How Fear Keeps Us From Being Honest!

This is a great blog post from Ling Wong on Firepole Marketing.com. It starts talking about honesty, then gets into fear, which keeps us from being honest. Then it tells us how to cure the fear. I like the last point about talking to it…thanking it for protecting me, and then telling it to do something positive…like get out there and do it. Which I am going to do RIGHT NOW!!!

Leave a comment here or on the blog. We’d like to know what you think!

Vince

 

http://www.firepolemarketing.com/honest-copywriting

 

If Honest Marketing is Possible, Why Are We Sucked Into Cookie-Cutter Copywriting?

Close up of pink cookie cutter in doughRecently I came across several blog posts, articles, podcasts, and videos talking about “being honest” and “finding you inner voice” in content creation and marketing communication.

It’s actually refreshing to find posts like these, because many online marketers have a reputation for being sleazy, manipulative, and only after a quick buck.

And it’s true – there are people online who are all of those things. They give everyone a sour taste in their mouths, and they give those of us who are trying to build honest online businesses a bad rap. But despite their sleazy tactics and “buy it now!” marketing copy, it’s all too easy to fall into using that same kind of hype in our own marketing.

Why do we do this? If we want to build trusting, honest, profitable relationships with our clients, why aren’t we doing more of it? Why are most of us still stuck in cutting and pasting sleazy copy from some cookie-cutter templates, then feel “yuck” about it but keep doing it anyway? How can we get off the hamster wheel?

It’s Time to Own Our Vulnerability

To write content that is honest and truthful, we need to own up to our vulnerability – be human, show some emotions (in a constructive way), and be passionate to make meaningful connections.

Putting ourselves out there in such a “straight up” manner requires that we have complete trust in ourselves and our message.

When we take the leap to be raw and upfront, parts of us freak out. We have all been hurt from saying what we mean. We have been rejected for giving voice to what’s true for us. We have been told to shut up. We have been ridiculed for “TMI.”

Those experiences make us feel unsafe to speak our mind, so we hide behind “other people’s stuff” in our content and marketing so we don’t feel the “rejection” when things don’t work.

Our subconscious mind uses fears to keep us from doing things that we *know* we need to do to progress our businesses, leading to what most identify as “self-sabotaging behaviors.”

The key to breaking the cycle of sleazy, cookie-cutter copywriting is to examine these fears and over come them. Or at the very least, to know when they occur, and when they’re interfering with your ability to produce honest marketing!

Exploring the Fear Factor

Fear is part of our human nature. Back in the caveman days, it kicked in when we felt unsafe and was therefore a very handy thing to prevent us from being eaten by the saber-tooth tiger.

However, in the modern days when the feeling of “unsafe” mostly comes from mental and emotional triggers, rather than the physical environment (i.e. we won’t die), fear can hold us back from taking actions that our subconscious mind interprets as “risky” or “unsafe” – such as putting ourselves out there and risk being rejected.

These sorts of unsafe fears are often rooted in experiences from our childhood. For example, a child who touches a hot stove learns not to touch a hot stove again. In the same way, we learn about emotional or mental fears based on how others reaction to our childhood selves.

In order to overcome these fears, we have to get a handle on what they are and how they come about. Below are 6 primary fears I have identified to cause us to sabotage ourselves when we try to put all of ourselves honestly into our communications.

We may not be exhibiting the “extreme” version of these fears. But trust me: we all have them and they do rear their ugly heads as we strive to create authentic, honest relationships with our subscribers.

The Fear of Inadequacy (Not Being Good Enough)

The fear of not being good enough comes from struggling to live up to other people’s expectations as a child. At some point, someone in authority told us or made us believe that we weren’t good enough. This fear can block us from taking risks if we think we won’t be good enough to handle the challenge.

Those driven by this fear tend to stay in the background, as it feels very uncomfortable to step fully into their gifts and messages. This fear can manifest as self-deprecation and self-effacement wherein they diminish their abilities and accomplishments.

