As this article in the New York Times details, it’s no secret that one way Donald Trump destroyed his rivals was by slapping labels on them that changed the way voters perceived them.
The most obvious, and most devastating example, was the way Trump eviscerated Jeb by branding him, “Low Energy.”
This, “linguistic kill shot,” as Scott Adams described in his video on ReasonTV was incredibly effective, not only because of the way it led voters to perceive Jeb, but more importantly, by the way it made Jeb perceive himself.
I would bet that until Trump slapped that label on him, Jeb had never perceived himself as low energy. Yet, the mere branding of this idea forced him to confront it, and even in vehemently denying it, the label became more “real” in his mind.
While it’s fascinating to observe how Trump has “anchored” his rivals in this way, what’s far more interesting to me is how you can use the same idea for yourself.
Although you might, I’m not suggesting that you, like Trump, slap negative labels on people in order to bring them down, but instead that you use positive labels to build up yourself and other people.
Often, especially with people who I only meet with once, I “program” them with a label that is designed to change how they perceive themselves.
Installing this anchor like a software upgrade, I typically brand them with their name, and then a 2.0 extension, such as “Kevin2.0.”
In doing this, I’m giving them a new identity to live up to, and helping them see their new learnings not just as random ideas, but as an upgrade to who they used to be.
You can do the same with yourself too.
After you make a leap in your career or life, slap a label on it. Similarly, if you want to energize yourself, label yourself “High Energy” or some other notion that gets you fired up, like Marshawn Lynch’s, “Beast Mode.”
It’s also worth noting that you can slap labels on people that might seem offensive, but that actually motivate them in positive ways.
For instance, someone who is heavily overweight might be offended if you started branding them “lazy bones,” but it still might motivate them to exercise.
While many people have whined about the often insulting labels that Trump has slapped on his rivals, most of them have missed the fact that Trump has done it because it works!
Try it for yourself.