Living in the age we do, we get to reap the tremendous benefits of having immediate access to information through the internet. This access helps our lives move at a quicker pace and adds a lot of convenience to what used to be lengthy processes. But one of the major downsides of having so much information at our fingertips is that along with all of the real experts we can now connect with through the web, there are just as many people claiming to be experts using websites and blogs as their personal platform.
Whether it’s physical, relational, or mental health, plenty of these self-ordained “experts” are happy to not only guide, but sometimes scare us on to a path of certain behaviors. Take for instance the rise and recent fall of The Food Babe, a popular health and wellness blogger who you can read more about here. Or Belle Gibson. Again, more right here. Though they are slightly different situations, both of these women have used the tactics of fear-mongering and false correlations to bolster their respective causes.
On- or offline, it serves us to figure out who gets to be on our mental panel of life experts. So give it a try! Take a minute to reflect and really imagine this set up:
In front of you, there is a panel table, microphones, and (of course) great lighting. In just a minute your life experts are about to walk in and take their seats. So…
Who is present? Who do you refer to when it comes to decisions about your mental health? Your physical well-being? Your relationships? Your work? Your family? Your money? What blogs or books do you turn and return to? Who do you pick up the phone and call? Whether you think of 3 or 13 people take the time to specify who is showing up.
How do each of these individuals help you feel? Energized? Afraid? Excited? Ashamed? Grounded? Take note!
What are the real-deal goals (for you) of each panel member? Is there someone who wants you to save more money? Someone who wants you to “live a little?” Someone who wants you to stay conscious of others’ needs? Try to nail down what these folks want for you.
What is it about this group gives them their worth? Is it their research? Their personal experience? Their accessibility? Their image? Explore what it is that allows you to give your trust to this group.
How do these individuals get along? Do they work well together? Do they take turns sharing priority? Are any of these people in conflict with one another? Take a closer look at the group dynamic, noticing how willing everyone is to be in conversation rather than debate.
Now that you have your expert panel hashed out, what can you learn from it? When coming across this expert advice on the news or online, what will your expert panel do with the information to best serve your needs? Having this expert panel at your side, you will enable yourself to make more informed choices and ensure that those choices are coming from a place of truth and honesty within yourself.