Our belief that our own voice isn’t good enough can cause us to think what comes from others (i.e “gurus”) are always better than what we have within ourselves. This fear also makes us hide behind templates and checklists, so if something doesn’t work we don’t have to own up to the failure, which can be interpreted as evidence that we are indeed not good enough (which can be the most scary of all!)

I work with many coaches who hold themselves back from being fully “out there” because of this fear. Some feel they need to take that one more training, or have more certifications or acronyms after their names, before they can claim their expertise and work with clients. This fear has tremendously delayed their progress and the growth of their businesses.

Some would buy a lot of “done-for-you” content without considering how to add their own voice and adapt these materials to support their big message. I have worked with clients who got completely sidetracked by doing the busywork of implementing other people’s stuff but completely abandoned the reason they went into business in the first place!

The Fear of Losing Control

This fear comes from experiencing alternating periods of abuse and neglect in childhood. This fear blocks us from self-acceptance and makes us self-critical.

This fear can be very difficult to recognize from the outside. Those driven by this fear may appear that they “have it all together.” They tend to have tightly managed behaviors, routines and environment, creating the illusion that they are taking charge.

This need for complete control over the environment and outcomes of our actions can hold us back from being honest in our relationships with others – whether it’s personal or business.

Being open and vulnerable in a relationship means two-way communication. Since we can’t control what others may say or do in reaction to our content, putting ourselves out there can mean relinquishing control over how we are perceived.

I have seen people giving up on opportunities to share their opinions because they feel that they could not control the comments and feedback posted in response to their content. As a lot of us have learned from the Audience Business Masterclass, guest posting and commenting is an essential part of the audience business building process and this fear can definitely slow down our progress.

The Fear of Change

The fear of not being prepared for changes comes from feeling unprepared for a sudden major change that happened in childhood. This fear can make us resist doing things differently, even if logically we understand why it’s a change for the better.

Those driven by this fear can be very stubborn and set on the way they do things. They are afraid that change will result in disaster.

Standing up for your vision can mean breaking out of the mold and doing things differently. It can mean deviating from the status quo (or what you have been told to be “proven” systems). This can be scary because even if things are not working perfectly, we are surviving, and change introduces the possibility that we will not survive. This means that our caveman brain is gonna fight this one!

Many people I have worked with don’t even know they have this fear because their perspective is so dead-set on one way of doing things. Having someone who plays devil’s advocate and challenge our perspectives can help us cultivate awareness to our resistance – and this is the first step of making positive changes.

The Fear of Not Having Enough

The fear of not having enough comes from being given stuff instead of love in childhood. This fear can block us from contentment and compassion. This drive to have more and more blocks us from feeling much compassion or empathy for others since the focus is on amassing for ourselves.

Those driven by this fear struggle to acquire more of what they seek as an attempt to fill a hole that can never be filled. It is never enough and losing whatever they are seeking (money, attention, love etc.) can be devastating and therefore to be avoided at all costs.

Obviously, the lack of compassion can make it challenging for us to communicate to our audience in a relatable manner. It can hold us back from creating deeper personal connections because of the focus we put on what we want to amass.

This fear also make us stick with the “tried-and true” because what we have achieved so far (with the cookie-cutter stuff) may not be all that we want but that voice in our head may be saying, “What if I don’t follow those ‘templates’ and I lose what I already have?”

The Fear of Being Vulnerable

This fear comes from being criticized or ridiculed in childhood. It can block us from fully opening up and relating to others. It can push us to act as if we know it all, can do it all or bear it all.

Those driven by this fear may avoid asking legitimate questions for fear of looking like they don’t know something. This fear can manifest as arrogance or as becoming “small” so as not to be seen as a way to avoid criticism or ridicule.

To avoid being scrutinized and criticized, we may hide behind exaggerated claims, big words and jargons to “puff up” to avoid being criticized. We stay aloof and avoid connecting deeply so not to be “hurt” – and that is the opposite of building a trusting relationships!

I don’t know about you, but I have definitely seen my share of these “puffing up” behaviors in those bold red headlines and yellow highlighted sales pages. These pages also tend to diminish the readers in an attempt to put the seller on a pedestal.

