It happens all the time. You want to contribute and evolve your industry. You realize that you need to step up your marketing game to get your message out there. You have an insight into how you can make your marketing message more powerful, but inevitably you talk yourself out of it.
“Who am I to take this stand?” “What if I look stupid?” “What if it doesn’t work?”
Your fears stop you dead in your tracks. There are business leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and thought leaders everywhere who are failing to express their power in their marketing. Why does this happen? It could be because of an experience where your ideas were shot down, or you weren’t supported when you stepped up to take a leadership position. Alternatively, maybe you were burned by someone whom you trusted when you thought they had your back.
Every leader faces these challenges at some point in their career, and most of us encounter them often. The truth is that your desire for leadership depends on three main components:
When the motivation to step up comes from inside of you, we call this intrinsic motivation. Also, research has shown that people will excel at skills where they are intrinsically motivated vs. extrinsically motivated where the force to act is coming from outside of you.
The point is when the urge to lead calls you, it’s that inner voice telling you that this is your natural genius. This is where you are meant to shine.
So why do you doubt yourself when it comes to your marketing?
Every leader goes through these steps in every situation. If you aren’t motivated to take action, even though you know in your heart it is your destiny and your duty, then we need to go deeper into why you aren’t moving forward and delivering your marketing message to the people whom you are meant to serve.
It turns out that motivation is a fickle friend. It comes, and it goes. If you look at this definition of motivation: the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. If you break it down, you can see emotions are at the foundation.
Now you can see why motivation is more like the flow of water or the currents of air. It is always changing. The most influential leaders understand that motivation comes from their emotions, and they invest time and energy in understanding where their feelings are coming from in the first place.
Today’s leaders need more emotional awareness in their marketing. When you understand that it is your emotions which drive you to act or stay still from delivering your message to your market, you will have a better ability to motivate yourself when you need to.
The first step is to be honest about what your emotions are telling you. Do you feel fear about stepping into this leadership position with your marketing? Are you afraid of being judged or seen as “not good enough” when people look at your marketing message? Without labeling or judging yourself, be honest about how you are truly feeling.
When you avoid feeling your real emotions, then you are going to waste valuable mental energy on trying to push it down. This only leaves you exhausted mentally and emotionally drained. True power comes from aligning your awareness with what your emotions are saying to you. Be honest with yourself. It is the first step in authentic leadership with your marketing.
Now that you are aware of the first layer of emotions — either fear or worry — it’s time to go deeper. Why are you feeling this? You may be playing out a scenario in your mind where you step up with your marketing to lead only to fail short of the expectations put on you. Perhaps you are worried about putting yourself out on a bigger stage or platform with your marketing just to be rejected by other people. Without judging these thoughts, allow them to come to the surface. Go deep into these emotions.
Now amplify them. What would be the worst-case scenario? Would you be laughed off the stage? Would you lose your current position? Will your family be ashamed of you? Will you lose your business? Whatever is the worst-case scenario, allow yourself to feel it honestly.
Feeling your real emotions is an essential step because when you amplify your feelings and take it to it’s furthest extreme, you allow your mind to experience it in your world of controlled fantasy and illusion. Many times, you will see that your worst-case scenario isn’t all that horrible. Alternatively, you will see, “Hey, I can handle this.”
Once your mind has experienced the fear, worry, and self-doubt on a maximum level, you can now release it. The third step is to feel the absolute edge of your marketing fear, and then let it go.
If you don’t let it go, then you can turn into a pattern of relieving your worst-case scenario over and over again in your mind. Practice tools like meditation, yoga, tapping, journaling or any other method of mental clarifying rituals which can free the mental loops from running over and over in your mind. A clear mind is essential to deliver your compelling marketing message.
When you can find a place in your psyche where you have moved beyond the edge of your marketing fear, you will see that courage that lives inside of you all along. Beyond fear, you find courage. If you are not willing to go to the depths of despair, you will never discover how deep the courage inside of your lives.
All great leaders in marketing have discovered this wide-open field of courage which is sheltered by chains of fear. Once you climb over the chains, you witness an expansion inside of yourself you never knew was possible. You may find a part of you where fear of judgment doesn’t even exist, and you discover all fear was a mirage which vanishes the closer you approach.
This is the land of the marketing brave where all great marketing leaders dwell. When you find this place inside of you, it’s time to act.
The fourth step is to take action now. You need to make that video, write the article, post on social media or whatever marketing action will put you into motion toward your desired outcome.
This first marketing action step is the most critical action step, and the hardest to take. Once you have made it, there is no turning back. Just like the first domino pushes over the entire line of dominoes, the first action step carries the momentum of your desire forward until the last phase is completed.
When you act from this place of courage in your marketing, you have at this moment separated yourself as a marketing leader. When all the others are waiting until they feel prepared, or ready, or “good enough,” you took action based on courage — which is the most accurate definition of marketing leadership.
Remember that motivation will come and go. You have to act from courage, and the more fear, self-doubt, worry or judgment you have to overcome to get there, the stronger you will be perceived as a marketing leader.
The world is starving for authentic leadership in marketing. Genuine marketing leaders are rare. When you align yourself to the zone of marketing courage inside of you, and you act regardless of what emotional baggage may be holding you back, you instantly become the marketing leader whom people will follow to the edge of the earth.
Every great marketing leader goes through this journey, and every marketing leader will tell you that this work of finding the strength inside of yourself never ends. The practice of detaching from emotional fear and rewarding action becomes a marketing habit that gets easier and easier with time.
The greatest marketing leaders eat fear for breakfast. Put yourself in a marketing situation that scares you every day. This will build up your marketing muscle of courage, and the next time when you are called to take that marketing opportunity to step up and lead, you will act without hesitation.