The Power of Reframing

tl:dr; reframing a challenge-or a value proposition- may be all you need to overcome a hurdle.

One of most commonly accepted mental models we all have is that willpower is a muscle. You use it, deplete it, and then renew it.

Well, Against Willpower argues that this whole concept is garbage and misleading. In fact, you can address many of the challenges you currently face not with more willpower, but with reframing it.

It’s a good read and worth it if you continually beat yourself up when you feel like you aren’t able to accomplish something.

While reading the article, however, I came across this example of reframing:

“A paradigmatic example of reframing is the phenomenon of “temporal discounting,” in which people tend to discount future rewards in favor of smaller immediate payoffs. When offered $5 today versus $10 in a month, many people illogically choose immediate gratification.
However, when the question is reframed to make the tradeoffs explicit — “Would you prefer $5 today and $0 in a month or $0 today and $10 in a month?” — more people choose the larger, delayed reward.
Research suggests that reframing the question in this way nudges people toward delayed gratification because the different versions of the question employ entirely different cognitive processes.”

Naturally, I saw a marketing angle here.

So often, we go to prospects or customers with an offer and we can’t understand why they don’t just jump on it. I mean, it’s so great, isn’t it?

Well, perhaps the problem isn’t with the offer.

Perhaps the problem is with how we frame the offer.

Frame the offer and the challenge from the perspective of the customer.