Does advertising undermine our confidence and keep us from pursuing our life purpose? This is an idea I’m toying with. Ads are targeted at our weaknesses. The advertisers know if they can push our emotional buttons and connect with where we feel insecure or lacking we will buy their product to solve that problem. But the message is: “You are not enough just as you are. You need something more; more success, a more youthful look, a nicer car, more prestige, something, so you will be happy, popular, flawless, and competent.
But the underlying message, which we get bombarded with thousands of times a day, is that we are not okay the way we are. If we’re listening to the radio, watching TV, reading a newspaper or magazine, or browsing the internet, we have hundreds, if not thousands of ads shoved in our face all day long. Each one trying to convince us that we need something else in our life to help us become more sophisticated or more glamorous.
Confidence Affects Creativity
My question is, how can we excel as a mom, or an employee, or a spouse, or an entrepreneur, if we are constantly reminded of all the ways we don’t measure up to some worldly standard? If the message we take in hour after hour, day after day, is that we aren’t enough, that we need improving, how does that affect our confidence?
If you dig into the psychology behind advertising, you will discover that the best ads tap into our deepest wants, inflate those wants into must-haves, and then present their product as a solution. We are being emotionally manipulated over and over again. Our tiniest insecurities are magnified into major problems until we are convinced that we have insurmountable shortcomings. All for the purpose of selling us the latest gadget, beauty product, or diet supplement.
Whether you realize it or not, the net effect of all those ads is a constant reminder that some area of your life is not measuring up. That has to affect our attitude and self worth as well as our ability to be creative and confident.
We all know that verse from Psalms 139: “For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” We know we are created in the image of God and He made us beautiful. But do we believe it?
It’s hard to believe something when we hear, read, or see hundreds of ads every day that strive to convince us of just the opposite. Do you want to feel more confident, competent, and sure of your self? It’s time to watch your diet. Your media diet, I mean. I know it’s not possible to completely avoid all the advertising and the articles in magazines that tell us how and why we need to improve in some area, but we can be more intentional about what we are exposed to. Are you tired of feeling beat down and unsure of yourself? Stop letting those messages into your brain!
I’ve actually started keeping a small Achievements Journal. Every morning I take just 10 minutes to review and write down what I achieved the day before. Everything from remembering to be extra patient and encouraging to my son, to successfully getting the laundry done, to completing that days quota of writing, it all qualifies to go in the journal. Can you imagine starting your day by reminding yourself what an awesome person you were the day before? Do you think that would change your attitude throughout the day? The more you do this, the greater will be your mental inventory of positive things about yourself and you can defeat the confidence stealing monster.
What do you think? Are the messages you are exposed to every day affecting your self confidence?