Marketers know the power of good storytelling. It changes mindset. It opens you up to new possibilities. It creates a lasting impression.
Stories stick with us. According to Jennifer Aaker of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, stories are 22 times more memorable than facts alone.
Of course, storytelling is a powerful ancient tradition. One that reaches far beyond the bounds of marketing.
So today, I’d like to encourage you to practice storytelling in your own life, as a gift to yourself this holiday season.
2020 has undoubtedly been a bad year. No one had it easy, and many faced hardships and personal tragedy.
When in the throes of a difficult time, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative story. But when you tell a bad story over and over, it can set off a gloomy self-perpetuating cycle.
The marketing rule of seven is a well-known principle that states a prospect needs to interact with a brand seven times before they’ll make a purchase. That’s how long it takes for a message to get under their skin.
So it stands to reason that if you interact with negative stories about the state of COVID, politics, wildfires, murder hornets—2020 gave us lots of options—it will start to seep in. And it can shift your mindset in the wrong direction.
I don’t say this to discount any real personal challenges or losses you may have faced. But when we dwell on the negative stories, particularly those over which we have no control, we start to feel even worse very quickly.
Instead, tell yourself a story of gratitude. Even in a dumpster fire of a year, there are things to be grateful for. They might be things you’d ordinarily gloss over (the marvels of modern communication that allow you to video chat with faraway family, perhaps?), but taking the time to meditate on your gratitude for these small things can drive a big shift in the story of your 2020.
I’ve certainly had days where I’ve gotten caught up in the stress and sadness of the year. But those days where I can focus on the positives—my tight-knit group of friends and family, wonderful clients, lots of time indoors to rekindle my love of cooking—I find myself in a better place than on those days where I tune into the negative story.
Wishing you a restful holiday season and a new year filled with health, joy, and much to be grateful for.