What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you’ve read the Q&A on my bio, you’d see that I listed the best pieces of advice I ever received and, oddly enough, they were all from Dad. I guess he would also include changing your socks in the middle of the day if you’re working in construction, but that one never really applied to me.

When I was in the third grade, I was a passionate reader of the “Mini Pages,” a newspaper insert for kids inside The Houston Chronicle. It included puzzles and comics, and new stories written for kids. I once asked my dad a question about the government – specifically the president. He told me that if I had questions, especially about the leaders of our country, I should ask them directly.

So, I wrote a letter to the White House and actually got a response. At the time, we were living in an old family farmhouse in the tiniest town of Texas imaginable … home to around 200 people and a gas station that also sold fishing bait. He taught me that if I had a question I should inquire at the top and expect an answer, and that public officials had a responsibility to everyone.

If you argue with a fool, that makes two. This one took a while to learn but has served me so well. If someone is being incredibly unreasonable, sinking to their level won’t make them see the light and it’s rare that you’ll change someone’s opinion. You’ll just waste your energy.

If it were easy everyone would do it. My dad would remind me of this if I was complaining or looking for sympathy because of how difficult things were. My oldest son was born when I was 17. My late teens and early 20s felt like a constant uphill battle, going to college, working full time, the never-ending childcare arrangements, and attempting to have a life of my own. That reminder that not everyone does this changed my outlook from feeling like a victim to feeling like a warrior. I told myself this so many times over the years when the struggle to obtain success seemed like too much to handle.

Don’t believe them when they say you’re great and don’t believe them when they say you’re bad. I’ve worked in radio since I was 21. That makes 20 years and counting. When I first started, I struggled with my family seeing this as a career and not just me having fun and going to concerts. In fact, I don’t think I took it seriously as a career at first.

In the beginning whenever I would get good feedback, I would rush home to tell my parents what was said to gain approval and have them see that I was doing good. My dad would tell me, “Don’t believe them when they say you’re great, and don’t believe them when they say you’re bad.” He wasn’t talking about my boss, who might want to encourage certain things or teach me things. He was talking about concerning yourself too much with other’s opinions.

Over the years I’ve realized that if you figure out who YOU are and stay true to that, others will respect you. I’ve worked in newsrooms where people didn’t think I was serious enough. I worked in music radio stations where I felt like the least cool person in the room. As soon I became confident in who I was and the unique way I saw the world, I became successful. Instead of trying to become more what I thought I should be, I leaned in to all the ways I was different.

I would love to hear the best advice you’ve ever received. I’m starting a new segment in September where we share the advice that motivates us. Please email me at Rebecca@999theq.com

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.

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