How do you feel about such copy? They may get you to buy because they pulled the “fear of not good enough” trigger, but do you feel good about it? Do you feel they are making a connection with you? Are they making you buy out of trust?

The Fear of Missing Out

This fear comes from feeling particularly disappointed after not being allowed to do something as a child. This fear results in the feeling that “the grass is always greener” over there and often manifests as impatience.

More and more of us are driven by this fear in this age of instant gratification. We can compare everything and everyone, and this comparison trap makes us not want to miss out on anything that others have. The internet allows us to look around as much as we want. Unfortunately, if we are spending all our time looking at what others have, or what others are doing, we are not focusing on where we want to be heading.

This fear can make us think, “Everyone is following this formula or that template. If I don’t, I am going to miss out.” “Everyone is saying these things, I better do so as well so I don’t lose my customers.” (Hmm, if everyone thinks this way, and sticks to the “what is” even though nobody believes in it… isn’t that twisted?!)

To help my clients get refocused on their goals instead of being afraid of missing out, I put them on three “diets” – the social media diet, the newsletter diet and the group program diet so they can dig out of the comparison trap and start to find their true voice for their actions and communications.

How To Overcome Your Fears

Now that we’ve talked about the six fears that are holding you back from developing honest copywriting – and honest relationships – let’s talk about how to overcome your fears.

First of all, we need to acknowledge that it’s ok, and even human, to have fears. This is not the time to beat yourself up.

Next, you want to cultivate awareness and be intentional in your business and marketing activities. When choosing a certain marketing strategy, be sure that it fuels your big picture, reinforce your uniqueness and is true to how you roll. If you are tempted to use tactics not aligned with your value and how you want to express yourself, then it’s time to see if one or more of these fears are kicking in.

When you know how to identify your fears, they no long have a grip on you. When you become more aware, you cannot do things that don’t serve you.

Below is a 5-minute process to help you deal with your fear from a different perspective. You will be able to address it and move onto doing what you need to do without having one foot on the gas and one foot on the break.

Step #1: Visualize It

Visualize your fear in your body. Where is it? What color is it? What shape is it? What is the texture? Is it big or small? Does it make a sound? Does it move?

(Once, I had a fear that looked like a blue Sponge Bob. Go for it – if it’s something ridiculous, that’s even better because you won’t be able to take it seriously!)

Step #2: Objectify It

See if you can take it out of your body and hold it in your hands. Examine it, see if it shows or tells you anything. By doing steps 1 and 2, you are taking the fear out of your body and identifying it as something outside of you, so you can deal with it from an objective perspective instead of taking it personally.

Step #3: Name It

Now look at this fear – either outside or inside of your body, and say 3 times (aloud or in your head): “This is just my fear of ________.” Naming it heightens the awareness that your feelings and emotions are being triggered by the fear, which is now no longer part of you.

Step #4: Frame It

With this fear as an object that is separate from you, look at it again and declare 3 times: “I am NOT my fear.” Framing your fear allows you to deal with it from an objective perspective.

Step #5: Have a Chat With It

Then ask the fear: “What do you want to tell me?” Listen. Then ask: “What do you want me to do, and why?” The fear may tell you to do things that it *thinks* will protect you from harm (or at least, something that worked in the past but no longer does) yet does not serve you or what you want to achieve.

Thank your fear, tell it that it’s been heard and you appreciate the concern. But you are a “big boy/girl” now (a lot of our fears came from our childhood) and you are going to go ahead and take the action.

Step #6: Tame It

Repeat your empowering mantra* 3 times, aloud or in your head.

* You will need to come up with an empowering mantra that works for you. You can have multiple mantras based on the different fears you experience. Here are a few examples:

For the Fear of Inadequacy: I know enough and I am good enough as I am right now.

For the Fear of Change: I am confident in my ability to ride the wave of change.

For the Fear of Being Vulnerable: I find strength in my vulnerability. Living my truth frees me from the opinion of others.

Being Honest Doesn’t Mean It’s Easy… But It’s Worth It

Putting your ideas, content and products out there means you will face rejection. “Unsubscribes,” “un-likes,” and “un-follows” are par for the course. But these are good signs  – they indicate you are actually standing up for something that matters!

