As humans, we have the innate ability to inspire and create, motivating those around us to push bigger and better beyond their current situation. Sometimes that has a profound effect, but in other times, it can cause serious damage or wind up with people following misinformation. Ultimately, we need to remember that not everyone is an expert in absolutely everything. None of us carry the knowledge to be the Jack of all trades, no matter how much we want to think so. It’s time we stop acting like we are.
It’s all too common that, when professionals have a light-bulb moment and sprout a new idea, they’re suddenly putting claims to the world that they’re an entrepreneur. It only takes a few minutes on LinkedIn to spot a few dozen of those crawling through feeds. They’re usually the ones posting generic, unproven advice.
Right now, these cases are even more prominent. In the height of a pandemic, we’re seeing all of the self-proclaimed ‘gurus’, ‘experts’ and ‘top voices’ come out of the woodwork, and that’s exactly the reason why people world over are more at risk than ever before.
If you take an interest in a certain field and genuinely want to give out helpful advice – good on you. There is nothing wrong with wanting to support those within your network. What does matter, though, is how you choose to go about it. Claiming you’ve got the ‘be all and end all miracle’ or ‘solution’ to someone’s problem (unless you really do) is risky business.
First it was the self-claimed entrepreneurs and now suddenly everyone is a mental health or a life coach, taking advantage of the current situation the world is in today. What’s more dire is the fact that some of these self-proclaimed experts are also charging people for advice they’re not qualified to give. From ‘life coaches’ to those even claiming to be mental health whizzes – the world is now filled with job titles that shouldn’t be attached to names without proper qualifications. You can spot all these out on LinkedIn lol…
Just as psychologists and psychiatrists study long and hard to take on their field professionally, so do other medical specialists and educated wellbeing authorities. If you have tips and ‘hacks’ that may help someone else around you out with their career, life or fitness, you’re more than welcome to let them know about it. But you should always provide scientifically supported or even government endorsed evidence alongside it. Guiding others to take certain paths in their life is dangerous, and unless you have the proper education to be giving out such influential advice, it’s better off left in your own head.
If you’re going through a hard time or suffering from a specific challenge in your life, the good news is that there is plenty of help and support available. This is even more so in Australia, where mental health is taken very seriously. A few key resources that we recommend bookmarking, or passing onto a friend, include:
Additionally, it’s also worth noting that only .gov.au or .org.au websites should be trusted as authoritative sources. These specific sites are government-run or are run by bodies that are trusted medical advisory services. Beyond all, remember that you should always seek the support of your regular GP or doctor, if you’re struggling with certain aspects in your life. No one is ever alone in this journey – you can get the help you need to overcome hurdles and find peace.
For more information on Australia’s health system, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Health website.
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