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  • Category Archives Self-Motivation
  • Control What You Can: Attitude and Effort

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    attitudeOften we get frustrated in life when we try to control things that we actually have no control over.

    We get frustrated when the traffic is bad and we are late to work.

    We get frustrated when somebody doesn’t buy from us, or they don’t show up for an appointment.

    We get frustrated all day long with little things that are happening, that we forget that we cannot actually control some of those things.

    What can we do to keep from feeling this way?

    There are only two things each day that you actually can control. Only two things!

    They are your attitude and your effort. That’s it!

    When something bad happens you control how you react to that something. You can control what attitude you choose to put on. Choose to put on a good one!

    You can also control how hard you work. How many hours you put in. You control how hard you work during those hours, how many phone calls you make, if you pick up the phone and dial again and again and again.

    There are things that you can influence, like how well you have a conversation. You can influence if somebody buys or not, but you can’t really control the outcome at all.

    You can control a lot of what you do in terms of how many appointments you set, etc. You can have a great amount of control over that. Two things we can work on controlling is how hard we work and our attitude.

    If you focus on controlling the “controllables,” controlling what you actually can control, and just surrender the rest, you will have a lot less frustration and a whole lot more peace!

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • Never Have a Maniac Monday Again with These Two Tips

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    time-to-planDo you ever feel like you have more to do than the hours that are available on any given day?

    Sometimes I wake up and I go to bed and I haven’t even checked anything off of my to-do list, and I think, “What did I do all day today?

    If you’ve ever felt like you had a Maniac Monday, we’re going to give you a couple of tips on how to really prepare your week. It will help you get things in order so you feel like you accomplished things and have a balanced week.

    Monday mornings crash in on you, whether it be responding to voicemail, setting appointments for the week, or responding to emails from the weekend, you’re picking up from where you left off on Friday afternoon. It’s crazy.

    Here are two tips to put into place to help better organize and manage your time.

    Tip 1:

    The key to avoiding a maniac Monday – don’t wait until Monday. Start your week off the right way and plan your whole week on Sunday’s.

    Yes, your whole week. Plan your calls, plan your meetings, plan your meals, plan your workout time, plan everything. Schedule it out. Scheduling is like anything else. If you don’t schedule it in, it probably won’t get done.

    The reason that you start to feel flustered and frustrated in the evenings or after work or on the weekends, if you tell yourself you’re always so busy and you never have time to do anything, it’s because you’re always doing things off the cuff and on the fly.

    You’re never planning ahead. You’re reactive, you’re not proactive. I know that because I used to be that way. Planning on Sunday night, it gives you clarity. It lets you breathe on Monday mornings because everything has a place and everything is in its place.

    Tip 2:

    Know where you’re going. This is the second benefit of having a very detailed schedule. I see and hear one of the biggest mistakes of sales people is they spend so much time searching, and looking, and preparing but they actually never do what they intended to do in the first place.

    Many times we have found at Southwestern Consulting that some of the best times of the day to reach decision makers are from the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. or even before 8 a.m. But generally, that’s when most people do their daily planning.

    That’s when they’re figuring out who are they going to call today? Who do they need to call back? Who do they need to email? Who do they want to put on their prospecting list? What kind of lead generation activity should we be doing?

    That’s not the time to be doing that. Eight o’clock to 10 o’clock is the time to be making phone calls and walking in doors. But many times, because we weren’t prepared, we didn’t know who to call on, that’s when we do all our prep time and the moment we get ready to walk out the door and pick up the phone, our decision makers, they’re busy or they’re gone for the day.

    If you really want to be successful and feel movement, you have to align your schedule with your decision makers, not with what’s convenient for you.

    Being detailed and planning ahead are really two keys that you can use to get rid of maniac Mondays and get a grip on your schedule.

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow Up


  • The Two Types of Motivation to Know About

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Most of us are motivated by contests and incentives or earning recognition. We like to work towards goals. This type of motivation is called “Toward Motivation.” There’s another very powerful type of motivation that often gets overlooked. “Away Motivation.”

