A friend admitted recently she was embarrassed that she *actually* believed the marketing messages targeting her about making “6-figures while working 3-hours a week from the beach!” She was shrouded in shame as she told me and perplexed as to why she was STILL clinging to that dream.
“I want it to be true,” she said.
I knew what she meant.
The reason marketing is so effective sometimes isn’t because it preys off our fears. It’s because it sells us our dreams based on a version of reality that doesn’t exist.
- Weight loss with no effort
- Marriage with no fights
- Well-adjusted kids with no issues
- Food that is healthy and affordable (and quick!)
- Perfect hair that never needs to be styled
- Masterminds full of people with secrets to success that will catapult your business from $250k to over $5 million in profit in ONE YEAR
- 600k social media followers without having to do any work
These are fantasies that have been inception-style placed into your mind thanks to movies, TV, media, advertising, influencers, and the status quo. These “dreams” provide an uncomfortably dishonest frame of reference for most of America and set the tone for what most of us think it means to be “killing it.”
You know the meme, “Don’t compare your real life to someone else’s highlight reel?”
What a fantastic way to skirt responsibility and avoid the problem. A better meme would be: “Stop posting your fucking highlight reel.” We will always compare because we are (literally) social animals who compare as part of ur DNA. Part of our wiring includes that propensity to go, “Wait, how’s everyone else doing this?” And then judging ourselves accordingly.
Social comparison works when you’re getting an accurate barometer by which to judge yourself, but you are never getting that. Not ever. It was a nice heuristic for life in the Sahara, but even then it was faulty. Heuristics by definition do not work and social comparison is, likewise, a shit heuristic for judging your self-worth by.
Better to choose a metric you value, even if the world doesn’t.
Coronavirus has revealed some uncomfortable truths about the “dream” of having it all, which, IMO, was always built on shaky ground. The myth of having it all is just that: a myth. A pernicious destructive one that I think is (quite literally) killing us. Which is why Hillary and I decided to tackle it this week on Hillary and Margo Yell at Websites #HAMYAW: What Does It Mean To Be “Killing It?”
In this episode, we yell at “the dream.” We talk about backsliding in business (and how it’s not backsliding, but rather plain ole GOOD SENSE), shifting expectations, and what it means to do what you need to do to make ends meet so you can take care of yourself, your employees, and your family.
My dad used to say, “Heights are meant to be looked at, not from.” And I agree. There’s a line between “healthy striving” and impossible standards that make you feel like shit about yourself.
The best shortcut you can have to figuring out what’s best for you is to understand the truth about yourself and about the world.
Or at the very least, striving to. And this means having the courage to look inward and admit when something isn’t working.
Watch the episode here and let us know your thoughts on “the dream” and the pernicious myth of “having it all.”
Keep killing it 😉
– Margo, the M in #HAMYAW