All of us have had family members, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances -- some well-meaning, and others not so much -- try to impose their opinions, feelings, and beliefs on us.
But others' instincts should never override our own. After all, no one knows us better than we know ourselves.
I often tell my readers that the best tool in their arsenal for navigating the world is none other than their gut.
I have found my gut to be invaluable in guiding me to make sound decisions. Whether I've had to choose between different job opportunities or love interests, following my instinct has usually led to the best outcome.
I'm sure you've made decisions that, in hindsight, wound up being the wrong ones, prompting you to say wistfully, "If only I had listened to my gut."
But listening to your instinct isn't easy when you have a cacophony of voices telling you to do otherwise. Others may say that their life experience qualifies them to dictate what you should and should not do in your life. But such a notion couldn't be more misguided.
We all have different personalities. Different likes. Different dislikes. No two people had the same upbringing. What one finds exciting, another finds repulsive. We all don't love skydiving. Not all of us want to be become doctors or lawyers. The person one might feel is our soulmate may turn out to be the total opposite.
Just because one approach or lifestyle works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you.
I'm not saying others' advice is never helpful, but there's a clear difference between providing tips and imposing one's will on someone else.
We're called adults for a reason -- we should be free to make our own decisions and live with the consequences. Of course, trusting your gut isn't 100% foolproof -- nothing is -- but I find it usually turns out to be a pretty reliable warning system in the absence of a crystal ball.