DON’T Read This! (Forget, Worry, Disturb & Pink Elephants)

Don't Read This! | Kevin Bulmer“Don’t think of a pink elephant.”

It’s an old phrase, but it illustrates an important point.

Even though we’re specifically being instructed not to do something, it’s nearly impossible to read or hear the instruction, “Don’t think of a pink elephant” without an image of a pink elephant flashing through your mind.

It’s just how our minds work. Our subconscious doesn’t really register the “don’t.” It just hears “pink elephant.”

That’s bad news bears when you consider the kind of instructions we give ourselves and others on a day-to-day basis. For example:

“Don’t forget.”

“Don’t worry.”

“Do not disturb.”

What our subconscious mind really hears is:

Forget.

Worry.

Disturb.

A better way to talk to ourselves and others, relative to these phrases, might be:

Remember.

Relax.

Privacy, please.

See how different it feels? Once you become aware of this, you’ll be surprised how much negative language we casually toss at ourselves.

But how does this relate to crafting an effective marketing message? Well, if you pay attention, you’ll likely see and hear (use?) lazy phrases like:

“Don’t miss out!”

“Don’t delay!”

“You don’t want to miss this!”

Aside from associating the command “don’t” alongside your message (which I wouldn’t recommend), in cases like what I’ve just noted, what people are essentially seeing or hearing from you is:

Miss out.

Delay.

Miss this.

Think of it this way: if a loved one were about to go on vacation, what might you say to them?

“Don’t get in a plane crash!”

Umm, no.

More likely: “Have a safe trip.”

Think of your marketing messages the same way. Pay attention to the language and reinforce something positive wherever and whenever you can. Never mind what you don’t want. Focus on what your customers do want. Besides, “don’t miss out” is all about the advertiser anyway. It’s lazy. Let’s do better.

Now, please don’t think about this and don’t make any changes going forward.

And whatever you do, don’t contact me about exploring this with you further in a workshop or speaking engagement.


Kevin BulmerKevin Bulmer is the founder of No Schedule Man Brand Media and producer and host of the momondays London inspirational event series.

As a dynamic, down-to-earth and highly engaging professional speaker, it’s Kevin’s intention to uplift through a shared example of continual growth. He has a gift for helping people see themselves from a fresh perspective on matters related to mindset and effective marketing messaging. In both cases, it pretty much comes down to just being true to yourself … a principle which is fundamentally simple, but not necessarily easy to do.

To stay in touch with Kevin on a day-to-day basis, join his online personal growth support community, “The Turtle Tribe.” Membership is free for Kevin’s active email subscribers.

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