

Why? Advice seeking is another form of not trusting yourself. It’s another form of filling your head and your heart with the voices and opinions of others people instead of cultivating your own. It’s a form of power outsourcing that we dress in fact finding clothing to make it seem less wimpy. When you practice tapping into your intuition instead of everyone else’s, it becomes a practice just like anything else, and it gets stronger and better the more you do it.

You’re not always going to make the “right” choice (as in get the results you want*), but that’s not the point. The point is to strengthen your own power and your faith in yourself to make a choice and handle the results, regardless of what they turn out to be.

*Speaking of what you want–I find that most people who struggle with making a choice on their own, who tend to overly rely on advice from others, are doing it in part because they don’t actually know what results they want. So, while we’re at it, start there–figure out what result you want and go backwards from there.

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