Do you listen to your self-talk? What is your self-talk saying? How is your self-talk serving you? If your self-talk is more negative, and sounds like a snake’s rattle, it will scare you off from moving forward. This is poisonous thinking for people who are in the business of selling.

Most of us have reoccurring thought patterns which we repeat over and over again. Research shows that these repetitive thoughts create a neural pathway in our brain. If you have heard the term ‘limiting beliefs’, then you know it is negative self-talk over time that does this to your brain. The good news is that you can change the pathway.

Having a positive outlook and self-talk is a must have for people who sell. Yet, how is this possible if you are in a slump, just lost a customer or find yourself reluctant to even follow-up? How do you move away from the snake’s rattle?

Negative self-talk affects your emotions, which in turn affects your actions, and in the end can limit your sales performance.

Listen to yourself. Have you ever said something like “I don’t have what it takes”, “I didn’t deserve that sale anyway”, or “Why can’t I succeed?” The first part to change that neural pathway and shake off the snakes rattle is to recognize what you are saying to yourself, in particular what you say repeatedly.

Change your focus. Have an opposite and positive affirmation to replace the negative. Replace the thought “I don’t have what it takes,” with “I’m learning what works.” Instead of saying “I didn’t deserve that sale,” rephrase it to “I can learn from that experience.” The key is to say something to yourself that moves you in a more positive direction.

Challenge your thinking. You might want to ask yourself, “Is this thought beneficial to me now? What is underlying this negativity? How is it helping me? Or is it?” You want to be easy with yourself yet challenge the relevancy and benefit of such thinking.

James Lane Allen (1849 –1925), an American novelist, is credited with saying, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” You could reframe Allen’s quotation with “Your sales results today, are where your thoughts today have brought you. Your sales results will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” Where do you want your sales results to be?

Put It Into Action:
- What one thought, one self-talk phrase, can you identify right now which you believe is the most negative one for you?

- What one thing can you plan do to when you next hear this negative self-talk? (Hint: Decide on an action that moves you to the total opposite thought.)

- Once you have a more positive thought in place of this working in your self-talk, what will that mean for you? Stay focused on this benefit for you.

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