As coaches, we are skilled in helping other people gain clarity, build self-belief, take action and generally find ways to consistently and constantly make progress towards their desired life. Of course, you don’t have to be a certified coach to be able to help other people do the same. We all, at times, offer our sound judgement, advice, support or guidance to friends, colleagues and family members.

Yet, how often do you follow your own advice to others?

Do you find yourself telling colleagues they should leave the office on time and get home to more important things while you stick around just a bit longer to write ‘just one more email’?

Have you told a particularly stressed friend that they really ought to take a break and treat themselves to an afternoon at a spa or R&R in the local park, while your common stress-busting strategy is to just keep fighting through it?

Do you and your partner often discuss how great it would be to take in more of the cultural treats and opportunities that your area of the country offers, only to see another six months pass without actually doing anything about it?

Perhaps these examples don’t exactly resonate with you…but I’m sure there are other situations that you have clearly and boldy, with respect and genuine care for another’s well-being, given someone sound advice. Yet, you yourself haven’t gotten around to acting on the same advice or made the time to take care of what’s important to you.

“Do as I say, not as I do” was a popular mantra of a former teacher of mine. Why is it easier to confidently give advice but not have the depth of conviction that we should also follow such solid advice? Why is it easier to tell others what is good for them, while we continue to practice bad habits that are counter-productive in our own life, and the complete opposite of our own words of wisdom.

Actually, a more important question would be “What is a great piece of advice you’ve given recently, that would also help you, but you haven’t taken action in your own life?” Something to ponder for sure.

The point is not to dwell on all the reasons and excuses you haven’t acted, but rather to challenge you to begin walking your talk more consistently. Step up and take on your own advice. Be a shining example for those around you. If your insights are helpful to others, wouldn’t acting on that direction yourself be even better for both of you?

Next time you want to give some advice, look in the mirror first and challenge yourself to do the same. It’s time you benefited as much as your friends from your thoughtful words of wisdom.

Leave a comment to let us know what advice of yours you’ve been avoiding, and what action you might take from reading this post. You’ll help others take action as well.