Don’t Be An Ostrich

We’ve all heard the news about the potential spread of Coronavirus. I’m the first to admit, I wasn’t paying attention to the news around it for too long, so when the announcement was made yesterday (February 25) about the potential widespread threat, I panicked. I thought about my husband working in the city. I thought about my kids at school. I thought about my Mom and mother-in-law, both teachers. I thought about my Dad who travels a lot. I thought about my sister who works in a hospital. I thought about my new niece who is just starting daycare. I thought about a lot of things.

And I panicked.

But here’s why: I didn’t have all the information. I jumped to conclusions based on one news source.

And that’s the problem. People are all too ready to accept one piece of news as fact, without getting the rest of the information. I’m reading a book called The ONE Thing and in it, the author talks about the idea of “truthiness.” The idea was coined by Stephen Colbert meaning, “truth that comes from the gut, not books.”

Basically, truthiness is the idea that something seems like the truth so you roll with it, without confirming that it is in fact reality. This is why I encourage my clients to always ask themselves: Is this true? Or do I believe it to be true? With immediate access to any type of information (thank you Siri and Google Assistant), we do very little critical thinking. We don’t research, assess, evaluate or analyze because we aren’t required to in order to function. When we hear something, or let the Internet tell us something, we allow ourselves to believe it is true and we run with it.

We’ve all become ostriches, burying our heads in the sand, committed to believing what we hear at face-value, not willing to spend a few extra minutes to get more information to validate what we hear.

So, now you’re aware. What can you do to increase your world-awareness on the things that matter to you before you jump to conclusions and make hasty decisions, potentially impacting your life and the lives of those around you?

Don’t be an ostrich. Immediate access to an infinite amount of information gives each of us the opportunity to be well-informed. Take the time to find the truth. Then make decisions based on what is true, not what is loud, popular or trendy.

Take Action
Whatever you use for a news source, open it up. Read through today’s headlines. Now and stop and notice how you feel. Regardless of whether that feeling is a negative emotion (anxiety, worry, fear) or a positive one (happy, interested, excited), challenge yourself to learn more about the headline that most caught your attention. Explore other news sources. Expand what you consider. Be sure your sources are committed to accuracy. See what people are saying about the topic on social channels. Build your information before you decide the best response to the news for you.

And always remember to check in with yourself by asking: is this true? Or do I believe it to be true?

You’ll be amazed how much wiser your decisions will be.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading 3 Ways A Coach Can Help You Succeed

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