The pieces of advice I'm glad I didn't take

18 August 2018

There are some things you’re told in life that you will always look back and think ‘God, I’m so glad I listened to that person’ or ‘they were right - what a wise person’. Then there are some not-so-great things that you’re told, these words may linger on your mind for a while so you end up over thinking them and eventually let them end up having a negative effect on you and your well being. Let’s call these ‘the pieces of advice I’m glad I didn’t take’ (rolls off the tongue, I know).  Here are the 3 pieces of advice that I chose to ignore and why I am glad I did…  

1. ‘You're not very good at this - you should stop’ or 'I don't think this is for you'. 

One thing that has been stuck in my mind since year 6 of primary school is when my Maths teacher told my mum and I, that I was not naturally gifted at Maths and that I could forget any kind of bright future which concerned numbers. I was not having any of it. Mainly due to the fact that I am stubborn, not by the belief that I thought I was the next Alan Turing or Carol Vorderman.

After conferring with the rest of the students and parents in my class, we then found out that he told this to everyone in my class – perhaps he just wanted to speed through parents evening to go home and order a takeout? Who knows. Regardless of his motives or whether he thought I was just plain stupid, this knocked my confidence for a good 3 years. I panicked and dreaded Maths class, always gave up at the first sign of failure and thought I was dumb.

It wasn’t until I moved schools and was placed in the top set of the Maths at my new school that I started to regain confidence in myself.  Fast forward 12 years with an A* in GCSE Maths, graduated with an Economics degree from a renowned red brick university and now employed as a finance professional undergoing an accountancy qualification...look at me now, Mr. Howard (I certainly don’t think that was his name but for confidentiality purposes we’ll go with that).

The moral of the story is to not allow people to force their own negative beliefs or insecurities down your throat so much that you lose all your confidence and doubt your self-worth.  More often than not, negative or discouraging comments from individuals push you to work even harder at achieving something to prove them wrong. 

2. Fake it 'til you make it.

If there was any piece of advice that should come with a caveat referring to when you should and shouldn't use it - it would be this one. 

If I was to pretend I knew what I was doing all the time -  is this really a good thing?

It's okay to raise your hand and not know. 

Whether it's not knowing how to do something in your job or not knowing what to order from Nandos (butterfly chicken with rice and coleslaw all the way) – whatever it is, it's okay not to know.  

Faking it until you make it has an implicit meaning that in order to be a ‘real adult’ (whatever this is) -  we have to have it together all of the time. Whereas, being vulnerable and completely clueless at times is a fundamental part of growing up and life. When we falsify who we are, we portray a completely different image of who we are as people. 

That's one piece of advice I will not be taking, thank you. 

3. 'You shouldn't try that - it'll depend on luck'

Someone actually said this to me a few weeks ago and my I've never been more confused/offended in all my life. 

It's so important to take time to appreciate everything you have in life, as there so many people not as privileged as ourselves. However, there is also a time and a place to acknowledge your hard work.

I'm a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason, I don't believe anything is solely down to luck (I’m no mystic meg but those two are not the same thing, right?). Luck can play a massive factor in success but hard work plays an even bigger one. In my opinion, being told not to do something because it is dependent on luck is complete fluff. So, the chances of acing my exams aren't down to luck.  No, I’ll have to work hard.

Life is all about learning from your mistakes, but to do that you have to make some first.  

Are there any pieces of advice you're glad you didn't take? 

Outfit details 

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Shoes - ASOS (similar) 
Bag - H&M (Similar here)

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