For many years,
whenever I found myself
struggling with a decision
or high-stakes challenge,
I would discuss it with
a wide range of people.
Talking about the situation
made me feel less alone.
And in doing so, it released
some of the pressure,
like opening a valve.
But that approach proved
problematic for 3 reasons:
- Those who gave an opinion weren’t necessarily experienced or qualified
- Getting so much input actually confused me further
- I felt beholden to update each individual on how things unfolded, which was an exhausting proposition
Invariably they would ask,
“How’s X going?”
“What happened with Y?”
“Did you do what we discussed?”
Then one insight changed my approach.
DON’T TELL YOUR PROBLEMS
TO PEOPLE WHO CAN’T HELP YOU SOLVE THEM.
It’s so incredibly obvious
and yet so incredibly essential.
- If you’re looking for financial advice, don’t talk to people who manage their money poorly.
- If you’re looking for relationship advice, don’t talk with people who have no success in this arena.
- If you’re looking for business, work or artistic advice, don’t talk with people who lack the experience to grasp your situation.
The next time
you’re about to confide in someone
about a struggle, ask yourself,
“Is this person truly qualified
to weigh in on my situation?”
Risk Forward & Choose Wisely,
P.S. This is top of mind as I recently faced a very big decision. It was excruciating; the stakes were high, the situation raised unexpected emotions, and a critical deadline loomed large. As much as I wanted to spill the beans when a colleague or friend casually asked, “How are you? What’s going on in your life?” I stuck to my core principle. In the end, I only discussed the situation with 4 people, each of whom was highly qualified and each for a different reason. Although the decision-making process lasted a few weeks, when I finally sorted things out, the path was clear, the situation remained private, and I only had 4 people to update.