You’re deluded!

by
Filed under: Focus, Spirit 

Here’s why most of what you think
is true is just plain wrong …

And how getting in touch with reality
can help you turn economic lemons
into sweet lemonade

Dear Business-Builder,

Discouragement …

Feelings of self-doubt, insecurity and vulnerability …

Despair and depression …

Stark fear and blind panic …

It’s no secret that these and many other negative emotions are now haunting many of our prospects’ daydreams and nightmares.

Who knows?  Maybe yours, too.

It’s to be expected that so many people would be feeling poorly at a time like this.

But toxic emotions are business-killers … career-killers … income-killers.  Because whether we admit it or not those emotions – NOT reason – are the cause of most decisions we make; most things we do.  And when we’re feeling negatively, we tend to make poorer decisions:  Decisions that result in financial losses, lost jobs, bankruptcies.

Worse:  Scientists say toxic emotions also depress our immune systems, significantly increasing the incidence of fatal diseases among depressed people.

And of course, poisonous emotions also cripple us with deadly depression – the primary reason why last year, U.S. suicide rates began rising again for the first time in a decade.

What makes these unthinkable events even more tragic is that they are so needless … pointless … uncalled for … so unnecessary.

Because nearly all of the thoughts and feelings
that trigger these tragedies are outright lies.

I’ve often written about where emotions come from …

  1. An event – something that happens to you or that you see, hear, taste, smell or remember – occurs.
  2. Your brain passes information about that event through a “belief filter” you may or may not know you have about events like this one.
  3. What comes out after your belief filter analyzes the event is called a “thought.” Sometimes, you’re aware of that thought.  Other times, it’s gone so fast you never consciously notice it.Depending on how accurate your belief filters are, that thought can either be fairly rational and accurate or wildly wrong.
  4. Every thought – right or wrong – leaves a footprint in our bodies by causing our brains to release certain chemicals.  You and I experience those chemicals as emotions.

This is important stuff for marketers to know because, as I’m also wont to point out, the vast majority of the purchase decisions our prospects make are based on emotion; NOT on logic.

All they really need to survive is a lean-to, a fire and a recently deceased critter to cook.  Pretty much everything else they buy is to satisfy an emotional need.

This is why I often say that copywriters who focus exclusively on making rational arguments …

But who never give a thought to the prospect’s emotional state before, during and after reading a promo …

Are like a gaggle of gunfighters stampeding off to the O.K. Corral but leaving 90% of their ammo back at the saloon.

Now, though, as each of us processes a new daily tidal wave of bad news about the economy, it’s also time to consider how each one of your belief filters – and the thoughts and emotions they’re serving up – are affecting your businesses … your career, your income and your future.

Are your Belief Filters helping you?

Limiting you?

Or maybe even dooming you to failure?

The big secret most shrinks know is that the vast majority of positive emotions are rational; appropriate.  But the vast majority of negative emotions are just plain baloney – triggered by false beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us.

Now, if you know anything at all about me, it’s probably that I am definitely no Pollyanna.   I’m hardly known for pulling my punches or gilding the lily.

For more than a year now, I’ve been warning you that the business environment stinks – and that the stench will only become more overwhelming in the months ahead.
Ironically, though, I consider myself an optimist when it comes to how this crisis will ultimately affect my family and my business.

Because I’ve taken inventory of my belief filters.

I’ve discarded beliefs I held that were misleading, false and outright lies.  And I’ve replaced them with beliefs that are more accurate and rational and therefore, helpful.

The belief filters I was given by my parents, my school and my church once told my brain that I was inconsequential; powerless in determining my own future.

According to them, I was little more than a pawn.  A victim.  “Fate” or “the gods” determined the path of my life.  Any success I achieved was little more than a lucky break allowed – whether intentionally or accidentally – by Providence.

And that meant it was probably only a matter of time before some outside force would destroy any success I’d achieved, render me a victim and give me what I really deserved:  To be dirt poor and alone again, much like I was growing up.

Imagine looking at  today’s business environment through those mud-colored glasses!  Imagine the toxic emotions I’d be having right now!

Lucky for me, some 20 years ago, my #1 client was sold to a bunch of drooling morons who began systematically killing the company and endangering my sole source of income.

Lucky for me, the disaster got me so depressed, I sought out and found a great man to help me deal with my depression.

