How Your Brain Actually Reacts to Manipulative Social Media
Let me guess, this isn't exactly what you expected to read when you opened this email...that's okay, it's not what I expected to write when I sat down this morning. The truth is, we deal with comparison constantly in our lives. Our friends, neighbors, co-workers...and especially the people we follow on Social Media.
Now, I'm just as guilty as anyone about this. I started Natural Science because I thought that if I created unique, clinically dosed, effective products, that everyone would be going crazy trying to get their hands on them. I've learned two very big lessons since then,
1.) Having high quality, unique products gives us one of the highest Re-Purchase Rates of any Supplement Company (meaning once a Client purchases a NSC product, they are very likely to love it and purchase more!)
2.) If you can't market in this business...none of that matters.
Marketing: Motivation for Success or Emotional Manipulation?
When I have clients that reach out to me with their amazing progress using Natural Science products, my heart nearly bursts with pride and excitement. Pride that the products I have created have helped someone achieve their personal goals, and excitement for that Client who now gets to experience life with a higher degree of confidence and joy. There is no better feeling than that, but I also get many questions along the lines of: How do I look like [insert inspirational fitspo]? If I take product X will it help me look like them? This is where the conversation turns to the concept of PERSPECTIVE.
WHEN MARKETING BECOMES MANIPULATION
There is a dark side to marketing, and it arises when we are bombarded with images that don't contain Points of Reference. This beautiful woman, hanging out by the crystal blue water...does she work out? Was she overweight before? Was she unhappy before? What will with product do for me? Without these points of reference all we are left with is an image...one that can make us feel inadequate because we are not as (happy, content, fit, etc...) as this model.
The only we can fight back against this Emotional Manipulation is by altering our PERSPECTIVE. We don't know who this person is, we don't know how they truly feel, we don't know if they actually use the product they are gleefully holding in their photo. We need to adjust our perspective when viewing these random images, and learn to not use them against ourselves.
Easier said than done, right? Let's talk about HOW we can do that. Well, here is a 3 step system, and I promise you this, if you follow these steps daily (sometimes multiple times a day) you will be able to change your perspective.
- Acknowledge: As human beings in the 21st Century, we ALL suffer from Body Dysmorphia of some form. For some of us it simply wanting to be a bit taller, thinner, leaner, etc...for some of us it is a debilitating, crippling fear that keeps us from wearing bathing suits, enjoying outings with friends, or even socializing at all. Until we acknowledge that our problem exists, we cannot overcome it.
- Measure Against Self: The first step in reaching any goal is to set your baseline, or 'Starting Point'. When it comes to fitness, if your goal is see a visual change, then start with a picture. A number on a scale does not tell you what your bodyfat % is, how much water you are holding, how big your frame is, or what your blood pressure or cholesterol are. We can't even define what a 'healthy weight' actually is. A picture can show your shirt fitting looser, your stomach shrinking, or your muscles popping out a little more. All you need is a mirror and phone, take your starting picture. Once it is taken, go ahead and tuck it away and don't look again for a month. Having this picture will allow you to measure you against yourself, instead of measuring yourself against your favorite Hollywood star or Fitspo.
- Measure Progress, Not Perfection: Health and Fitness is a journey, but we see so many finished products in our media that we have become accustomed to massive transformations happening instantly. Shows like ABC's Extreme Weight Loss show a person completely change their life, appearance, and mentality, all within a 1 hour show. However, that 1 hour is actually 365 days of that person's life, 365 days of hard work, diet and therapy. We need to put that out of our minds, and focus on continued improvement, instead of worrying about reaching an end goal. When we focus on the end goal, we lose the ability to enjoy the progress. Mark Twain wrote "Comparison is the Death of Joy", and he was absolutely right. Give yourself a month, then take another picture. That is what you measure against, two pictures side by side. Finally, have someone else review them, whether it is a coach, significant other or just a friend, they will be able to objectively see your progress in ways your eyes refuse to.
At the end of the day, we can learn to love ourselves or learn to hate ourselves...and those feelings are influenced on a daily basis by what we see (especially on social media). If you see someone who is extremely fit, someone that inspires you, remember to ask them where they were when they started. Once you see where they started, then you can understand what it took for them to end up where they are today. Don't let someone else's 'After' make you hate your 'Before'. Be kind, love yourself, and as always, Keep Grinding!
President, Natural Science
The Lean Stack: A Potent Combination of Natural Strength and PhenoSlim, the Lean Stack brings together the goals of reduced body fat AND building muscle, allowing for a DRY, HARD, LEAN PHYSIQUE. Best if used in a caloric deficit, the Lean Stack will keep you strong for your workouts, give you enhanced blood flow and pumps throughout the day, boost your metabolism and reduce body fat all at the same time. If you are ready to work for your Ripped Physique, the Lean Stack is ready to get you there.