Fear: how bad hair, habits and horrible has-beens happen

Fear is a convenient excuse, a procrastination technique, an avoidance tool. Fear is free, so it’s easy to wield it in the face of anything in life that imposes difficulty. A better method is to state your fears, then dispel them one by one until all that’s left is fearless action.

Take going gluten-free as an example. Can you guess the biggest fears people have about going gluten-free?

1) They won’t like the taste.
2) They won’t be able to eat out.
3) They don’t know how they will find gluten-free foods.
4) They will always be hungry.

These are all myths people tell themselves to avoid change. Funny thing about change is that it almost always has positive benefits. Not changing, on the other hand, or investing in fear, almost always has drawbacks. People invest in fear because it sounds easier and seems to cost less from an effort standpoint, when the reality is they are making life or business much harder.

Like all myths, the above fears about gluten-free eating can be dispelled in seconds flat:

1) They won’t like the taste.
Finding a taste they like may be an exciting adventure. Just like with glutinous foods, there are artisan gluten-free bakers and brewers to be found.

2) They won’t be able to eat out.
Restaurants have one primary goal: to make people happy. The first person who requests gluten-free food might be an inconvenience, but everyone after that presents an opportunity to please. Eating out will not be a problem.

3) They don’t know how they will find gluten-free foods.
Finding gluten-free foods is easy, presents opportunities for venturing outside of old routines, and promotes positive change. Reading labels is easy and takes only a few seconds.

4) They will always be hungry.
In point of fact, they are likely to be less hungry. You need less food when your diet contains no gluten. Gluten reduces the effectiveness of the digestive system, so eating gluten in effect manifests hunger. Eating gluten-free foods allows the digestive system to pull maximum nutrients from food, so you require less intake.

In spite of all these facts, people keep eating gluten because it’s easier to invest in fear. Marketers understand this and play to it on a daily basis. The results of investment in fear about going gluten-free include a steady decline in health, a bigger belly, asthma, digestive problems, discomfort, sleep apnea, and so on.

Do you invest in your fears? We all do. Investing in fear is free and easy. It requires almost no effort. It’s also boring. Doing things that scare you just a little bit is healthier because you are challenging yourself and those around you to learn and grow.

If you are marketing fear to yourself on a regular basis, you reinforce your own status quo. It’s how bad hair, habits and horrible has-beens happen. Doing the opposite is exciting, scary, and actually pretty awesome feeling. The price is change. The benefit is priceless.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.

 

Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

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