Emotional Direct-response Marketing: Where does self-esteem come from?
Last Thursday I went to the beach with my family. The kids were home on Spring break, and the weather was perfect, so off we went, for a family day out.
The sand was warm but not so hot you couldn’t walk on it, and because it was mid-week, the beach wasn’t crowded at all.
Now for most of my adult life, I’ve exercised and watched what I eat. I have one of those metabolisms that if I didn’t do these things, I’d be really out of shape.
Having said that, you can probably tell I work out, but I’d be the first one to admit I’m not going to win any kind of physique competitions any time soon. I like staying fit because I feel better, because I have a LOT more energy, and… because I feel better when I look at myself in the mirror and see a “fit” reflection.
However, I never feel like I’m in top shape — I always feel like I can be much better. Perhaps some of this is my “Type A” personality, and it’s the same thing that makes me feel like my business can be better. Or perhaps, some of this is that fact that I spend a lot of time in the gym and see loads of people in really good shape, all day long.
In other words, some of this is inside me, and some of my perceptions and feelings about myself are created based on the environment I happen to spend lots of time in.
As you may know, I’m an astute observer of human nature. I am always fascinated by how people react and interact, based on their dynamics, based on what’s going on in their lives at any given time, and… based on the stimulus that causes a particular reaction. This has also helped me extensively as a marketer.
But last week when I was at the beach, I realized about an hour into the day, that I was suddenly feeling like I was in good shape. Which, like I said, is unusual for me.
So I sat down and tried to figure out why. I looked around me, and sure enough, I was able to come up with the answer. Virtually everyone around me, was in terrible shape.
While I was sitting there munching on an apple, they were wolfing down McDonalds, KFC, huge bottles of soda, and other fast foods. Instead of walking up and down the beach with their kids, or throwing a football with their kids like I was doing, they were sunk into their beach chairs like it was their final resting place.
Almost like Winnie The Pooh, who was stuck in the honey hole – he couldn’t get in, and he couldn’t get out. They couldn’t get up, and they didn’t seem comfortable or “settled down” enough, either.
So this got me wondering, where does self-esteem really come from?
Yes, a HUGE portion of it is inside you. But… there’s no doubt, the environment you’re in plays a big role here. And it’s been my experience that while actually being in a place that makes you a little uncomfortable about who you are maybe awkward at first…
If you are a Type A, you’ll soon be so uncomfortable you’re going to force yourself to improve whatever’s making you uncomfortable, to the point where you begin ratcheting yourself up a level in that particular area.
And that’s what growth is about. Doesn’t matter what area you’re talking about, whether it’s business, fitness, or even your skills as a tennis player, that’s just how it works.
The problem is, most people don’t want to step up because it’s either too much work… or because they are so uncomfortable and filled with fear, they quickly turn back instead of marching forward.
And that’s unfortunate.
Because as Gayle Sayers once said, “Motivation without opportunity, is a shame… but opportunity without motivation, is a waste.”
Something to think about, isn’t it?
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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