It was the beginning of the month, I had exceeded sales expectations for the previous month, there was the temptation to let a few days of ease flow by. You know the kind? Feet thrown up on the desk pretending to be getting stuff done?
Nevertheless, I picked up the phone, dialed the number for a customer that I had worked with a few days before, let it get half way through a ring, then quickly hung up the phone. The thoughts came to my mind, “They are not a serious prospect, I don’t want to pester them. They probably are not really in the market for my product, they seemed more like tire kickers to me. I certainly don’t want to be ‘that’ overbearing sales guy.”
I share this story, not because it is unique, but because it is all too common. For some it may only happen on occasion, for others it may be quite frequent. If this has happened to you, like it has to me, chances are that the true motivation behind me not making that follow up sales call was not actually for any of those aforementioned reasons. It could be a variety of well-intentioned excuses, but what it truly boils down to is something of a little bit different nature than being polite.
So what is it?
That thing that holds us back in these situations?
It is reluctance. It is fear of the unknown.
I see it in myself again and again. You may see and feel it too. Perhaps it is not sales or business related, maybe it is asking for a date, possibly it is when you ask for help, or maybe when you are making a serious life change. Really, that fear and reluctance can strike at any time, but especially when you are about to do something that could change your life, or, at least, push you in the right direction. I think the real fear behind this is twofold; fear of rejection and fear of the unknown.
Leslie Becker Ph.D. in her “Psychology Today” article entitled, “Love and the Fear of Loss” tells us this…
“Sometimes people are overcome – even paralyzed – by the feared or expected pain associated with . . . loss. So they try to protect against their pain. They might try to hold tight to the moment, such as by taking a picture. Or, by making sure that a relationship stays positive, avoiding conflict at all costs. Unfortunately, these efforts break the living connection, making the object of their love more of a possession.
People may tend to the object; looking at their photograph — or doing everything “right” for their partner – but they are no longer fully open and connected. Inevitably, the love dies. Sometimes people defend against the feared or expected pain from loss by staying emotionally distant from people. They might even keep their lives small and controllable. But this leaves them feeling cut off from an important part of themselves that is curious, wants to explore and grow, or even has a hidden passion. As a result, they remain stifled and feel empty or dead inside. If you realize that you are protecting yourself from the pain of loss, you have a decision to make. You can let that moment of realization slip by and continue to live a defended life. Or, you can take action toward breaking loose.”
How it relates
Now she is obviously speaking in the context of love and relationships. Yet I’m sure you will find, as I have, a correlation to that description of reluctance and fear in just about any aspect of our lives. Also, our romantic and most intimate relationships can be studied to find metaphors for other facets of our life.
But here is the thing, that same fear you and I may have of the unknown or fear of rejection can become the very energy and enthusiasm that excites you for the future with just paradigm shift.
That cold call, or that date, or that meeting with your boss; that may very well be the best thing that ever happens to you. Perhaps that cold call will turn into the best sale of your life. Perhaps that date may be where you meet the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. That meeting with your boss may be when you finally get that promotion. Think about it!
Today could be the best day of your life!
Let that sink in for a second. Today could be the best day of your life!
After all, why not?
Why shouldn’t it be the best day of your life?
We may find ourselves at an edge. We may see stepping of that edge as a terrible leap of faith. It may cause us to be scared to death. It may be something we at first shrink and try to pull away from. When in reality we should learn to Master our Power Within and courageously breakthrough that edge. For what often matters is how we approach that edge oftentimes more so than actually going through the edge at times.
I once sat in a conference once and listened to Mark Hoog. He has a few simple precepts that he lives by. More often than not, if there is something that will rock the boat and disrupt the patterns we have been running in our life, we find reasons why we can’t do that thing, why we shouldn’t do it, and why we wouldn’t. This is what Mark does differently, he focuses on why he could, why he should, and why he would.
What a shift in mindset that can be . . .
When presented with an opportunity we almost instinctively start coming up with reasons why we cant do it. We start subconsciously (or perhaps consciously) start reasoning as to why we should not do it, or why we wouldn’t want to.
What if, when we are presented with an opportunity to buy something meaningful that will improve our life, we instead started our internal dialog by asking ourselves why we could, why we should, and why we would? And rather than just dipping our toes in the water we jumped right in? What if we focused on how this next day, decision, prospect, or date may be the best we have ever had?
The next time you face that sales call reluctance, or the hesitancy before taking the leap that of faith in your life, rather than thinking about all of the things that could possibly go wrong; think about all the things that could go right. Because who knows . . .