    Let’s say it’s 3 o’clock in the morning, on a very cold night in early spring, you’re laying in bed and your phone rings. Your buddy down the street is calling you to say, “There’s a big sale happening at the end of the street. They’re selling patio furniture and grills for really cheap. I know you really wanted to buy those. Come down here now!” And you’re thinking, “It’s 3 o’clock in the morning why would I get out of bed?”

    Let’s look at another example. In this scenario, you’re laying in bed at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s freezing cold, and you get a phone call from the same buddy who says, “Hey, there’s someone on your back porch stealing your patio furniture and your brand-new grill!” Would you get out of bed? Most people say they would pop out of bed and chase the thieves out of their yard right away! “Away Motivation.”

    Everybody is motivated a little bit differently, but typically the fear of loss is an even more powerful motivator than excitement for gain. We overlook the type of motivation called “Away Motivation.” We are away motivated when we are trying to avoid consequences.

    Here is an example in your business realm. One of our clients was having a really hard time asking for referrals. He would either just forget to ask, or often times would not ask because he was afraid to. We really needed to get him to ask for those referrals. Now we have the “Toward Motivation.” The opportunity to earn more business, the opportunity to get more results and get mores prize. But this really wasn’t motivating him. We needed to put that “Away Motivation” in place. What we did for him was ask him who was someone that he really did not like. Unfortunately, he really didn’t like his assistant. This person wasn’t his assistant by choice, this was a company chosen assistant that was decades older than him, didn’t report to him, and didn’t respect him in his eyes. So, what we decided to do was every time he forgot to ask a referral he had to write her a check for $50. He had to tell her he was giving her that because he didn’t do what he said he was going to do. That was embarrassing enough to him that it only took one time of forgetting to ask for referrals, and he never wanted to experience that again.

    Think about this for yourself. What are some consequences that you can put in place that will help you to be more motivated and hit your goals? Would it motivate you to have to donate money to the political party you are not a fan of? Would it motivate you to have to cancel a trip if you don’t do what you say you will do? Would it motivate you to give sales to your competitor? Think about those consequences, put them in place, and watch how things will change for you.

    We need to have consequences in place, not just rewards in order to sufficiently motivate ourselves. Make sure you have “Toward Motivation” and “Away Motivation” in your plan to achieve your goals!

    What are some things that have helped you? Share here, tweet me @emmie__brown

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • Fuel Your Fire

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    It’s easy to look at other people’s success and be jealous.

    Sometimes it’s not even envy that shows up, but more of just frustration with your own situation or your own progress. Because you see where they are and you know that you’re capable of the same thing.

    But that gap of dissatisfaction doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It can be incredibly compelling and highly motivating for you on your journey.

    You just have to remember two things:

    First, other people haven’t taken the same route as you have to get where they are. They may have been more focused, had different mentorship, more specific training, or just plain started earlier than you did. And you can’t compare your chapter 3 to someone else’s chapter 9. Instead, you can gain perspective by evaluating the “trajectory” that you’re on.

    Don’t compare where you are today to someone else’s yesterday. Think about where the course you’re currently on is going to lead you. Very often you will find that if you are making good choices now, that you are inevitably headed toward the same eventual destination.

    Secondly, and more importantly, you have to quickly realize that there is no benefit in wallowing in what you do not have.

    It brings no value to your life to think about what you have not yet accomplished.

    And it does nothing to speed up your progress by looking at what others have achieved that you haven’t yet.

    Unless…

    It drives you and inspires you to do the only thing you can do: work.

    As soon as you realize there’s more you want to accomplish, then you should immediately activate.

    You go to work.

    You decide that you’re not ok with that gap.

    You decide that it’s not acceptable for you not to achieve those same things with your life.

    And you decide that you will find a way to do whatever it takes to accomplish those achievements that you want.

    It’s not about what other people have that you don’t.

    It’s about seeing other people’s accomplishments that you believe are meant to be possible for your own life too.

    And when you see them, you feel that gap. You feel that dissatisfaction. You feel that space that you were meant to fill.

    You don’t get jealous. You don’t get envious.

    You simply get to work.

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.

    Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine.