When your content is honest and personal, you are being vulnerable with your audience in order to establish a relationship with them. And when you care about someone, and want them to understand you, any rejection of that message is going to hurt.

But it doesn’t mean you have to deny the feeling, or hide away from that type of marketing. Because the truth is that no matter how honest you are, some people just won’t connect with you – and that’s ok.  You want to focus on the connections you do make with your readers, and grow those connections into a set of relationships that sustains and grows your business.

There are days when sitting down at the computer and writing your guts out hurts. Lean into it, write, then hit “publish” anyway. That’s what being different from sleazy marketers and turning pro is all about.

Which of the fears listed here is holding you back from being honest and truthful, and fully express yourself in your content and marketing? How does this fear manifest itself in your business? Share your insights and experience in the comments below… I will write back. ;-)

The Value of Being Utterly, Gloriously Wrong

Here’s a good article on learning…by being wrong. Sometimes that’s the only way we grow! You can go to Beyond Wealth to see more…

Friday, February 20, 2015
The Value of Being Utterly, Gloriously Wrong
Alexandar Green

Alexander GreenDear Vince Salzer,

When I took my first job as a stockbroker back in 1985, I was as green as a Granny Smith apple.

Although I was confident that I could make boatloads of money in the market in a short period of time, I quickly got my head handed to me.

Over and over again.

My investment strategy was a completely blinkered market-timing approach. (I was certain I could be in for the rallies and out for the dips.) And while I believed in it heart and soul at the time, it never had any real chance of success. Things never got better for me – or my clients – until the day I recognized that fact.

No one relishes the idea of being utterly and profoundly wrong. But discovering weare can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.

For reasons of pride, ego, hubris or fear, however, we have trouble accepting this. That means we miss some of the best lessons life has to offer.

After all, when you admit you’re wrong, all you’re essentially saying is that you know more today than you did yesterday.

Yet studies show that we glom onto ideas early and resist letting them go. Psychologists call it “confirmation bias.” That is, we seek evidence that confirms our beliefs and ignore or reinterpret evidence that refutes them.

It’s easy to see how this happens. We all gravitate toward like-minded individuals, listen primarily to those who share our opinions, and read books and articles by writers who confirm our points of view.

But the narrower our sources of information, the more error-prone our thinking becomes. When it comes to puzzling things out, instead of doing the heavy lifting, we take a nifty shortcut: jumping to a conclusion.

In a 1989 study, for example, psychologist Deanna Kuhn found that when subjects were exposed to evidence inconsistent with a theory they preferred, they failed to notice it. When they did recognize the contradictory evidence, they simply reinterpreted it in favor of their preconceived belief.

In a related study, Scientific American columnist Michael Shermers writes that, “Kuhn played an audio recording of an actual murder trial and discovered that instead of evaluating the evidence first and then coming to a conclusion, most subjects concocted a narrative in their mind about what happened, made a decision of guilt or innocence, then riffled through the evidence and picked out what most closely fit the story.”

Knowing this, is it terribly surprising that there have been 325 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the U.S.? Maybe Woody Allen wasn’t kidding when he said he’d hate to leave his fate in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

In every arena – politics, religion, science, investing – if we look at evidence with an open mind, we have nothing to lose but our ignorance. Our views are more likely to be accurate when we are better informed.

In his book Confessions of a Philosopher, Bryan Magee writes that he became a skilled debater by identifying his opponent’s weak points and then bringing concentrated fire to bear on them, a tactic used by successful polemicists since ancient times.

Yet he was blown away when he discovered that philosopher Karl Popper did just the opposite:

“He sought out his opponent’s case at its strongest and attacked that. Indeed, he would improve it, if he possibly could, before attacking it… He would remove avoidable contradictions or weaknesses, close loopholes, pass over minor deficiencies, let his opponent’s case have the benefit of every possible doubt, and reformulate the most appealing parts of it in the most rigorous, powerful and effective arguments he could find – and then direct his onslaught against it. The outcome, when successful, was devastating. At the end there would be nothing left to say in favor of the opposing case except for tributes and concessions that Popper himself had already made.”

