Are You Wrong (and Foolish) If You Don’t Follow The Advice of Renowned Experts In Your Field?

Kathy Caprino Posted by Kathy Caprino.

Kathy Caprino, M.A. is a nationally-recognized women’s work-life expert, executive and career coach, author, and speaker specializing in helping women gain empowerment and self-mastery to navigate successfully through major challenges.

  In the professional world I’m immersed in – coaching and online personal and professional development services – I’m literally bombarded every day with “experts” who share w....


In the professional world I’m immersed in – coaching and online personal and professional development services – I’m literally bombarded every day with “experts” who share what they believe is the one “right” way to proceed in life and in business. Today, we can tap into wisdom and advice from literally an unlimited number and array of sources: from world-renowned researchers and speakers, to multimillionaire entrepreneurs, to individuals channeling spiritual entities who share wisdom from another dimension.

After 10 years of immersing myself in learning everything I could get my hands on about personal development and career success, I’ve come to have my own, unique thoughts about the “right” way to go about building success and happiness, and here’s my take:

There is no one “right” way to build happiness and success. Period. Further, if the advice you’re getting puts you down, makes you feel wrong or “less than” and inferior, and doesn’t accommodate your particular worldview and how you experience the world, then it’s not the right advice for you.

While I know this in my heart and soul, sometimes I still get stuck, and doubt myself. Just this month offered a hard example. In launching a new program for coaches, I’ve been following advice of some top social media marketing experts and finally, after some really hard knocks (stay tuned for more on that!), I realized that it’s just been feeling all wrong.

In this specific case, pushing out ads on various social media channels to try to get thousands of video viewers just wasn’t the right direction for me at this time. (I prefer authentically building — over time — an awesome tribe of like-minded individuals through my writing and programs, rather than paying for followers who end up not engaging). So, all the experts in the world can tell me that certain marketing strategies work – but for me, they just don’t feel right. And when they don’t feel right, they won’t work.

Here’s another example of the wrong kind of help – I just listened to a recording today of a renowned “expert” sharing her advice to a young woman asking for help, and sadly, the advice was presented as if it’s fact. That gets me really agitated. Often this type of advice – and how it’s presented — rubs me the wrong way, because it’s shared in such a “know-it-all” way that I can’t even listen to the full content of a 3-minute video. Further, when I sense that the receiver of the advice is somehow feeling put down and shamed for what’s she’s struggling when, then I get really mad.

I’d like to offer this question to you – is the advice you’re getting aligned with how you see the world, and what feels right to you? Or does it feel wrong? The wrong kind of advice makes you feel bad about yourself, and uncomfortable about what you know and who you are.

What’s the “right” kind of help?

The “right” kind of help acknowledges that you are unique, amazing, gifted and smart in many ways. That you are special and have wonderful talents to share with the world, and the world needs your gifts. The right kind of help validates the way you see the world. You’re not “wrong” – you’re just you.

Yes, undoubtedly, there are important ways to shift your thinking and behavior that will support you to achieve your highest dreams in a quicker, more efficient way. (That’s the work I help professionals do.) But those are just “shifts” – not enormous, wholesale changes to your core being and your spirit.

Here are six ways to know if the advice you’re receiving is something that you should NOT be following:

You can spot the wrong kind of advice when:

  1. The helper claims s/he is an expert about you (it’s not true – you’re the expert about you)
  2. The help does not validate you or how you see the world
  3. The helper assumes you need “fixing” or believes you’re the problem
  4. The help you receive keeps you stuck  —  you keep experiencing the same the problems over and over
  5. The helper is enmeshed with you – s/he does not support you to grow beyond the help they give
    (I hate to say it, but I’ve seen that there are many therapists, coaches and consultants out there who WANT you to keep you coming back because of the money it makes them or because they want you to need them.  I see this in some exorbitantly-paid therapists and consultants all the time.)
  6. Receiving help is a negative experience that drains you of your vitality, hope, and excitement for life. (Or, on the other hand, the help is so overly-optimistic that it doesn’t reflect reality and leads you astray).

On the other hand, what does empowering, motivating and effective support look like:? It::

  1. Validates you – Makes you right (not wrong); focuses NOT on “fixing”you, but honoring who you are at your core and leveraging that
  2. Tailors the help to your specific values, beliefs and needs – not one-size-fits- all
  3. Strengthens and stretches you, helping you see your greatest talents and strengths as well as growth areas
  4. Takes you to a new level – so you overcome previous challenges and are ready for new ones
  5. Encourages you to be more of who you already are – authentically and with integrity, so you can help others expand and grow as well
  6. Fills you up so you want to experience even more of life and work – gives you a deep and thorough understanding of who you are and where you want to go, realistically, and how to do it.
  7. Offers you practical, doable steps you can take without turning your life and “system” upside down and inside out, and creating chaos in your life

In the end, take in and embrace what feels right to you deep down. Let everything else go.

Have you been struggling with deciding whether to follow the advice you’re getting? What are your challenges right now around this?


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