Great sales people, high achievers and great leaders know and believe in the power of thought. Our thoughts lie at the root of our success or failure. Our thoughts give birth to our feelings and behaviours which in turn lead to actions that affect our results; good, bad or indifferent. So if you want to be successful at something then manage your thoughts and you’ll be ok, right? If only it were that simple. Human beings have been navigating how to train the mind for thousands of years and the only thing we do know is that there is no magic pill you can swallow to make your thoughts the right thoughts to have. We all need to learn how develop and manage our thoughts so they will give us what we want in life. There is not shortcut.

Sadly most of us are not taught this from an early age. Some of us are fortunate enough to realise the value in managing and cultivating our self talk later in life and many of us never discover this at all and completely miss a vital life skill.

Developing and managing our thoughts leads to enhanced emotional resilience and greater self awareness. Self awareness and emotional resilience means we can adapt to a variety of situations supporting us as we achieve our goals and communicate and lead. Self aware people also spring back more easily after suffering difficult and stressful situations. It’s not just for the successful however, anyone can learn how to cultivate and manage their thoughts to achieve better outcomes in the long term.

Thought realignment is a special adaptation of the self-talk techniques introduced by ancient philosophers such as Buddha, Socrates, and Plato. In modern times this concept has been popularised by psychologists Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, and sensationalised as a modern breakthrough, which it is not. Thought realignment asserts that most, if not all, of our distressful feelings are caused by the view we take of things and situations in life not the things and situations themselves. So, it’s how we speak to ourselves that can positively or negatively affect the outcomes of our actions.

We all speak to ourselves every day and what we say has an amazing impact on what we feel and do. Thinking negatively about your marketplace and seeing only bad things will affect your prospecting and sales efforts. Letting others’ negative thoughts pollute your own can bring you down as well.

If you want to change what you do you need to modify what you feel by altering what you say to yourself. You will be amazed how it can transform your day and your results. If your self-talk is going to be self enhancing it needs to be:

  • Objective,
  • logically consistent,
  • goal supportive,
  • enlightening,
  • releasing, and
  • uplifting.

A good way to check if your self talk is helping you or harming you is to say silently to yourself:

“I want to..” and then “I have to..”

Do you feel the difference in energy flow in your body? Which one is easier? Which one feels effortless? You will know what I mean when you do it. I know which one I am choosing.

There are basically two types of self-talk

1. Goal supporting self talk

“I want to …”
“I’d like to …”
“It would be better if …”
“I’ll try to …”

“…and it’s OK.”

2. Goal obstructing self talk

“I have to …”
“You have to …”
“I’d better …”
“I can’t …”

“…or else!”

Take an ‘I want to’ approach to your self talk and you will be instantly gratified by the results and the change in your behaviour and your actions. Watch who you let near your mind (especially yourself) and go get the opportunities that are out there waiting for you.

Remember, everybody lives by selling something.


Sue Barrett
BY Sue Barrett ON 27 March 2012
Sue Barrett is one of the leading female voices commenting on sales today. An experienced business speaker and adviser, facilitator, sales coach, training provider and entrepreneur and founder of Barrett Consulting, which provides sales assessments, sales consulting, sales coaching and sales training programs.

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