Advice is valuable, especially when solicited from people whose expertise, motives, and knowledge of us we trust. Yet maybe we don’t need as much of it as we think we do. We’ve been at this long enough by now to have learned a thing or two and honed more decision making skills than we’re maybe conscious of, and yet some of our first reaction when faced with a big decision is still to reach out for counsel. Maybe that’s a healthy humility at work. It could also be a lack of confidence. It could be fear.
Two considerations, then, when our reflex is to go get advice: first, it’s a request on someone’s time and emotional energy; are we clear enough about the range of options and possibilities, as well as our values, to ask for useful advice? Could the matter we’re asking advice about today change by tomorrow?
Second, how might we advise someone else facing the same decision? In other words, have we sought advice from our own store of experience and insight first? There’s more there than we might think.