OK, here we go. This is the month that will separate the sales professionals who “thrive” this year versus those who just “hold on.” I’ve also found that May is the month for change. Something about moving from spring into summer can really motivate people to begin making changes.
The challenge, of course, is keeping the change alive after the initial rush of enthusiasm leaves us.
I think we all know that feeling: the initial “Pink Cloud” of emotion when we first decide to make a change, followed by the inevitable letdown when the newness of the change wears off. I have experienced it at least a thousand times … just this year!
There’s the initial rush of excitement, and then the l-o-n-g slide back into the old behaviors.
However, I’ve been experimenting with a different kind of change in behavior for a bit. It’s the behavior of not “stopping” anything, but “starting” something new that will hopefully, over time, replace something else.
The technique is called “substitution” and I think it has enormous possibilities for people like me … the all-or-nothing folks … either totally up or completely down … in other words, like most people.
Here’s the way “substitution” works:
Suppose I want to lose weight. There are two ways I can approach it —
1. STOP eating all the things that I love but don’t love me back, like french fries, or STOP sitting on the couch and watching so much TV —
2. START eating an apple every day and START walking more. This way, I’m concentrating on doing the right things instead of eliminating the wrong things.
The result? Hopefully, over time, my new behaviors will take over for my old behaviors, and I will just naturally eat better and move more.
Here’s another example. How about dealing with fear: fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of rejection?
Rather than focus on stopping the feelings of fear, what if we started acting with courage? We need to select one thing to focus our attention on that would give us the feeling of moving forward with courage, instead of away from fear.
I believe that humans were built to move toward the things they want, not necessarily away from the things they don’t want. We often get so focused on what might happen (fear) that we neglect the forward progress that we’re built for.
So, why not try this?
Pick something that’s important to you, and then decide to use the month of May as a test. Select one thing that will move you forward on your journey to meeting your goal, and then agree to invest 15 minutes each day — all 31 days, weekends and holidays included — in moving forward. Be sure that you state your goal in a positive, forward-moving way — and write it down.
Here’s my challenge: Are you interested in working toward something positive or are you going to be content to slide into summer?
Now, go out and have a TERRIFIC day … you deserve it!