  • How to Take the Pressure Off

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    We live in a world of unmet expectations. We are consumed with struggling through the daily grind to be successful, or stripping away stresses to find our inner-self and calmness, or indulging in everything life has to offer to just be happy. We feel “less than”, pressure, and frustrated when we don’t achieve what we are longing for. We make an idol of success, tranquility or happiness.

    Tim Keller said it best in his book Counterfeit Gods, “When an idol gets a grip on your heart, it spins out a whole set of false definitions of success and failure and happiness and sadness. It redefines reality in terms of itself.”

    It’s mind-boggling how some of the most successful people I know are so full of insecurity and self-doubt. The outside world thinks these people are the most successful people who have it all together, and the reality is they are freaking out on the inside and putting too much pressure on themselves. I remember feelings of extreme pressure that I would put on myself, and thoughts of being less than no matter what I accomplished or achieved.

    I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now, “this sounds good, but how in the world am I supposed to do this?”

    Here are 3 Ideas on how do we take the pressure off:

    1. Take a reality check. Ask yourself these two question:

    ♦  During your idle time, where is your head at? What do you literally think about when you are left by yourself?

    ♦  If you were 100% honest with yourself, where are you at emotionally?

    2. Find the root of the problem. Typically, there are three main root issues that cause us to put too much pressure on ourselves.

    ♦ “Comparison is the thief of all joy” – Any time we compare ourselves to anyone else, it creates pressure. There will always be someone else who is better, faster, better looking, stronger and smarter. We are all inadequate to everyone at something.

    ♦ Not having fun. – Your attitude is a choice. Your energy level is a choice. Choosing to have fun and be joyful in every single thing you do every single day is a choice.   Most people live in a reactionary state. They just let things happen to them and just think “woe is me”, or they take themselves so seriously they leave no room to simply have fun.

    ♦ Feeling like a failure. – Feeling like a failure is the granddaddy of all root issues when it comes to putting too much pressure on ourselves. Failure is part of life. No one is perfect. Anyone who expects to be perfect at anything will be guaranteed to feel like a failure because it’s impossible to be perfect at anything over a long period of time. At some point, we will all break. Often, it takes us reaching our breaking point to be able to accept our brokenness and dig down to the root of our problems.

    3.  Focus on Unconditional Confidence.

    In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest level is “self-actualization” which focuses on morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

    aa_maslow

    The difference between Maslow’s “self-actualization” and Unconditional Confidence is that Unconditional Confidence cannot be found inside yourself. Unconditional Confidence is not a goal or something you achieve. Unconditional Confidence comes from an understanding that you were created for a higher calling. You were created to die to your selfishness, and your highest achievement in life is to love, serve and care for other people. Another great book by Tim Keller – Every Good Endeavor – does an excellent job at describing in detail how to have Unconditional Confidence.

    There are three types of confidences and our goal is to strive to be Unconditionally Confident.

    1. False Confidence – Faking it until you make it has its place and time. However, we need to quickly get ourselves out of a false confidence state once we embark on trying something new. False Confidence is saying you’re going to do something or thinking you are good at something with no real evidence to back it up. There are plenty of people out there who say “I could have done that if I really wanted to” or “I’m going to be number one.” Etc.

    2. Conditional Confidence – Conditional Confidence comes into play after we’ve set the stage with our False Confidence. We’ve set an expectation for ourselves that we are supposed to be a certain way or accomplish certain things, and then when the results are less than what we hoped for, we feel defeated and less than. Conditional Confidence is contingent on results. If we win, we feel good. If we lose, we feel pressure. Conditional Confidence is equivalent to the 4th level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – “Esteem: self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, respect by others”. Most of us get stuck with Conditional Confidence our whole life.

    3. Unconditional Confidence – People who are Unconditionally Confident have figured out their purpose in life and what they are called to do. Once we have figured that out, we then get to work every day knowing we are making a difference in the world through our work habits, not our results.

    If taking the pressure off is something that you need to focus on, print off this quote and read it aloud every day for the next year:

    “I do not expect success all the time, but due to the belief in my gifts and God-given abilities in addition to my knowledge and acquired skills, I can be fearless in the moment. In reality, self-worth has nothing to do with the outcome. So when the pressure comes, I cannot hesitate. Knowing sometimes I will do well and sometimes I won’t, regardless, I know failure is temporary and success will happen with perseverance.”

