Advice Is Killing You

These are the headlines I have gotten in emails from “the Ladders” over the past 2 months. Presumably, these articles are targeted towards people who want to improve their careers. How would you feel if you started your day reading emails like this?  Would it make you self-conscious?

I believe that if you pay attention to this kind of advice, it will have the exact opposite of the intended effect.    It’s not the advice itself. When you actually read the articles I mentioned above you find out that you weren’t doing the 9 things that will kill your career anyway, you would never say those 5 words during an interview, and so on.  Even if you would never have used those 5 words, you were still likely hurt by this article. Why?

Be Inspired. Not Afraid.
When you read a headline every day about things to avoid, you become fearful, closed and protective. When you read a headline every day about things that inspire you, you become open and receptive.  What you put into your head creates an energy that drives your day. Be mindful of what type of energy you are creating.

Use your Energy to Build.  Not to Avoid.
As almost any motivational speaker will tell you, “you need to focus on where you want to go, not what you want to avoid.”  Creating a focus on things to avoid will turn you into an “avoider”. You want to be a “builder”. In order to “build” you want to focus on what to start doing, not what to stop doing.  Of course, there are things you might need to stop doing, but they are few as compared to the limitless possibilities of things to start doing.

Some Advice is Good Advice.  Some Advice is Bad Advice.
Someone recently asked me “what’s the worst advice you ever got?”  I told him “Well I got some really bad advice. I didn't take it!”  You don’t have to take bad advice! Anyone can give advice. You need to decide what advice you will choose to consider.  
Keep in mind, when it comes to advice, the source often doesn’t matter.  A really successful person might give bad advice because they are attributing their success to the wrong things. Someone you consider unsuccessful might have an insight that is valuable, regardless of their own performance.

What advice have you gotten, good or bad?  How did you decide whether to take it? Let us know!