June 1, 2024

The Advice Trap: Breaking Free from Conditioned Counsel

BY Marc Mathys
In the vast landscape of human interactions, advice-giving is a common practice. Friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers often feel compelled to offer their two cents on everything from career choices to personal relationships. However, have you ever stopped to consider that the advice you receive is often more about the person giving it than about you? Let’s delve into the fascinating world of conditioned counsel and explore how to break free from the advice trap.
The Programming of Advice
From a young age, we are conditioned by our environments—our families, cultures, education systems, and social circles. This programming shapes our beliefs, values, and perceptions of the world. When someone gives advice, it is filtered through this intricate web of personal experiences and ingrained beliefs. For instance, a parent who values job security may advise their child to pursue a stable career, such as in law or medicine, even if the child’s passion lies in a creative field. This advice, while well-intentioned, is rooted in the parent’s conditioning and not necessarily aligned with the child’s unique aspirations and potential. 
The Belief System Bias
Beliefs act as a lens through which we interpret the world. When someone offers advice, it is often a reflection of their own belief system. This bias can skew the relevance and applicability of their counsel to your specific situation. Consider a friend who has a strong belief in traditional gender roles. If you seek advice about a relationship issue, their guidance is likely to be influenced by their beliefs, which may not resonate with your own values or the dynamics of your relationship. 
The Personal Experience Filter
Personal experiences play a significant role in shaping our perspectives. When someone advises you based on their experiences, there is an inherent bias that may not take into account the uniqueness of your circumstances. For example, a colleague who thrived in a corporate environment might encourage you to follow a similar path, dismissing your entrepreneurial ambitions. Their advice is colored by their success in a particular context, which may not be applicable to your distinct goals and personality.
Breaking Free from the Advice Trap
Cultivate a deep understanding of your own values, beliefs, and aspirations. This self-awareness will help you discern which advice aligns with your authentic self and which does not. 
Critical Thinking
Approach advice with a critical mind. Analyze the underlying beliefs and experiences of the person offering it. Consider whether their perspective truly applies to your situation. 
Seek Diverse Perspectives
Instead of relying on a single source of advice, seek input from a diverse range of people. This will provide a more balanced view and help you make informed decisions. 
Trust Your Intuition
Ultimately, you are the best judge of what is right for you. Trust your intuition and inner wisdom when making decisions. Use external advice as a guide, not a rule.
Empower Yourself
 Remember that advice is just that—advice. It is not a mandate. Empower yourself to make choices that resonate with your true self, even if they go against the grain of others’ counsel.
While advice can be valuable and insightful, it is crucial to recognize that it often reflects the giver’s programming, conditioning, and beliefs. 
By developing self-awareness, employing critical thinking, seeking diverse perspectives, trusting your intuition, and empowering yourself, you can break free from the advice trap





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Hello I’m Marc the creator of the Reset-it program and a TedX speaker.


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