Would You Take Your Own Advice?

Earlier this year I posted on National Registered Dietitian (RDN) Day suggesting what I would have shared with my younger RDN self as I celebrate 30 years as a registered dietitian nutritionist this year. (Also 25 years as an NP! It’s a big year 🙂 In reflecting on this, I came upon a podcast featuring Carol Burnett. Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her podcast ‘Wiser Than Me’ asked Carol if there was something she would go back and tell herself at 21 years old. Carol said ‘No’ and if she had given herself advice she wouldn’t be where she is now. I was surprised and it made me think if I would have taken my own professional advice as I posted in March. The Julia and Carol podcast went on to discuss if there was anything one would go back and say ‘Yes’ to – the answer was also ‘No’. Yet, there were things Carol said she’d say ‘No’ to.

Rebecca Manley and I talked about taking our own advice on TheNPRD podcast today and she quite sagely responded it would depend on what age she was at the time. Given how humans change and grow differently, how recovery looks and feels to individuals and families, we might very well all say no across the board to taking our own advice.

What would happen if we had – have – the space to take our own advice? We might make different decisions. We might learn to become more attuned to our needs sooner. We’d consider having compassionate space with and for ourselves. We could think about asking for help sooner. We’d possibly contemplate starting medication sooner rather than later or not at all. Or, we’d become completely different people.

One of the main pieces to healing is being able to learn compassion toward our younger selves knowing we’re all doing our very best in every moment. I encourage myself and others to leave the shoulding behind around this, too. After hearing Carol and Julia’s conversation, I’m not sure I would take my own advice any longer – professional or otherwise – and like Becky, it would depend on my age. At the same time, I wish I would have learned to say ‘No’ sooner in life combined with better boundaries and lots more self compassion. Would you go back and take your own advice? Yes or no? Why and why not? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you.