     

    Dustin Hillis is the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is an expert in understanding buying, selling and management behavior styles and how to identify them and adapt to people the way they want to be communicated with. He also specializes in writing efficient and effective Customized Sales Scripts/Word Tracks. Mr Hillis consults companies on creating Compensation Plans, Recruiting Systems and Sales Strategies. Dustin is the author of the book Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking and co-author of Speaking of Success along with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield


  • How Bad Do You Want It?

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Some want it badly, whatever “it” may be for them, success, a goal or a win. Some don’t. Others say they do but can’t seem to make things happen.

    Why is it that some people do and some people don’t? I do know, it just seems to work that way. A better question, however, might be what does it look like to want it more?

    Here’s some insight. My good friend, mentor and role model Rick Takahashi is constantly asking me and those he mentors “How Bad Do You Want It?” Rick and I first connected through our Surf Ministry called Water at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA. As the leader of our Men’s Group, I could go on and on about his character, heart for people and humility, but I will go with humility to introduce him. You see Rick has some credibility to lead a group of surfers because he is a USA Surf Team Rider. Yup, Rick’ is a humble guy, so I will brag on him a bit. In 2012, he had a perfect season, winning every contest in NSSA, including Westerns and Nationals. In 2016, he won 1st place in 10 National Finals! He is also sponsored by a slew of companies like Rusty Surf Board, Oakley and Dakine, just to name a few. All this to say, he is the best surfer I know and a Top Level Competitor!

    rusty_team_rick_takahashi

    Rick told me, “Jay, I just want it more than the next guy. I push for that extra mile in training and I do more! There are a lot of surfers that are more talented than me, but I know I just have to be better than the next guy for a few critical moments.”

    As a sales coach with Southwestern Consulting, I love to see the parallels one can draw from professional sports like Surfing to things like business success and sales.

    Three Keys I learned from Rick:

    Be Disciplined and Keep Good Focus! – Have specific goals and create a solid routine around that. Know that there will need to be a sacrifice! And if you can see the prize you will pay the price. Know what it takes to win! What are you going to give up to reach your goal? So many people want to do well, yet they are not willing to give up their free time. They still want to sleep in or just be comfortable. Many times you only have to sacrifice for a specific amount of time, like a season. Know when to push, because it pays to win.

    Hustle! – Train/study harder than the next guy! Have a healthy sense of competition because it’s real. In anything you do, if you’re not going to get after it, someone else is! Don’t compare yourself, but be a competitor. Note- it’s not just winning but how you win. Be Dominant!!

    The big one…

    USE YOUR BRAIN! – Hustle with your mind, not just your body. This is what it really means to be a student of the game. Don’t just study to study. Learn and study to have a competitive advantage. Have a winning strategy. Know how to play the game, know the rules and find out the best ways to win!

    Using your brain helps to take some of the emotion out of the equation. Don’t just react to the situation or event that is occurring. Slow down and think…what can I do better here? What can I control? What did I learn? What can I do differently?

    How many times do we go around in circles wanting to win or do better or overcome a challenge but never seem to gain any ground? Rick said so many surfers just do the same thing, they use the same board every time and they get the same results. He said, “I am constantly thinking… What is the best board to use? Why? Can I surf that spot ahead of time? What do I need to look for in the conditions? What tweaks do I need to make to have a competitive advantage? Etc.”

    Let me encourage all of you, use your most powerful advantage… Your Brain!!

     

    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.


  • You Don’t Have to Go to College?! 3 Keys to Living a Remarkable Life!  

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    “You don’t need to go to college! I can teach you everything you need to know working for my company in 6 months!”… those were the words that I heard from my mentor as I sat in the driveway with my truck packed up, ready to leave for my first year of college. Now, I will say I DID go to college, I had amazing experiences, made amazing friendships, learned a ton and do highly recommend it.

