Internet Inspiration – October 3, 2014
October 3, 2014
Internet Inspiration – October 10, 2014
October 10, 2014

Feeling Doomed? Try Funny and Lighthearted on for Size

Last week my dad and I took a trip, just the two of us, to go fly fishing. I had the most wonderful time. It made me remember how much I adore being outside, hiking, camping, and it turns out I also really love fishing. I’m figuring out how to infuse the fly fishing qualities into my daily life.

But another thing that was interesting was to hear my dad talk about his job. He works for GEICO Insurance, an auto insurance company here in the US.

He says the biggest struggles when it comes to marketing auto insurance are

  • Nobody wants to buy it. Anyone who purchases insurance does so because it’s required by the state or by an employer.
  • Nobody wants to use it once they’ve bought it. Really the only reason to use your insurance is to file a claim (in the event of a car crash or breakdown, for example.)

So how is GEICO such a successful business and advertiser, when they’re selling something nobody wants to buy and nobody wants to use?

They keep their content light, and focus on being funny and likable.

If you’re in the US, you must be familiar with the gecko, the pothole commercial, maxwell the pig, and most of the others. If you’re not familiar, have a look.

It’s so interesting to me that GEICO’s antidote to being unwanted is to approach it from a seemingly unrelated, lighthearted place. Most insurance companies in the past relied on fear and doom to sell their product.

I think this might be a good tactic to have in your toolbox.

If you wouldn’t buy your body and definitely wouldn’t use it, ouch! Any chance of letting that burden go and lightening up? You don’t have to permanently leave it, maybe just… send it back to bed while you take yourself out on a date!

If you’re trying to lose weight, instead of shaming yourself, or worrying about how your weight is going to kill you prematurely, make you sick, prevent you from finding love and acceptance, could you put those fears on hold and try to lighten up?

Even if your physical weight doesn’t change (or changes in Moss Time), could you lighten up mentally and emotionally and maybe have a little fun with your body NOW?

If you’re dealing with anxiety and perfectionism, it’s like trying to fight Medusa. Looking her straight in the face will turn you to stone.

Make like Perseus and use a mirror to come around the edges. Write about what’s freaking you out. See if you can separate a little bit and find out some more details about what you’re afraid of.

What can you do to separate yourself a little bit from your doom and have just a moment or two (or five!) of lightheartedness and fun?

I don’t make any of these suggestions to dismiss your pain and the hard stuff you’re working through. But sometimes we get so embroiled in the story we’re telling ourselves about what’s going on, it’s hard to get at the true source of the problem. A little bit of separation can yield a tremendous amount of clarity and energy.

Chances are you’ve had many moments in which your metabolism was transformed by something other than food, drugs, or exercise. Can you recall a time when you were sitting at home feeling low energy and sorry for yourself, a time when if someone asked you “How’s your metabolism?” you would have answered that it was sluggish and stuck? Then quite suddenly the phone rings and it’s a love interest calling or it’s someone calling you with good news about money. Your mod instantly skyrockets. You feel alive and optimistic. And in that moment, if someone asked again, “How’s your metabolism?” you’d say it was humming.

So what happened? You had an enormous energy rush yet you didn’t drink any coffee or take any drugs. It was a shift in your emotional world that ignited your body. That’s how quickly metabolism can change.

– Marc David, The Slow Down Diet

Try it and see.