RAB Research Archive

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?



Motivational speaker Les Brown instructs his audience, “Raise your hand if you’ve ever come up with an idea to do something, and before you could take one step toward it – you, yes YOU – talked yourself out of it?” We’ve all done that, right?

My dad was an expert at “do-it-yourself” home improvement projects. Growing up, I frequently made trips to the hardware store or lumber yard with Dad for supplies for his latest project. I was in awe of his ability to take a vision for a project and turn it into reality. A gazebo out by the pool, a new deck or a bathroom suite in the basement, there seemed to be no limits as to what Dad could accomplish.

It wasn’t until two months ago that I attempted to do what my dad had been able to accomplish. Why? Fear. I was afraid there was no way I could do it as well as Dad. It was that fear that caused me to avoid large home improvement projects. That meant hiring expensive contractors or simply not having the project completed.

I watched videos, took online courses and as my son calls it, I became “YouTube Certified.” Which means you can learn how to do almost anything watching YouTube. So, installing a retaining wall and a new deck didn’t seem so scary. I fought my fear and am quite proud of the result.

Fear is: “A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.” Fear changes our brain chemistry and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior such as running away from the danger, hiding or freezing. The Psychology Today website says, “Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger – if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life or death, and thus we hang back or avoid things for no good reason.”

What more would/could you do if you didn’t let fear take over? Would you make more prospect calls? Make larger presentations to bigger clients? In my experience, sales are not a life or death situation. The fears we have when it comes to situations in sales are largely the types of fears we would refer to as irrational, fears that have no basis in reality or fears that hold us back from accomplishing so much more simply because we are avoiding things we are afraid of.

Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Knowledge is the antidote to fear.” Is fear holding you back? Learn and/or find a guide to help you. There are more experienced sellers on your team right now who are willing to help you get past your irrational fears. Too often we are embarrassed to admit our fears, or we feel that nobody else has ever dealt with this kind of problem before. That’s irrational. If you’re afraid of it, then someone else is afraid of it now and someone on the team has been afraid of it before and can help you through it.

That’s the thing about fear. Once you get past it, you’ll be amazed at how motivating and liberating it can be. When you overcome you fear, you feel like nothing can stop you.

Tell someone right now what you’re afraid of and see if they can’t help you logically think it through. Then learn what you need to and push through it.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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