    But we all know the scenario. College graduates today have an average debt of $35,000 for a bachelor’s degree. That jumps to $51,00 for a master’s degree and so on. Graduates still face not being able to find work in an uncertain economy, not making enough money and or even using their majors! We go to college with the assumption that it is the step towards being successful or reaching our next goals in life, often that is not the case. Now again, I am not at all saying not to go to college, but lets take it a step past that. Regardless if you go to college or not we ALL face challenges in life! We all at times feel lost, stuck in life without the ability to navigate around the landmines on the path from failure to success. People define failure and success differently but at the end of the day however you define success for yourself, one could argue that failure is our inability to attain our goals, what ever they may be, in an appropriate amount of time.

    So how do we start the process of change and start living a remarkable life filled with victories and success?

    Here are 3 keys that my mentor gave me as I headed off for college.

    He said, “Jay, if you can become a master at these 3 things, you will have a remarkable life!

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    1. Learn how to ask the right questions

    • Many people fail to ask questions, they fail because they are not using their most powerful tool. Their mind.
    • Some people ask questions but they ask the WRONG questions. wrong questions = wrong answers.
    • IE: Someone asks, “How come someone can’t just come and solve all my problems for me?” That’s the wrong question! Learn to ask the right questions

    2. Learn to find the right answers

    • Read books
    • Ask mentors and coaches
    • Use technology- never have we had as much excess to information, as quickly as we do now!
    • Use self-reflection. Many times you already have the answer within you.

    3. Learn to take action

    • If you get a solution, act on it! Get after it! Keep at it! And see it though!

    Life can be so complicated, we all want to do well but we step on the landmines of a lack of a well defined purpose, analysis paralyses, fear or more deceptive foes like get rich quick schemes. Even our strengths can be weaknesses. Technology for example can be a great resource to help you find the right answers and yet we are also more susceptible to distraction, being lost, sidetracked or confused.

    So keep it simple! Don’t be trapped into thinking that if a solution is not complicated that it is not enough to solve the problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ask the right questions, find the right answers and take action!

    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.


  • Is Your Auto-Pilot Programmed for Success? 

    Guest Post By: Jay Jones

    Have you ever wondered why we as human beings think and act the way that we do? Often times we unconsciously do things that we know are not in our best interest. We often say to ourselves, “If only I were more disciplined to do the things that I need to do…”  Unfortunately, most people do not realize that they are in subconscious auto-pilot mode most of the time.

    If you were about to fly a plane to New York and learned that the auto-pilot was programmed for the wrong destination, what would you do?  If you wanted to get to New York, you would only have 2 options.

    1. Manually fly the plane to New York the entire journey, or

    2. Reprogram the auto-pilot

    pov_1

    Using this analogy and applying it to our lives we are better able to understand how we are to get to our goals and dreams in life.  We can either stay in a state of conscious awareness all of the time and always make conscious choices and decisions about everything that we do (extremely difficult to do) or we can take on the task of reprogramming our internal auto-pilot on a daily basis.  There are major benefits to becoming unconsciously competent in the areas important to our success in life.  Success is much easier when we are doing the right things without having to think about them all of the time.

    Understanding how your subconscious works:

    Everything that you have ever experienced through your 5 senses has been recorded into your subconscious mind.  Those experiences and your emotional responses to them throughout your life dictate your internal auto-pilot. They determine your fight or flight responses to everything you experience in the present.  Often we have programming that we do not even recognize that controls our motivations and desires.  To many people, the thought of having to overcome all of the negative thoughts and programming from the past seems very daunting.  Fortunately, the power of positive affirmations spoken aloud daily has more power over the subconscious in the present than most past memories.

    Writing new programming:

    It is exciting to know that no matter what you have been programmed to believe and therefore feel, you have the power to re-write that programming.  You have the power to change your future destination in life! The first step in this process is to decide what it is that you want to believe about yourself and your relationship to the world around you.  If you want to believe that you enjoy eating healthy and exercising, then you are going to have to affirm that every day if you want to eventually believe it.  If you want to be a person of tremendous faith, then you had better affirm that every day as well.  Whatever it is that you want to have, be or do, you must affirm it to yourself aloud daily.  You must also write your affirmations in the present tense.  Here are a few examples of positive affirmations:

    I feel happy, healthy and terrific!

