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Advice or Adoration? Help for Hard Decisions

Have you ever noticed how we love to admire other people? Healthy adoration is a natural inclination. But when one of my best girlfriends told me, “I said yes to my fiancée because of your marriage,” that was way more responsibility than I ever want to hold. I hadn’t realized I had been appointed marriage ambassador!

There’s a healthy way to admire, and an imbalanced way to adore. Many women I know look to their husbands as mentors in the financial life of their relationships. Money-wise, their husbands are in the position to be admired, rather than financial partners. If this is what works in consciously navigating your financial life, good for you. But if your husband isn’t in on the deal, you may come to find little resentments in the realm of money until you balance out the expectations.

Love, Money, More
Money, marriage, and otherwise, I advocate having your own personal advisory board. My advisory board is a circle of mentors who are not necessarily friends (although they may be). They are esteemed business people, my parents, and others whose decision-making skills I highly admire. They have done well for themselves—emotionally, in business, for their families, in the adventures of their lives. Whenever I’m figuring things out, I usually come to them with my questions.

The beauty is that they know my style, my rhythm. And we have clear relationships, built on this exchange. When I ask, “What do you think about it?” they consider their experience and mine, and tell me what they think I should do.

Life Decisions in the Hands of Experts
A personal advisory board offers consistency and instills confidence when you really need it. Most people, when faced with a question outside their field, will seek out a qualified friend or acquaintance for their opinion. For me, I have come to understand that I trust my advisory board for their acumen, their decision making process, and the great questions they will ask me. They know me well. When I come to them, they suss out what they think is best for me, and then, if necessary, send me to the best professional they know in the field.

For me, this kind of admiration is the idea going to the elders. No matter what I’m going through, I have my elder group to go to, to throw out information, and get their feedback. Getting their opinions has become absolutely critical and invaluable in the life decisions I make. My board seeks me out, too. If I have ventured off and forgotten to keep in touch, they call me, check in, ask what’s happening.

Sharing Admirable Qualities
My advisory board holds a place of special privilege in my life. They know they contribute to my life in this way because I have enrolled them in my admiration for them. When you are an adoring fan of a friend or colleague, be out loud about it! Tell the person you admire so that they can contribute to you with awareness. Or they can opt out with the same awareness. The connection you create will be an incredibly valuable asset.

Originally published on Green Sherpa