With Game of Thrones ended, the American public has now turned its attention to the second greatest television series of the past decade plus: The Bachelor! What started as a scripted (ahem, “reality”) dating show in 2002 has spawned two spinoffs: Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette, which started its 15th season on May 13.
Like every season, this year’s crop of hunky, love-hungry, and attention-starved men will compete for the affection of Hannah Brown, this season’s bachelorette. During the first episode, you’ll see contestants ride up on horses, dress as knights, wear funny masks, or try out cringeworthy one-liners to make a good first impression.
But what if these extravagant gestures were totally unnecessary? What if you could win the heart of the bachelorette simply by knowing her mindstate? For those new to this concept, a mindstate is a temporary state of mind that finds us under high emotional arousal, relying more on nonconscious factors, and more susceptible to influence.
By appealing to Hannah’s emotional state of mind—or mindstate—a contestant would increase their chances of going home the winner. To do this, you’d first need to know Hannah’s core motivation driving her on the Bachelorette and her regulatory approach, two components of a mindstate. With those data points, you could construct her mindstate build and better understand—or even predict—her actions on the show. And for you all who are in a Bachelorette pool (you know who you are), you’ll be able to more accurately predict which of the remaining men will win her heart. In the first of a three-part Bacheloretteseries, we’ll see how Hannah is driven by the Optimistic Achievement mindstate.
The Origins of Hannah Beast
Before we get into her mindstate, a little background on Hannah. Before she was on The Bachelorette, she spent seven weeks as a fan favorite on Colton’s season of The Bachelor. During her time on that show, she adopted the persona of “Hannah Beast” for the way she would growl to the camera and hold up her hands like claws.
Where did that beastly persona come from? You could argue it originated during the nine years she spent competing in beauty pageants and was further honed during her time in the Miss USA system. Hannah has been open about her struggles with anxiety and depression, but credits the Miss USA competition for building her confidence during times of struggle. She was named Miss Alabama in 2018 and competed in the Miss USA competition that same year. Although she didn’t win, the experience played a major role in Hannah unleashing her Hannah Beast persona on The Bachelor.
While on that show, it came out that Hannah and another contestant knew each other from their time on the pageant scene, leading to bad blood between the two. That’s when Hannah revealed to the world she had a beautiful monster living inside her that she called Hannah Beast. On a group date in Thailand, Hannah told Colton and the other girls that Hannah Beast was the most ferocious animal in the jungle.
As the latest bachelorette, Hannah has been very candid about what she wants and deserves: feeling chosen every day. She’s also not shy about telling guys to back off or putting their aggression in check. On this season, she’s told guys she doesn’t like their attitude or how clingy they’re being. This is a departure from other seasons, where the bachelor or bachelorette would be very cordial when sending a contestant home.
As we’ll see, these actions align with her Optimistic Achievement mindstate. Let’s look closer at her mindstate now, starting with her primary motivation to find love: achievement.
Hannah Does Whatever It Takes to Win
Hannah competed for nine years in pageants, and spent four years in the Miss USA program before landing in the top 15, which are the contestants that the public sees.
Hannah actually took a few years off from the Miss USA program to improve her mental health. When she came back, she finally cracked the top 15 and was named Miss Alabama. This tells us that Hannah is driven by achievement, which I define as “the feeling of being successful, victorious, and proud by overcoming obstacles.”
How many people would give up after four years trying to crack the top 15? How many people would be willing to step away from the program to work on their mental health, then step back up to the plate and work even harder to be named top 15?
Not many, which demonstrates the depth of Hannah’s achievement motivational drive. When it comes to her goals, Hannah goes hard. On The Bachelor, you often hear contestants say they’re going to go for what they want. You’ve never seen one say, “I’ve got this whole other side of my personality I’m going to tap into to make sure Colton notices me.”
Just by being on The Bachelorette, Hannah is demonstrating that she’s motivated by achievement. She was rejected on national television, yet she’s willing to put herself back out there in order to find the relationship she didn’t find on The Bachelor.
Hannah Took Big Swings to Catch Colton’s Attention
Motivation is only one part of Hannah’s mindstate. We must also consider her regulatory approach, which is how she chooses to approach her goal of finding true love. There are two regulatory approaches in psychology: promotion (striving for success) or prevention (looking to avoid losses). As you can probably guess, Hannah naturally gravitates towards a promotion focus, meaning she seeks out strategies that help her maximize the chances of successfully reaching her goals and finding her true love.
