OUR NEGATIVE IMAGINATION IS HOLDING US BACK
Our subconscious mind is so powerful that, any world we construct in our imagination, creates a world that’s so real it becomes one that we are forced to live in. Those who dwell on the negative do just that, their subconscious mind is so powerful that the negative world they construct in their imagination creates a world that’s so real it becomes one that they are forced to live in.
LET’S CONSIDER JOHNS WORK ISSUES AND THE TERRITORY HE HAS BEEN ALLOCATED
John is a salesperson that has been selling for over 10 years, yet he will be the first to admit he should have done far better last year. Right now he feels under pressure because he has already been warned by his management that his job is on the line should his figures not improve. But he can’t understand why they would do that. The territory he has been working in is in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, and that’s where they currently have the greatest factory closures and one of the biggest property slumps in Sydney’s history, affecting both commercial and domestic property markets.
His territory borders two suburbs that have one of Australia’s highest home repossessions by the banks. John just thinks the company is being unreasonable and has just singled him out as a scapegoat.
JOHN SAYS HE ADMIRES MALCOLM AND THINKS HE HAS A GREAT TERRITORY TO WORK
As the conversation progresses, John volunteers that another rep working a territory a little further west just had a great year. The two areas are similar, but Malcolm’s territory seems to be weathering the storm better than John’s. Overall, Malcolm’s clients seem to be in a better financial position.
Then when John is queried further about Malcolm, John gives Malcolm a great wrap. Malcolm appears to be a great guy; he’s a family man that adores his kids; everyone at work likes him and gets on well with him; it seems nothing anyone ask his to do is ever too much trouble; he always has a kind word about everyone and rumour has it he is next in line for a promotion.
John then goes on to say Malcolm has only been in the company for two years, but he feels that Malcolm deserves the promotion – because he has the right temperament to be the next sales manager.
BUT JOHN HAS NOW BECOME A PRODUCT OF HIS OWN IMAGINATION
John is an ideal example of what can happen to someone who has dwelled on so many negatives for so long, his subconscious mind has simply created the negative world he constructed in his imagination has now become a real world to him. It’s a world he has accepted and now is forced to live in.
Once you meet John, you will quickly appreciate he has a “chip on his shoulder,” and never stops complaining. Even the little things get to him now. If ever questioned about his change in attitude, he will quickly tell you that men in their late 40’s and early 50’s go through a phase where they can become “grumpy old men” for a time.
He believes this theory and has managed to get his wife, his children and his extended family to go along with it. Besides John has assured them it’s a fact of life and mostly temporary. His work mates aren’t so sure.
A QUICK TRIP TO THE COFFEE SHOP REVEALS MORE OF HIS NEW CHARACTER
In order to change the atmosphere, I decided to change the venue and suggested we go out and share a coffee together. “These days I find so many people are rude and irritable,” says John, “No matter where you go you’ll find them, and then you have to deal with them.”
We made our way to a coffee shop as he was enlightening me about a less pleasant aspect of his life today. Once inside the cafe, we were greeted by a really cheerful guy who asked us what we’d like.
John ordered a medium sized regular white coffee and I ordered my regular long black. But the minute the coffee arrived, he started complaining, pointing to the cup, he said, “Is this a medium coffee? Give me a break.” Then without waiting for a response, he quickly added, “You should have warned me your cups were so small. Had I know, I would have ordered a large one.”
At this point the line behind us was getting longer, but despite that, the man behind the counter took away the small coffee and replaced it with a large one.
As soon as it was handed to John, he looked at it with disgust saying, “You call this a regular white coffee? There’s not enough milk in it, look how dark it is!”
With at the man behind the counter, who just a few minutes earlier looked cheerful, dropped his jaw, and you could see he was now visibly upset, raised his voice a little saying, “Sorry sir, but for most people, this is a regular white, but if you insist, I’ll put in more milk. Perhaps next time you might ask for a weak white coffee.”
I got my coffee next and joined John at the table. No sooner had I sat down, “See,” he told me, “What did I just tell to you? So many people you meet today are rude.” And that’s so true in John’s world. I experienced it for myself while in his presence. But what John doesn’t realise is that in John’s world, the people he meets are rude, genuinely rude, but what he doesn’t see is that he’s the one makes them be that way.
IT’S A REAL LIFE STORY WITH A FICTITIOUS CHARACTER
Although in this story example John is about a fictitious character, we all know lot’s of John’s that act to some degree in the way I have penned this. They force issues through their constant complaining and wonder why life is so difficult and things around them are so hard to handle. And that goes to a certain degree throughout their lives. I affects the way work mates response, family members respond, strangers respond and yes, it also affects the way suppliers, customers and prospects respond.
SEEING FAULTS IN OTHERS JUST MAY THE CLUES YOU NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE
Years ago, during one of my early life tantrums, one of my managers told me to stop, point my index finger at him, then look down and see how many fingers were pointing back at me.
In most cases what, you see in others that you don’t like about yourself, is the characteristic you complain about to others. Now think that one through carefully.
What has happened to John, through his own negativities, and his willingness to adopt certain strange ideals, is something that happens to all of us (to a certain degree), at one time in our lives or more. We all live through so many similarities to John without realising it. And we do so despite the many wake-up calls we get to make the necessary changes.
EVERYONE TRIED TO HELP JOHN , BUT JOHN MANAGED TO TALK HIS WAY OUT OF IT
In John’s case we read that his company wanted him to change and was possible still keeping him on the payroll because of his years with the company. He has a role model for what and how he should be doing things at work, but thought Malcolm was an accommodating good guy that got along with everyone and deserved a promotion.
Then John gets his wife, his children and his extended family to go along with the theory that all men in their late 40’s and early 50’s go through a phase where they can become “grumpy old men” for a time. In fact, John seems to have done everything but accept advice from others who may be able to help him through his dilemma.
The one thing that makes the problems that people like John are drawn into is the fact that the change is gradual and therefore those close to you are not able to spot it as quickly why they should. However many sales managers are the first to get the warning signals that can stop the problem getting as extreme as John’s performance at the café.
Sadly, being drawn into then totally immersed in all degrees of negativity is a REAL part of today’s society, as are the FEAR syndromes that stifle productivity and at times cause really promising salespeople, as well as great sales managers to lose the plot.
Take care that you too don’t get drawn in too far. In the next sector I try and reveal more lifelike situations to help you understand that life need not be as big a challenge. A little laughter and a little light-heartedness diminishes the size of many of the challenges we face.
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies of his books over 49 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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