Magee said it was thrilling to witness. Yet no one reaches this level of understanding without taking the time to thoroughly investigate an opposing view rather than dismissing it out of hand. It takes time to weigh the evidence, consider it and allow for the possibility that we could be mistaken. This is something that most of us – if we’re honest with ourselves – are reluctant to do.

When you bring an open mind to a conflict, one of three things will happen. You will strengthen your existing convictions. You will become more sympathetic to the opposing view. Or you’ll end up smarter today than you were yesterday. (And get a lesson in humility in the bargain.)

That’s why we should never lose our temper in an argument. If you’re right, you don’t need to. If you’re wrong, you can’t afford to.

As the French enlightenment philosopher Voltaire said, “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.”

Carpe diem,

Alex

Top 4 Ways I Stay Emotionally and Spiritually Healthy

Here’s is a link to staying healthy by Amy Englemark. I also included the blog post. The link will take you to her blog where you can see other things she is writing. She is in the same niche I am…personal coaching in health and success!!

Enjoy

Vince

http://amyenglemark.com/2015/02/18/top-4-ways-stay-emotionally-spiritually-healthy/

 

posted by on Feb 18, 2015

Grab a pen and paper:

Imagine you’re 80.  Ideally, what type of emotional and spiritual health are you experiencing?  Write it down.  What has helped you stay healthy?  How do you feel?  How do you look?  Jot down the first things that come to mind.

Me Personally

I’m always learning.  I thought you might like to know what so that you can take what you want and leave the rest.  There’s more to health than nutrition and exercise.  Most of us desire to feel healthy emotionally, spiritually and mentally as well.  Here are some of the ways I do this.

  • Forgive quickly and steer clear of becoming offended.  If I harbour negative thoughts towards someone I feel uncomfortable and sour inside.  This definately shows up in other ways.
  • Spend time (ideally first thing in the morning) just being still or talking with Jesus. My spiritual quiet time is precious to me.  I savour it like I savour good chocolate or a sunset!  If I offended anyone with this last point, I apologize ahead of time!
  • Choose to seize the day.  Really, who knows if today is our last day.  If it was, how would you live differently?  People in our very own neighbourhoods are struggling with their health.  Why are we immune to death or disease?  Reminding myself of our inevitable death reminds me to not take time for granted.
  • Feel emotions and choose to respond using self control and discretion.  I’m sure you’ve experienced a disagreement with your spouse, kids or co-worker.  This has for sure happened many times in my life.  Emotions are great, even anger.  It’s how you/I choose to express myself when I’m emotionally charged that makes all the difference.

How about you?  What steps are you taking to feel healthier, inside and out?  I’d love you to share them.  The best place to share is over on my facebook page.

Have a healthy day!

Amy

 

Another look at fear!

This is by Paul Rosenberg from Casey Research. It is a very well done treatise on fear, and how we have changed thru the media and and other things. It also gives good solutions, so  read all the through, and make some changes…for the good!

The Way of the 21st Century: Going Nowhere While Very, Very Frightened

We’re 14 years into a new century, which is typically how long it takes for a century’s unique characteristics to show up. The 20th century, for example, looked a lot like the 19th until 1914; from there on it looked a lot different. So I think this is a good time to take a look at our new century and see how it’s shaping up.

I see two particular things that are defining the mainline culture just now. Let’s go with the easy and obvious one first:

The 24-Hour Fear Cycle

Nothing makes humans easier to manipulate than fear. Get a group of Homo sapiens afraid of something and most of them will run wherever you want them to. Unfortunately, all the manipulators of our time know this and are maximizing their use of it.

On top of that, we have a 24-hour news cycle, and nothing rivets eyeballs to screens like fear. Good news, as we all know, doesn’t sell papers.

There have always been bad things happening on Earth. Take the truly horrifying stories that pop up here and there of women killing their own children. Sadly, these have always been with us, but they weren’t blasted on five or ten news channels 24/7. Likewise, horrifying stories from the Middle East or in Africa; these are very definitely nothing new. What’s new is using these stories as tools… tools to make Homo sapiens run to where you want them.

