Heleo: What to Do with the Fake News Coming from Inside Your Own Head
READ ON TO DISCOVER:
- Why only 20% of the world is operating on authentic information
- How to filter the information we receive from the outside world
- Who you should be asking for feedback, at work and at home
Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist and the New York Timesbestselling author of Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life. She recently joined Amy Blankson, a member of the UN Global Happiness Council and bestselling author of The Future of Happiness, to talk about how to navigate the fake news we feed ourselves, and find a balance between self-reflection and seeking feedback from others.
Tasha: Whatever your political beliefs, I think we can all agree that [fake news] is out there, but it’s very rare for us to realize that in addition to all of the falsities floating around the world, we quite often inadvertently create fake news within ourselves.
Amy: Well certainly. What I’ve found as a speaker and as an author is that most of the feedback we receive is praise. If you start to listen just to the praise, you get a distorted view of who you are in the world. Likewise, if I read all the reviews on Amazon or in the discussion forums, I might be very disheartened that everyone hates me.
Tasha: I’ve done that, by the way. Don’t ever do it.
Amy: It’s a horrible idea. What I’ve found really interesting, though, as I read your book was that the people that I trusted the most said, over the last year, “Amy, sometimes you’re not the best communicator.” I thought, “That’s so weird. I spend all day every day writing emails and texting and making phone calls. I’m literally always on my phone trying to communicate with people, so what do my friends mean?”
After the first friend said this and then a second friend and then my husband and then another friend, I thought, “I think I need to pay attention to this because clearly I might be receiving too much internal fake news, and I need to check in on what really is going on in my life.” Introspection is not just about self-reflection, it’s about getting feedback from others and figuring out how to filter what’s important, so that you can begin to make changes.
“Introspection is not just about self-reflection, it’s about getting feedback from others and figuring out how to filter what’s important, so that you can begin to make changes.”
For me, the Prochaska Stages of Change are so fascinating—the very first stage of making a change in your life is about pre-contemplation, before you ever think about things. When I was reading your book initially, I was in a stage of pre-contemplation, so when my friends started coming up and saying, “Amy, you really need to look at this. You need to become a more regular, personable communicator,” I began contemplation.
Eventually, the [fifth and] final stage is to actually create change in your life through action. There are multiple different ways that we can approach this in our own lives, but it comes back to [the question,] “How do we recognize some of the information in our life that is fake, and what do we do about it? Do we get rid of it or do we tune it out? Do we find more sources of good information, and how much do we need to listen to other people?”
These questions, they’re not just academic. They’re very personal questions through which I aspire to make myself a better person, a better leader, a better speaker, [and] a better author.
“How do we recognize some of the information in our life that is fake, and what do we do about it?”
Tasha: So many of us are about, how we can make it better? How can we be happier? How can we be more fulfilled? How can we be more successful? You and I would both argue that being yourself [is the answer] to all of these questions.
What that doesn’t mean is becoming just a self-loathing machine, over-analyzing everything we do and only speaking critical feedback, but rather [aiming] to get a richer, fuller picture of who we are, what we want, and the role that we’re playing in the world. That begins by acknowledging the blind spots that we all have. Whether in a technologically mediated setting [or] in-person, we can be very blind about how we come across and about what we know.