A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how so many salespeople find it so difficult to move out of their comfort zones. I may have mentioned head trash but doubt whether I spent much time on it. H.T. comes in lots of shapes and sizes; most of the trash roaming around in our brain comes courtesy of all the people who have and are impacting our lives. Here is a wondrous list of some of the more insidious bits of head trash:
- You can’t do that!
- Don’t talk about money.
- Don’t talk to strangers. (Absolutely great advice if you’re a kid; lousy advice if you’re in sales.)
- You’re lazy.
- Math is not your cup of tea.
- You have a short attention span.
- That’s too risky.
- You’ll never make it…
- Are you sure you want to do that?
- No one has ever done that before…
Now, before you think that I am about to indict all parents, teachers, coaches etc. let me say that with a few exceptions the people who raised us and effected our lives are good people. Their hearts were and are in the right place. They didn’t consciously try to mess with our brains. (OK, so there were a few times when I deliberately messed with my kid’s heads but they weathered the storm!)
Each one of the above “well-intentioned” comments, if said enough times, become lodged in our brain. They become negative mantras, reminders of limitations, and precursors of failure. You’re familiar with the acronym GIGO as it relates to computers-Garbage In, Garbage Out. The same is true with head trash. If the garbage doesn’t get tossed it begins to affect how we act and what we are willing to do.
I strongly advise younger salespeople to do a “head check” to determine what kinds of head trash they have. And if they find some determine how it affects their sales abilities. Getting rid of H.T. isn’t as hard as you think. Apply this to all situations where you think head trash might be lurking-WTWTTCHTM-or What’s The Worst Thing That Can Happen To Me if I do an intimidating or uncomfortable activity. The worst thing rarely is that bad.
The Final Thought: “Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.” Bruce Marton