    I have an amazing and abundant life!

    Every day I am growing more successful in everything that I do!

    I am loved and respected by others!

    I manage my time wisely and make time for all of the projects that I have committed myself to!

    I am passionate about serving others and being an example of success to everyone around me!

    I set big goals and I achieve them!

    I have 2 pages of personal affirmations on the wall by my desk that I read every morning during the week. I can speak from personal experience that without making a conscious decision about what I believe about myself, my thoughts would be slave to the world around me.  The time has come for you to take back control of your life and your thoughts from the world.  Decide what you want to believe, decide what you want to achieve and make the commitment for life to do the mental conditioning work to make it happen!

     

    Jay Jones is an expert in lead generation and business development. He has worked extensively in the mortgage, real estate, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare and financial services industries. Jay is a dynamic speaker and regularly speaks for company and industry events.


  • Being Positive vs. Positive Self-Talk

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    The wealthiest man I know once told me the key to success is having amazing self-talk. I remember feeling disappointed when receiving this advice over a nice dinner. What a conundrum that I’m getting advice from the a man who was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the most successful people alive and I’m having a negative response to advice about positive self-talk.

    I decided to investigate further what he meant by “you have to have amazing self-talk”. He went on to explain that self-talk is defined as what you say about yourself to yourself, and what you allow others to say about you that you believe. Then it hit me, my whole life I thought being positive is what having positive self-talk was all about. But after my conversation with Spencer, I realized that my self-talk had nothing to do with being a positive person. It had everything to do with looking in the mirror and honestly saying what I think about myself.

    Most people have the wrong idea around what self-talk is all about. Most people, myself included before this dinner, consider being a positive person as what it means to have positive self-talk. I think of a funny Saturday Night Live skit like this one when I hear motivational speakers talk about having a positive attitude and living in a van down by the river.

    Your self-talk is the most important thing in your life. The core of your self-talk is your belief system. Your beliefs construct your attitudes. Your attitudes determine your actions. Your actions come from your feelings. Your feelings come from your self-talk. If someone stuck a recorder inside your brain over the past 24 hours, I’m willing to bet the things you tell yourself about yourself would be scary. Most people spend their entire lives telling themselves what they can and cannot do. And as Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.”

    Your self-image is directly tied to your self-talk. When you look in the mirror, do you see someone who is fat, ugly, dumb, a failure, a bad husband, a lousy father, a victim, a martyr, a jerk, a nag, a mediocre worker…Or do you see someone who is fit, sexy, smart, a winner, the world’s best husband and father, someone who will go over, under, around or straight right though any obstacle in their way!?

    In 1st grade, I flunked phonics, then in 2nd grade I flunked spelling, then I proceeded for the rest of my schooling to make F’s in any subject that had to do with reading and writing.  I developed a very real self-talk issue around the topic of reading and writing. I would say things like “can someone else read instead of me, I’m good at other things and not good at reading.”  One day a sales manager at the Southwestern Company challenged me when he said, “You know as long as you keep saying you aren’t good at reading, you never will be.”  I went home that night and made a decision that I would never again say anything about being less proficient at reading and writing.  Instead, I would say things positive about reading and writing.

    I created “Positive Affirmations” around reading and writing, and I started saying them everyday.  My affirmations included “I am a wordsmith”, “I am an author”, “I am an avid reader”, “My lexicon is vast”, and “I am the world’s best Scrabble player”.  After a few months of saying these “Positive Affirmations”, I found myself picking up a book and started reading every day. Additionally, I opened up a Word document and started writing every week. More than 14 years later, I’ve read over 100 books and am the author of several books.

    As humans, we are programmed to think a certain way, whether we like it or not. Either you choose to give up control of your own programming and let the media, society or your friends and family program you with what you believe about yourself and the world…or… you take control of your self-talk and start programming yourself with the things you want to believe about yourself and the world. If you want to take control of your self-talk, the most impactful exercise you can possibly do is to take out a piece of paper and write out a minimum of 10 positive affirmation and then make copies of your affirmations and carry them with you, post them on your walls, share them with other people and, most importantly, say them to yourself out loud every day.

