Nervous System Activation aka Not-Self Selling

There have been a plethora of posts about the challenges in the online industry as of late…

Is it generational? 

Is the market maturing?

Is it the economy? 

Why are launches failing? 

Why is it more challenging to sell right now? 


I contend that the issues are twofold. The industry is mature, and I don’t think that is where the problem ends… it’s only part. The reality is that people are tired of the homogenized approach. While the ease of entering the online space is great, it has also created a plethora of people who read one book and think that they can teach it. This results in people buying stuff and not getting results because the person selling it lacks expertise. 

We must fundamentally remember that expertise and depth are one skill set, and marketing is another…. This is why we see so many wildly “successful” people with a lack of depth, aka they are good at marketing, and so many experts with meh marketing who struggle to sell. Those experts have integrity in their marketing and do not want to pressure sell…..

I believe the greater part of the problem with respect to the online industry is actually pressurized, not-self selling. Or what I am coining as Nervous System Activation Selling….

What is Nervous System Activation Selling?

Nervous System Activation Selling is when the copy on a sales page and the sales page experience is written and designed to trigger the person reading the page. The copy is written in such a way that it dysregulates the nervous system of the person reading it with not-self, pressure, should language coupled with visuals create a false sense of urgency.

This activation, typically hyperarousal of the sympathetic nervous system, puts them into a state where they “should themselves” into taking action from a place of fight or flight. The person then makes a decision from a state where they are often already out of their comfort zone before the program even begins (which is part of why so many courses have dismissal finish rates). They join because the sympathetic nervous system believes it is threatened. They should themselves say yes, and enrollment comes from a place of fear, lack, insecurity, should, stress, and pressure. 


The market is declining, and it is harder to sell because so many of us have had this experience where we bought something because we thought we “should,” only to realize that we were pressured into buying from an activated state from a false sense of urgency, from a place that pulled on a fears, triggers, FOMO and belonging only to be let down. 


This not-self, nervous system activation selling agitates, nit-picks, pressures, stresses, and triggers. As Deb Dana says, “Should lives in the sympathetic nervous system.” aka fight or flight. 


In a very basic understanding, the sympathetic part of the nervous system turns on when we are threatened, stressed, or pressured by literal and figurative threats to our safety, AND it does so automatically. 


“I should buy this now because this will be the thing that changes the game.” 


“I should buy this because I don’t want to miss out.”


“I should join this program because they are a success, and I want a business like theirs.” 


And we’ve become immune to the not-self, nervous system selling. 


We’ve gone nose blind to the pressurized b.s. 


We adapted to no longer feel stress when reading a sales page because we know that there is no real urgency. 


Our nervous systems have adapted to the fact that there is no real urgency or pressure to buy now. 


Our safety isn’t threatened.


We’ve had enough experiences where we bought something from an activated state and a place of should, and our expectations weren’t met


In fact, this is one of the most common questions people ask me when they enroll in my programs. It usually goes something like, “I love your content and am considering joining your program. I’ve bought a lot of courses, and I want to know how yours is different or will actually help me in my situation. Here is what is going on.” 


Our baseline has shifted. Our nervous system IQ has increased to realize that it is not a real threat to our safety. We don’t have to make a decision from a place of should…because historical data tells us when we do, we are often let down. 


The dawn of individualization is here. 


The homogenized, not-self-selling era is going extinct. 


It’s time to put down the pressure.


It time to put down the Ad Man ways of selling and embrace a new era. 


It is a time when depth and nuance are honored, a time for both/and, a time when we nourish the whole of ourselves. 


It is time to embrace the Whole-Self. 

Living Your Human Design Types

It’s not enough to just have the knowedge of your human design type you must also embody it but embodiment and integration takes time. Give yourself space and grace to decondition and live out your human design type. 

If you like this human design content and want to dig deeper check out these other human design articles.