Most of all, it was lucky for me that this great man helped me identify my idiotic belief filters … disabuse myself of them … and replace them with rational, realistic, accurate, HELPFUL ones.

That done, I suddenly realized that I have enormous powers of self-determination.  While outside events and other people may have some influence on my life, I and I alone have the greatest say – by far – in its ultimate outcome.

I also realized that the vast majority of events that others think are negative are really only chances for a new beginning … exciting changes … and new, probably even greater opportunities.

And most importantly, I realized that at any given moment in my life, I am far better equipped to deal with and triumph over even The Worst-Case Scenario than I was 40 years ago, ten years ago, or even yesterday.

The glass, she is much more than half full …

It would be dangerous enough if the problem was all in our heads.  If simply exchanging inaccurate belief filters for accurate ones was enough to vaporize depression and give us the positive outlook we need to succeed.

But in most cases, the events we witness are not even real events!

Think about it:  The simple truth is our perception of the world is almost entirely derived from what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read in the papers.

And because the media relies on sensationalism to sell subscriptions and get ratings …

And because negative news is far more sensational than positive news …

It’s no wonder that most of us have a distorted perception of what’s really going on around us!

Have you ever taken a moment to consider how many times politicians and the media have screamed “CRISIS!” at us during our lifetimes?

Well, let’s see …

In my lifetime, there was The Cold War crisis … the Cuban Missile Crisis … the Arab Oil Embargo Crisis … the Kennedy, Kennedy and King Crises … the Vietnam Crisis … the Summer of Crisis in ’68 … the Inflation Crisis of the ‘70s … the Iranian Hostage Crisis … the Reagan Budget crisis … the stock market crisis of ’87 … the AIDS crisis … the global warming crisis of the ‘90s … the crisis in Bosnia … the “Asian Contagion” crisis … the Oklahoma City bombing crisis … the bursting of the tech bubble crisis … the 9/11 crisis … the anthrax crisis … the twin war on terror crises in Iraq and Afghanistan … and now, of course, “The greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

Wow.  That’s a LOT of crises!  And I even left out some.

I’ll bet, if you were an alien looking at this list, you’d probably wonder how we managed to survive them all …

Let alone the impending crises that dominate cable TV; the “comet-or-asteroid-hits Earth” crisis … the “Yellowstone-super-volcano could erupt-crisis … the “massive-earthquake-could-render-all-life-in-the-Pacific-Rim-extinct” crisis … and more.

I’ll bet you all those crises have caused plenty of aliens to abandon their plans to invade and dominate Earth.

For one thing, the place is clearly a death trap.  And for another, they figure any species that could survive all those crises would surely kick their slimy little green arses all over the solar system!

Want to know a secret fantasy of mine?  OK, here goes:  I’d love to get hold of a major news outlet for one day just to see what effect reporting the positive side of the news might have …

  • NEWS EVENT: The Commerce Department reports that retailers are cutting prices to attract customers and that profits are declining …MY HEADLINE: Consumers snapping up the bargains of a lifetime!  Saving 50% or more every time they open their wallets!  Most retailers still turning a profit!
  • NEWS EVENT: Car companies and high-end retailers issue their earnings reports; they’re losing money …MY HEADLINE: Profits SURGING at job search companies like Monster.com … home-based business firms like Avon … and discount retailers like Amazon.com!
  • NEWS EVENT: The Labor Department reports that unemployment has just hit 7.2%.  11.1 million American workers are now unemployed …MY HEADLINE: 92.8% of American workers getting paychecks!  139.9 MILLION are bringing home the bacon AND being paid up to 90% more than their counterparts overseas!

My point: The vast majority of all events are neutral.  It’s the media’s incessantly negative spin combined with our own negative belief filters that delude us into accepting a negative view of the world in general and our future in particular.

And that negative outlook and the toxic emotions that spring from it paralyze us … sap our creative energy … make us afraid to take risks … discourage us from doing what we must to triumph.

Everything changes once you change your focus.  Look for the silver lining; it’ll be there.  Look for opportunity when others are panicking; chances are, you’ll find it.

Become obsessed with finding the bright side; you’re gonna need shades!

Something to think about…

Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Clayton Makepeace Signature
Clayton Makepeace
Publisher & Editor
THE TOTAL PACKAGE

This was just Too Good NOT to share with my readers..

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