I was talking to a friend yesterday. We were talking about a situation in my life in the past where as I look back, I began to wonder why none of my friends offered up their opinions on the situation. At the end – when it was all over and I had been through some painful lessons – I seemed to get opinions and thoughts left and right! There was a part of me that wished those friends had spoken up earlier and shared their concerns along the way. I might have been spared some pain.
But what I realized as I reflected more was…I never asked anyone for their opinion! I never asked for help. I never sought counsel. And most people, myself included, are probably not going to offer up unsolicited advice. They may not be aware of a struggle or a doubt – or they may just not feel it’s their place. If it looked like I was happy and confident in my decisions, then why rock the boat? And I’m great at wearing that mask — all is ok, I’m in control, I know what I’m doing. Why would anyone do otherwise than go along with me!
So why am I putting this on them?!? It’s easy to play the victim and not take accountability! What I realize is I have a role in making myself vulnerable, asking a question, seeking advice. That opens up a dialogue and invites other perspectives. It’s still up to me to make choices and take action. But it helps me with different points of view. It humbles me, gets my ego out of the way, and creates an openness and teachability. I know I didn’t “put those vibes off.” If I don’t come across as open, teachable, humble…why am I surprised at the response I get?!
It was a real insight and learning for me about the power of a question — seeking counsel and asking for different perspectives. They may not come naturally otherwise…and how richer my life could be (and possibly less painful!) by having that insight & experience?