Here’s the reality:

Violent crime is decreasing, and significantly.

Deaths in fires are dropping:

Disaster losses are falling too:

I could go on, but you get the point. Lots of things are getting better in real life, but no one thinks so because everything’s getting worse on TV. Fear works.

One final example: Here’s a list of events from a year that generally inspires no fear in us—1970:

March 6 A bomb being assembled by terrorists explodes, killing three.
April 8 47 children are killed by (peacetime) bombs from a neighboring country.
May 4 Soldiers kill four American college students.
May 8 A huge mob of construction workers in New York attacks protestors.
May 14 Police fire on a crowd at a college, killing two and injuring 12.
June 9 A bomb explodes at New York police headquarters.
July 12 Two canisters of tear gas are thrown into the British House of Commons.
Aug. 7 Terrorists take a judge hostage in California, then kill him.
Sept. 1 An assassination attempt on the King of Jordan.
Sept. 6 Terrorists hijack four airplanes on flights to New York.
Oct. 5 Terrorists kidnap a British diplomat.
Oct. 10 Terrorists kidnap a Canadian Minister. He is found dead a week later.
Nov. 25 Terrorists seize the headquarters of Japan’s defense forces.
Nov. 27 An assassination attempt on the Pope.
Dec. 3 A major government caves and releases five terrorists.
Dec. 4 Spain declares martial law.
Dec. 7 A Swiss ambassador is kidnapped.
Dec. 13 Martial law is declared in Poland.

These events were accepted in 1970. People thought they were sad, but they didn’t panic over them. I don’t think that would be true in this 21st century. We are living in a fear soup, which is being stirred by the overlords of the age. And it’s working for them.

Going Nowhere

There’s a great line in the Bible that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” And that is exactly what we’re being treated to from the mainstream culture right now. This is a second defining characteristic of our new century.

How many of us can answer this question in any positive way?:

Where is Western civilization going?

In this 21st century, we have no vision, no goal, no direction. And that’s a very bad thing.

Lots of modern people want to live healthier and longer, but to what end? So they can eat more fancy food? So they can have sex a few more times? To what great future does that lead?

Millions of 21st-century people want to get rich, but what do they do with their big pile of money? Is it just to look at? To salve their insecurities? To prove their superiority?

Money is a fine tool, a good thing to have, but anyone who thinks it’s going to make them into some kind of superior person has a big surprise coming. The one thing they may get from it is status, but only in the eyes of shallow people.

At one time, the men and women of the West did have goals. At one time, they strove to attain righteousness, to love their neighbors, and to eliminate slavery. (And yes, I’m talking about the early Middle Ages.) Was this universal and perfect? Of course not, but it was quite real and quite effective, no matter what pop history says.

Even during my youth, we had a vision: We were sending men to the moon, then outward from there. However poorly the effort was handled, it was a real goal, and one that positively affected millions of us.

Now there are no goals, no striving, no searching, no becoming. Instead, we have distractions, fears, and stasis.

Humans need goals, and we as a civilization currently have none.

The Current Necessity

So what do we do about this?

The common reflex is to “reform the system,” but I think that’s a tragic mistake. There’s a line from Emerson that goes like this:

We are always getting ready to live, but never living.

And that’s precisely what the usual path will get you. Always “gonna live soon” but never actually living.

“Things will change as soon as we get X out of office.” “They’ll change as soon as we get Y into office.” “As soon as we change the Supreme Court!”

You can chase these rainbows for decades, but it ends up making no real difference. One day you’ll wake up and realize that you’re old and nearing the finish line… and that the system still sucks.

So, I recommend that you dump all of that and get busy changing the world directly. Forget the visionless 21st-century culture and start creating your own vision. Read, learn, choose! And get busy doing.

Without a vision, we stagnate, we walk in circles… we perish.

Don’t live in that trap.

A Free-Man’s Take is written by adventure capitalist, author, and freedom advocate Paul Rosenberg. You can get much more from Paul in his unique monthly newsletter, Free-Man’s Perspective.