By: Daniel C. Finley

Lug It or Leave It!

We have all heard the term “emotional baggage”. It is best defined as a metaphorical image in which one carries bags filled with past disappointments, failures and negative experiences that affect how you act/react to events now.  So what is your “emotional baggage” and does it impact your business?

Typically, when I coach an advisor who has had less than desired results in their business life again and again we find through our discussions that they have created what I refer to as “emotional business baggage”, a learned belief system that doing a specific professional activity causes an emotionally painful response.

The following are just a few examples:

With rookie advisors, then tend to have been rejected often while cold calling; thus, their belief system becomes that “cold calling = pain of rejection”. Some advisor put on seminars without gaining any leads; thus, their belief system becomes “seminars are not effective and I end up with disappointing results”.   Another example might be advisors who have asked for referrals and their clients seem uncomfortable providing them; thus, their belief system becomes “asking for referrals is uncomfortable and awkward for clients and myself”. As a result of the three aforementioned belief systems, these advisors stopped cold calling, doing seminars and asking for referrals. Instead, they carried around their “emotional business baggage” of those painful experiences and tried desperately to avoid those painful feelings.

Wouldn’t it be nice to lose your emotional luggage? Use the following three step process to do just that:

Step #1: Realize the True Issue

The first and most important step is to understand the true issue which is that you create your own reality. Let’s use the first example of cold calling. If you focus only on the rejection, “the no’s”, there is no doubt you will feel rejected. However, if you can use the mentality that “every no brings me closer to a yes,” then you won’t care (as much) about actually hearing a no. A simple switch to looking at the positive in any negative experience as outlined above adjusts your attitude greatly.  Try it!

Step #2: Take Ownership of Your Outcomes

The second step in this process is to take ownership of your outcomes by determining what you can control such as increasing your skill sets on how to cold call more effectively. As you strengthen your own abilities you begin to understand that you are no longer a victim of circumstance but the creator of your own success! New challenges become new opportunities.

Step #3: Reinforce New Behavior(s)

The third step is to reinforce any new behavior(s) like choosing to focus on the positive within the negative along with what is in your control.  By asking yourself questions such as, “What is good about this situation? What is in my control? What skills sets do I need to sharpen?  What is my desired outcome?” you continually re-focus which will keep you on track rather than filling your baggage with more. 

Try using these steps if you are looking for ways to stop lugging around your “emotional business baggage”, leaving it behind so you can build a better business.

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