Where do you get your advice?

A client recently told me that she stayed three years in an abusive work relationship because her 85-year-old father told her she couldn’t afford to leave.

Yes, three years with a toxic boss who made her feel small, called her stupid to her face, and called out fictitious “mistakes” in front of others. There’s no other word for this behavior. Abuse. And abuse has no place in the workplace.

Verbal abusive is pretty subtle, and even smart people get sucked in sometimes. The abuser will often say, “You are too sensitive.” Or “I didn’t mean it that way.” You are left feeling confused, questioning your own judgment.

A milder form of abuse is someone telling you what’s good for you–and being disappointed in you if you don’t unquestioningly follow their advice. You can get to the point that you begin to operate on auto-pilot, waiting for the next suggestion, demand or command. It becomes hard to trust yourself, when you are constantly wondering, “What would he say?” “What would she think?”

The beauty of being an adult is realizing that you are at free will. Career decisions, love decisions, decisions about where to live and whom to sleep with–they are all yours. And you are cheating yourself if you don’t seize the chance to choose for yourself.

Where do you get your advice? I suggest you go within and ask yourself how each decision feels. If you are reading a job description, does it make you feel excitement? Or dread? When you read about a company, does their mission fill you with pride? Or, make you a little queasy?

Your feelings are your Higher Self–your soul—trying to communicate with you. Some call it a Sixth Sense or Intuition. Pay attention. Follow those feelings.

Of course you want to consult Google for the facts. Look into things and check them out. Ask friends and family what they think. And then, trust yourself. You know what’s best for you. The well-meaning admonitions of your parents are just that–well-meaning. They have lived in another time. Their opinions have been informed by different circumstances.

The world is evolving so fast, you need to stay in the present, in the here and now.

And, follow your instincts.

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