As a teen, when parents or family members would suggest that I might benefit from therapy, I scoffed at the idea. I have lots of best friends who listen when I need to talk. They know me better than anyone, so why in the world would I go to a stranger who doesn’t care?
Eventually, I did end up going to therapy and realized that my friends only told me what I wanted to hear, agreed with my arguments, and validated my frustration. While sometimes there is nothing wrong with that, and support of that nature is even healthy, these friends were unlikely to point out where I could improve. They also lacked the knowledge to help me understand what makes me tick.
What I needed was someone to ask me why I reacted the way I did. Why was I affected? Does this situation reflect something back about myself that I don’t like or want to admit? I wasn’t going to think about these things if I was stuck in my own head or only receiving unconditional validation.
True change comes from understanding yourself and seeing situations through an outside set of eyes. Let’s face it, we can be pretty narrow-minded if we don’t branch out and seek the opinions of others. Our own minds become an echo chamber where we just hear the same things over and over again. We need to have an outside perspective to grow.
I still enjoy time with my friends. I’ll tell them what’s up with me and my businesses. I’ve learned the same principles apply to those who I ask to help me improve my business. If I complain about my business to a friend who has always been an employee, he’s not going to have the insight that leads to valuable advice. However, many of my friends are also business owners. They aren’t afraid to give me advice because they have already been where I am. They can be blunt and sometimes they don’t say things I want to hear but their input is invaluable at helping me get better.
I’ve already realized that sometimes I need professional advice. This is advice that I pay for because I need specific information that I don’t have and don’t want to take the time to learn. Someone once told me that free advice can be the most expensive and I’ve learned the hard way that is true.
You’ve likely heard the saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” It means that you’re too involved or too close to a problem to see the whole situation. This isn’t because you aren’t smart enough but because your perspective is based on your viewpoint. So, stop looking at the trees and get a drone so you can see the forest!
Zachary Stallings is the owner of Massage by Zach and Residential Recon Home Inspection Services. He is working on opening a new location of Home Star Home Loans in Tupelo, MS. Zach is an artist, a father, and someone who loves to learn. https://www.facebook.com/massagebyzach