5 Pieces of Advice I’m Happy I didn’t Take

08/11/17

Life Lessons

Location: Saint Tropez
Sometimes in life you need some help. A little advice from a friend, a parent, a colleague or maybe even from a blog you follow anonymously. I know often when there’s a decision to be made, it’s a phone call to my Mum, a chat with Alex or a Facetime with a friend that puts me at ease or leaves me excited for the next step. Another point of view can help you to come to a decision you’ve been dawdling over, or it can inspire a choice you haven’t been brave enough to choose quite yet. Both of these for me are a step in the right direction and lessen the likelihood of pesky regrets.

Although a little advice can be the inspiration you need, it can also be quite the opposite. As someone who lives their life online, I definitely get advice on things I’ve never needed or asked for and I definitely get my fair share of advice that is entirely the opposite of what I and the majority think. Definitely not to be confused with a simple opinion or feedback (those are always welcome on my platforms, so I have the ability to grow) although some advice can be very much unwelcome and a little hurtful sometimes.

As you move through your late teens into further education, carving your career and even simply finding out who you are, there will be advice that you will treasure and will help you to grow, and there will be some advice that is.. well.. best forgotten! Just remember that even when you are in search of advice and help, some ‘words of wisdom’ might not be in your best interest, but perhaps others.

Here are 5 pieces of advice that I chose to ignore over the years and the reasons why I decided they weren’t the best choices for me.

No one will take you seriously with purple hair..

I remember when I first dyed my hair candy floss pink. I did it because I wanted to. Yes the colour was permanent, yes the choice was bold but it could be changed at a later date if I chose to do so. It was a way for me to express my love of colour and I’ve always wanted to push the boundaries somewhat with my fashion and beauty choices. A lot of people loved the look and I actually felt just as many people thought I was crazy for colouring my blonde locks Barbie pink. When Inthefrow popped into existence I already had pink hair, soon to be purple and had I heeded other people’s advice I’m not sure I would even be where I am right now. My coloured hair quickly became my trademark and even now so many people tell me they followed me because of it. I for one am glad I never took that advice and allowed someone to stifle my self expression and creativity.

You can't trust anyone..

I feel like this is one of those cynical pieces of advice that people offer after perhaps a heartbreak or a betrayal. At the time you smile and nod through your tears and kindly agree, when in fact what you want to say is 'Jeez can we be a bit more optimistic please?'. I see the best in people, in anyone. It may well be my downfall in some cases but I have always been raised to see the best in someone and not make them jump through hoops to gain my trust. Yes some people may prove you wrong but hopefully the majority of those in your life will prove you 100% correct. You may well have to be a little more careful from time to time but so long as you use a combination of both your head and your heart, I find you can often know which people deserve to be part of your life and vice versa. You can trust people and actually; it's a wonderful feeling when you do.

Don't leave your lecturers position to blog full time..

I still remember the look on my roommates face when I told her I was considering moving to London, quitting my job at the University of Manchester and turning my hobby into a full time career. I think her first reaction was that I had gone a little crazy and wasn't thinking entirely straight. The truth was, I hadn't fully divulged all my feelings and reasons behind the decision and she wanted to make sure I had thought every step of my choice through. When she realised that I knew the financial, creative and personal implications of the choice she threw her entire weight behind my success and still does every step of the way. It's almost 3 years since the decision and I feel I am more successful, fulfilled and comfortable than I have ever been, I have grown as a person as well as a creative and I chose my own career path that was right for my development.

Just cheer up..

Possibly the most frustrating piece of advice I’ve ever been given and something that’s said to me on a regular basis. I know that the meaning behind the words is to offer a little smile in perhaps your lowest moments but we are so often told to ‘get on with it’, ‘ get over it’ or ‘cheer up’ that we sometimes forget it’s okay to not be okay. We aren’t perfect. We are all too often encouraged to just get over that sadness and anger we feel rather than working out the reasons behind it and for me I know I do so much better to deal with why I feel that way, rather than just ignore it. In future before someone tells me to cheer up I would love to hear them say, ‘It’s okay to be sad’; because it is. I know that not ‘cheering up’ and actually dealing with my emotions has always been beneficial to my mindset and those around me.

Don’t get a tattoo..

The simple answer to this piece of advice is ‘it’s my body’. The tattoos I have had designed and inked onto me over the past few years all have meanings behind them. I love every single one of them and haven’t yet ruled out adding more to my collection. Tattoos are a very personal, creative way to express yourself and just as I love mine, I’m okay that others may not. I have friends who barely have any space left for more and I have friends who have never had a single one and probably never will. Each to their own. My tattoos offer me comfort, offer me strength and express my creativity. They are not new additions to my body and I have carved my career because of/despite them and continue to work with brands (both luxury and high street) while sporting them. We have one life and one body to live it with. So long as you are happy, healthy and know the risks behind being tattooed, (some careers may not allow visible tattoos) then that choice is yours alone.

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I thought this might be a nice twist on the usual type of advice posts out there, having a look back on the pieces of advice I’m glad I didn’t take. Are there any words that have stuck with you that you also didn’t take? I’d love to hear if there are or if you’ve been offered the same advice as me over the years.

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