Body Talks: Fake News and the Voice of Fear

Sadly, we often limit our potential by being too attentive to our inner voice of fear. Luckily, Facebook offers us some helpful tips to avoid this risk.

Listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream.” (Author Unknown)

Sit quietly for a moment and think about the many inner voices you have heard recently. Several headlines have been broadcast in the theatre of my own mind over the past 24 hours. The pleasure of anticipating a long weekend with my family. The excitement at kicking off a new engagement with a well-respected organization, and the promise of helping a big group of new WHealth Seekers.

And, yes, also the voice of fear – sometimes softly whispering warnings about my own work-life balance; at other times, rudely interrupting, and asking me if I’m smart enough, or good enough to handle all the big responsibilities this beautiful life has afforded me.

Have you heard the voice of fear? Your voice of fear?

Sometimes, it is correct.

If you’re ever planning to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco … then I want your voice of fear to be shouting at its very loudest. Because it is protecting you from real danger.

But at other times, although well-intentioned, the voice keeps you from being your best!

Are you brave enough?

Are you strong enough?

Does he really love me?

The voice of fear is the master of disguise—often masquerading as your responsible self, protecting you from embarrassment, shame or hurt.

So, how do we tell the difference? How do we know when to listen, and when to ignore the voice?

This is where the Facebook post comes in.

The post was written by Facebook staff, guiding users in how to detect fake news. This massive phenomenon, which has been popularized by recent political utterances, has been emerging as a substantial societal threat over recent years. It has become easy for people with manipulative intent, and well-meaning but poorly informed authors to generate and spread fake news through social media.

I’d recommend that you take the time to look at Facebook’s 10-point advice on differentiating fake from authentic news. But more importantly, I hope that you will use this as an exercise to explore the fake news that you generate and/or perpetuate in your own mind.

You see, in its eagerness to protect us, our primitive reptilian brains are constantly speaking the language of fear. Use the same 10 points to fact-check your inner voice to be sure that you’re not being duped into limiting your own success!

In particular:

  • Be skeptical of dramatic headlines and images. Has your reptilian brain used colorful language and images to shock you into limiting actions?
  • Look closely at the source of fearful information. Is it coming from deep within your reptilian brain, or has it been carefully thought through in your cognitive brain?
  • Check the facts. Do the reasons presented by your inner voice of fear stand scrutiny? First ask questions, then, if it persists, challenge the voice to defend its assertions. Corroborate the advice you’re receiving from your inner voice of fear with the opinions of others—ask a friend, use Google, or another suitable authority.

Of course, it is not worth your effort to put every fearful utterance of your inner brain through the same intense scrutiny. But it’s worth it for the big ones—the decisions that will impact your life in a big way. And be cognizant of the overall tone of your inner voice—too many negative messages may indicate a fundamental problem in the calibration of your internal thermostat for risk.

In time, appropriate and deliberate monitoring of this inner voice should help you to make more positive, adventurous decisions, favoring growth and development, fun and excitement … all vital for your sustained WHealth!

Thank you, Facebook!

Have fun,

Roddy


About the Body Talk Series:

I have a strong interest in WHealth Tech – that is the technology that enables us to quantify our health and happiness. There is an epidemic of equipment that we can strap on, wear or carry that helps us measure our bodily functions and sometimes our emotional and mental state.

I’m not yet convinced that we’re doing better than Mother Nature. She has equipped us with the most intimate and delicate sensors. More than this, over millions of years she has helped us to prioritize the messages we get from these sensors to not only survive, but to thrive.

The progress we’ve made as modern humans (like electricity, computing, and cellular communications to name a few) has led us into a lifestyle that has eclipsed our original biological design. This mismatch is massively disruptive to our health and happiness. I’m a little worried that our obsession with technological probes will further diminish our sensitivity to critical internal information, compounding our precarious position.

This article is one in a series that is designed to focus your attention on natural signals of health and happiness.

See more here:

Body Talks: Life’s Most Delicate Balance

Body Talks: The Blazing Fires of Inflammation

Body Talks: Listen to the Sounds of Sleep

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