Changing Your Attitude Changes Your Behavior
It is a fact of life that every salesperson at some point experiences challenges, loss of business, disappointment, and diminished motivation. While you can’t control what is not in your control, you can control your attitude and response. It is even possible to use your setbacks to cultivate insights and tools to help you become more successful. By examining how internal attitudes, whether conscious or subconscious, affect how we interact with the external world we can begin to understand why certain experiences can become emotional triggers and what we need to change to create new merchant sales.
What is important to know is that while your present is affected by the thoughts and actions of your past, your future is determined by what you choose to do now. You cannot control everything that happens in life, you cannot change your past, but you do have a choice about how you think and behave right now and in the future.
Habitual Thought Patterns Trigger Merchant Sales
Thanks to millions of years of natural selection humans are hardwired to fear rejection. This need to be accepted is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history and was necessary for surviving the harsh environments. Our subconscious fear of rejection creates deeply embedded impressions of past thoughts and actions that put us at risk of being rejected. These impressions create subconscious mental habits and reactions, also known as habitual thought patterns. All salespeople face rejection as part of their job so it is important to consciously acknowledge natural selection and to learn how to disarm negative habitual thought patterns.
Habitual thought patterns become unconscious conditioned responses to events and triggers. Our habituated responses can move us forward or hold us back. For salespeople the first step to changing behavior is changing thought patterns. It is important to remember that internal dialogue is a habitual thought pattern that is within our control. Creating habitual thought patterns plays a vital role in generating new merchant sales.
Hacking Your Brain to Change Thought Patterns
In order to change your habitual thought patterns, you must first become aware of them. This will require self-examination of the physical sensations and mental reactions you have when confronted with emotional triggers. When you hear the word ‘no’, or when you feel you are not meeting intrinsic or extrinsic expectations take a moment to reflect on your physical response and your internal dialogue. Is your internal dialogue negative, harsh, or overly critical? Or is it positive, forward thinking, and kind?
Our internal dialogue and our external words and actions are symbiotic. In recognition of this it is important to be mindful that consciously choosing words and behaviors that promote civility, good will, and the highest degree of standards will improve your internal dialogue. By contrast, being mindful of your internal dialogue and consciously choosing positive self-talk and bold affirmations will reconstruct your subconscious mind and habitual thought patterns. Remember, science has demonstrated that our brains retain neuroplasticity throughout life. Our internal and external worlds are not static, they are dynamic and malleable. Use this to your advantage.
Practice the Four C’s
- Confront a situation or thought that is emotionally challenging and pay attention to how you react physically and emotionally. For example, in sales how do you confront rejection? What is your habitual response? Is this response moving you forward or holding you back?
- Connect with a mental block that you would like to change your response to. In sales fear of failure can be paralyzing. Write down your habitual response. Connect with how your body feels, do your muscles tense, where do you feel the constriction? What emotions do you feel?
- Change your habitual response by practicing how it would feel to distance yourself emotionally from negative thought patterns.
- Curate new responses that will over time replace old habitual responses. There is now strong scientific evidence that the same chemistry and brain circuitry are activated in response to real or imagined events.
If your habitual responses stem from a replay of negative events and triggers, real or imagined, you can curate new responses by leveraging the power of visualization. For example, you might visualize yourself holding a remote that controls your reactions. When negative thoughts or feelings surface the remote instantly changes the channel. It is remarkable how quickly and easily we can change our minds. Think of a purple and yellow striped zebra in a tutu. How fast did your mind start to construct the visual?
Next time you feel dejected, remember you have the power to change the channel at will. While you cannot always control what happens to you, with practice and repetition you can control your thoughts and your reactions. The more you practice the easier it becomes.