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I was visiting my friend Sara last week and was having a good laugh at her current marital tiff. Nothing comforts me more than knowing I’m not alone in those. As I listened to her explain it, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I’ve done what she did.

She asked her husband’s advice and then didn’t take it. I’ve witnessed this before; she’ll ask which shoes he likes and then pick the DeathtoStock_Creative Community8opposite. But this time she asked his advice about taking on a leadership position at work and then did what she wanted to do anyway which was turn it down. He was insulted which is why she invited me over (“he can’t be mad directly at me if you’re here”…the perfect invite :) )

I’ve been there before, I told her. And it’s true, I often do this. The reason I give myself that it’s ok is something my dad says, “in the asking you often find your answer.” (Tweet this!)

Great for me. Annoying to whomever’s advice I’m after. Do you do the same, ask advice and then ignore it?

Sure it’s annoying when someone selects a pair of shoes, a restaurant or movie and you choose another. The difficulty is when the decision is more weighty.

How do you know when to heed advice and when to follow your gut?

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Can you imagine what the world would be like if Amy Poehler had been too self conscious of her hilariousness to ever perform? What about if Beyonce let stage fright keep her from putting herself out there? How about if Diane Von Furstenberg had ignored her creative gift because it was too intimidating to work in a male-dominated industry?

These women have identified what comes naturally to them and created work and life around their gifts. Their stories resonate with us because we see that it wasn’t easy for them to express their fullest potential but they found a way.

For the rest of us, we aren’t satisfied with our work because we know in our gut that we have something more to offer. Making an impact and feeling purposeful are universal desires.

When we see our potential sitting on the sidelines, it leads to frustration and dissatisfaction which ultimately keeps us from being great.

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