With a promotion (or optimistic) regulatory approach, you often act aggressively and are willing to take big chances to get what you want. On both shows, we’ve seen Hannah do this time and again. Her whole Hannah Beast persona flies in the face of what society expects of pageant queens: pristine, reserved, with impeccable hair and makeup. By putting that out on there on The Bachelor, Hannah was taking a big swing to win Colton’s heart.
That same year, we also saw Hannah act aggressively on group dates that involved eating exotic foods like fish eyeballs. If she had been prevention focused, Hannah would’ve opted not to eat the eyeballs and gross Colton out. But because she’s promotion focused, Hannah didn’t hesitate. She later admitted she was going for the prize, so despite being a picky eater, she chowed down on those eyeballs. Later, she ate grub worms. Other girls said it was too gross, but not Hannah. She was acting aggressively to catch Colton’s attention because it fits with her natural approach to love.
Hannah’s regulatory approach really showed up during a competition where the women were on the plank of a pirate ship and had to compete with those foam-tipped clubs like you used to see on American Gladiator. Hannah literally had the other girls going, “Take it easy on me!” Her response: “No way. This is a competition and I’m going to win!”
Through her actions, she was telling Colton, “I’m all in. I’m fun, I’ll try new things and go on these adventures with you.” She was being innovative and taking risks to maximize her chances of getting what she wanted: a relationship with Colton.
Hannah’s Mindstate Impacted the Luke P. Decision
When you combine Hannah’s achievement motivation with her promotion focus, you get the Optimistic Achievement mindstate, which I define this way in my book:
“Whether it’s losing that last stubborn ten pounds by eating healthy or working hard to get that promotion at work, we all want to feel the sweet success of achievement. Striving to achieve and celebrate our goals is a healthy part of everyday life.”
Six episodes into The Bachelorette, it’s clear that Hannah’s mindstate hasn’t changed since we last saw her. She’s been very open in sharing her struggles and flaws with the men on the show in the hopes of maximizing her chances of finding true love. Would every bachelorette do this? No, but that’s what makes Hannah so unique. She feels that sharing those sides of herself gives her the best chance of achieving her goal.
We also saw her mindstate reflected in the way she handled the Luke P. situation. Hannah formed a great relationship with Luke P. because he appealed to her mindstate by being promotion focused in pursuing her. Then, Luke P. went and decked another guy during a rugby game and created this whole big drama. Hannah wanted Luke P. to own up to what he did, but Luke P. never would do it, so Hannah put us all in suspense for an extra week to see what happened to Luke P.
In her mind, Luke P. had severed the psychological connection that they had. Because he appealed to her on a subconscious level, this betrayal hurt way more than if someone else had done it. Had Luke P. been honest, he probably would’ve received a rose on his one-on-one date. Instead, he had to wait until the rose ceremony to find out his fate. If he manages to get back their non-conscious connection, he may be the one married to Hannah at the end of it all.
How Mindstates Help You with Selling
So, let’s bring this back to the first episode. Knowing Hannah’s mindstate, here’s how a contestant could’ve made a killer first impression: he steps out of the limo in a tuxedo, which signals to Hannah that he’s successful (an achievement cue). In his hand is a big trophy shaped like the college football national championship trophy (playing off her Alabama fandom). Also, a trophy signals achievement. He approaches Hannah and says, “I think you and I can be a winning combination. What do you say?”
OK, that last line might need some workshopping, but you get the point. By appealing to Hannah’s Optimistic Achievement mindstate, a contestant would forge a deeper subconscious connection right away than if he came out in a chicken costume.
In the same way, if you speak to the psychological “mindstate” of your customers, you’ll deeply connect with them as well. Your message will feel more natural, thereby making it easier for you to influence their behavior, whether that’s buying your product over your competitors, getting them to upgrade their membership, or coming back to your service after some time away.
If you want that final rose, so to speak, you can’t use a copy and paste approach with all your customers. You have to appeal to them on a subconscious level, just like the guys on The Bachelorette need to appeal to her Optimistic Achievement mindstate if they want to win her hand and heart.