Seth Godin speaks of conflict and he describes self-marketing very well. He explains that everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict. Not an external conflict, like between us and the world, but an internal conflict between us and ourselves.
We want to eat another ice cream but we want to be healthy and skinny as well. Who is we? Who is the self in self-control, and who is being controlled? Who is dishing out the discipline and who is taking it?
We want to stand up and make a difference and we want to hide and be safe. We want to help others and we want to keep more for ourselves. We want to get up and go for that run and we want to stay under the covers. We want to different things all the time.
It’s not a metaphor, it’s brain chemistry. We don’t have one mind, we have competing interests, all fighting to have their way. We are essentially the sum of all our parts. Which part wins?
This conflict, the conflict between I and me is at the heart of being human. One side sells to the other. Like all kinds of marketing, it’s far more effective if you know your audience. You will do a better job of telling a story (to yourself) if you understand who you are marketing to. In this case, I is marketing to me (and vice versa). The marketing and selling is going on in your head… To get the best results, it is imperative that you know how to talk to yourself. Do you respond better to a stick or to a carrot? What is your strategy for motivation? And can you use a strategy that is effective in one area of your life and duplicate it to get better results in another area of your life. What message actually gets you to change your behaviour? What helps you stick to your commitments and which part of you allows you to give up?
It is worthwhile to get to know yourselves better. If your behaviour is not serving you (your goals, objectives and values) best, maybe you need to approach yourself with a different message and tone.
Being more aware of your thoughts and your self-talk can be the first step in being more effective at being you and it may serve you better in reaching your destination.
Successful people have discovered how to be better at self-marketing.