“Fear can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Unless you learn to embrace it you will spend your life either running or fighting.”
My inbox saw a lot of DELETE activity this weekend.
Subject lines beginning with “Don’t Miss Out,” or “Almost Gone!” or “Tomorrow Will Be Too Late!!” were deleted before I even glanced at the sender’s identity.
Maybe I missed out on the best deal of my life, but I also bypassed a lot of hassle and stress. That’s also why I do not shop on “Black Friday.” Because I will not allow fear-based messages to take up space in my mind.
Here are three things I DO embrace about those messages:
- They remind me of my Power of Consent (a phrase coined by my friend Richard Bach that I use often.) Each time a headline, subject line or pickup line screams (or even hints) that I’ll be SORRY if I don’t act NOW, I withdraw my consent to be manipulated, badgered, or frightened into making a choice under duress. I close my ears, look the other way, or hit the DELETE button and don’t give it another thought.
- They remind me that I do not “want” for anything. There are things I desire, but I am not in a state of want. Because I lack nothing, I have everything I need, and can have anything I am willing to work for. So there is no “last chance” at anything I cannot be perfectly happy without. As my friend and manifestation coach, Kimberly Schneider, says in the title of her book “Everything You Need is Right Here.” That mantra comes to mind when I recognize fear-based marketing for what it is.
- And they remind me of what I choose NOT to be, and what I choose NOT to do to the people who connect with me. Which doesn’t mean I never have. Just that I have withdrawn my consent to USE fear to motivate anyone to make any choice. It is not who I intend to be.
Which isn’t to say fear isn’t an effective motivator. It is a powerful change agent, it’s just a poor change manager. In other words, fear is great at getting you to DO something, not so great at helping you choose the right thing to do.
I have a theory (or maybe a hope) that fear-based marketing is playing to a declining market share. That more and more savvy shoppers are letting the fears of missing out, not fitting in, paying a little extra, or waiting a little longer become an incentive to make better choices instead of knee-jerk decisions.
Because recognizing our fears allows us to meet those desires of being included, of getting a little extra, of having it all right NOW in other ways, no risking life and limb in a shopping frenzy and no buyer’s remorse required.