    Here are some of my personal affirmations: 

    • God gives me all strength, courage and confidence… and with God anything is possible.
    • I always communicate with confidence, unwavering Relentless Truth.
    • I always put God first, Kyah second, Haven third, friends fourth, work fifth, and myself sixth regarding how I make decisions.
    • I am an athlete. I am consistent with working out at least 3 times per week and walk with Kyah 2 times per week, and eating a Paleo diet.
    • I raise the belief, energy and confidence level of every single person I interact with.
    • I empathize with others’ struggles, pains and regrets and help them embrace truth, forgiveness, mercy and love through God.
    • Most of all, my life mission and what God has called me to do is help others reach their God-given potential every day

     

    Dustin Hillis is the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is an expert in understanding buying, selling and management behavior styles and how to identify them and adapt to people the way they want to be communicated with. He also specializes in writing efficient and effective Customized Sales Scripts/Word Tracks. Mr Hillis consults companies on creating Compensation Plans, Recruiting Systems and Sales Strategies. Dustin is the author of the book Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking and co-author of Speaking of Success along with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield


  • Do Your Words Really Matter?

    I AM....Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    Do you talk to yourself? I already know the answer to this, YES, you do!  We all do.

    But have you ever thought about if the things you say to yourself really make a difference in how you think, act or react?

    Do your words encourage you or discourage you?

    Do they give you confidence or do they make you self-conscious?

    Do they make you want to keep going or do they make you want to get back in bed?

    What you say when you talk to yourself is one of the most untrained on parts of being a sales professional, but one of the most important. It’s what we at Southwestern Consulting call “the power of positive self-talk.”

    Learning how to talk to yourself is a really powerful element of building confidence on the inside so it shows on the outside. If you don’t believe in yourself very few will believe in what you are selling.

    Positive self-talk is talking about yourself in present tense, which starts to create the vision of who you want to become.  Watching your words must be an intentional act of discipline to constantly reassure yourself that you can do this, you can learn this and it’s all possible.

    The benefit of positive affirmations can be life changing. It can change your personal life, your work life, your confidence, it can change everything about you.

    So here’s what I want you to do: make a list of all the things you want in your life.

    What are the things that you want to have?

    What are the things that you want to be and how do you want the world to see you ?

    Do you want the world to see you as a loving father/mother? A loyal husband/wife? A hard worker? How do you want to be seen?

    Writing positive affirmations allow you to physically see what you want written out giving you something real to look at and work towards

    Long before I was any good at sales, my affirmations said things like, “I’m a million dollar producer, I’m a great speaker, I’m the top sales person in our company, I am a top leader.”

    I may not of be all those things right now, but I want to be them. So I’m going to talk to myself like I am that person today.

    My husband is a great example of this. He’s such an inspiration to me in this very specific area, because when he puts his dreams on paper, his affirmations, what he believes about himself, it always seems to come true. Not always today and not always tomorrow but eventually everything that he puts on paper, he finds a way to make it happen.

    Years ago, my husband wrote down on his affirmations list “I am a New York Times best selling author.” He didn’t have a title, pages, or a topic of what he wanted to write. But he knew that’s what he wanted to be.

    Five years ago, I wrote, “I’m a million dollar producer” down on my affirmations list. And I was very far away from being a million dollar producer. In fact, my best year at the time was probably just over $300,000 in personal revenue. In 2012 the same year that my husband became a New York Time Best-Selling Author, I sold over a million dollars in revenue for our company.

    I believed it before it happened. I talked to myself as if it were already true, so when it came true it wasn’t that much of a shock. I’d been preparing myself all along to be the person I wanted to become. I spoke it out loud every single day.

    So, here’s what you need to do right now. You need to write down 10 affirmations of who you want to be, present tense. I am a marathon runner, I am a million dollar producer, I am a loyal and devoted wife, I am in fantastic physical shape, I am the best friend anyone could have.

    “I am . . . ” are the statements that you want to use. Present tense, to tell yourself that you are the person that, one day, you want to be.

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow Up