Are you having trouble motivating
yourself to do what you need to do? Are you feeling more
resistance than usual? Are you having trouble making decisions that
didn’t used to be a problem? Are you shying away from doing the
prospecting you once did? These are all symptoms of being in a slump.
Or, at least it is a long way from peak performance.
Slumps can happen at any time.
Any number of negative events can trigger a slump but the main cause
of this condition is being overly analytical. Giving our analytical
mind control of the ship is a response most of us have learned from
our schooling and then reinforced by the conventional wisdom of our
intellectual approach to most things. The basic premise of the
analytical mind is that there is a single correct answer or approach
to problem solving that works every time. We learned this from taking
tests. If you get all the right answers, you get an A on the test. The
problem is that actually living life is much more complex.
The analytical mind has a very
narrow focus and only works in a controlled environment. If
you are counting money, it does fine. The more complicated the task,
or the more moving parts, the less effective the analytical approach
becomes which means you make more miscalculations and more mistakes.
If you have a big enough negative event
or a series of smaller negative events, you can go into a form of
shock. You automatically go into protection mode to stop any more
damage. The protection mode for most people is to become analytical.
Once you are in this mode, you cease taking any risk. You want things
to be predictable. You want things to have a beginning, middle, and
end. You don’t want to work on anything that could fail. You want
people to say "yes." You don’t want to hear "no." (Hence the
gravitation to shuffling paper or anything else with no risk
So here you are in a job that requires
you to be a catalyst. You have to initiate the contact with potential
clients in order to do new business. You have to develop a strategy
for what to do with people’s money that will inspire people to take
action instead of wait until it is too late and miss the opportunities
created by change. You have decisions to make that require committing
resources to what looks like an uncertain future. Needless to say
these are challenging times!
And, what are you using to handle this
kind of pressure? You're overworked and under-qualified analytical
mind that only knows how to count money. In other words, your
analytical mind is not a strategic thinker and is scared to death of
taking any risks. Your analytical mind will never be a great
leader under pressure which is what you need now.
So how to you find the great leader
within? How do you find the fearless genius that thrives on
pressure and scoffs at the gloom and doom of challenging times? You
pray, you meditate, you walk, you run, you journal, you read an
inspirational book or watch an inspirational movie. You do anything to
get you out of the narrow focus on the analytical mode and shift to a
When I am working with a coaching client
in a slump, I often refer to "A-Mode" and "B-Mode." A-Mode stands for
the "analytical" mode we have been defining as very narrow focus, no
risk. B-Mode is very different. B stands for BIGGER PERSPECTIVE. When you start to find your way back to "being" in B-Mode or "Be"
mode, you are on the path to recovery.
B-Mode (Bigger Perspective Mode), is the
opposite of A-Mode in that it can see the complexity of all the moving
parts as well as see the big picture. The B-Mode does not go into
shock over the complexity of the situation and having to take some
risks. The B-Mode can see that the odds are in our favor if you do the
right thing. The B-Mode can see that life is a process where you don’t
ever get all the answers to your questions all at once, but you can
always get the next piece of the puzzle. You can find the next logical
thing to do and find the courage to do it. When you are in the B-Mode,
you can find the door that allows you to take the next step toward
improving the situation.
Professional athletes are in
high-pressure, challenging predicaments whenever they compete. That is
part of our fascination with professional sports. The pressure to
perform is tremendous, the competition is fierce, and there is always
big money at stake. If you were to ask a professional athlete to
describe the B-mode, they call it things like: "in the zone," "in the
cocoon," or "sheer awareness." I have heard athletes say when they are
at their best, everything moves in slow motion and they can’t hear a
sound even though there are 100,000 screaming fans surrounding them.
Fortunately, we don’t need to have quite
this level of awareness to find our way out of challenging times. But
we need to move in the direction of having a bigger perspective. We
need to let go of negatively judging the details (current results) and
get back to being good at playing the game with what the analytical
mind would call "fearless abandon." No athlete is going to say, "Oh, I
missed that shot so I guess I am no good." However, if you are in
A-Mode and you miss a sale, or something else negative happens, your
analytical mind says: "See, there is more evidence that things are
falling apart! What will be next?"
When you are in B-Mode, your mind has a
different perspective. It says: "Now calm down everyone. This too
shall pass. We are going through a challenging cycle. We have been
here before and we got things turned around and we will do it again.
Let’s not panic. Let’s have some faith that good will prevail if we
figure out the next logical step and take it! The best we can do is
learn from whatever happens and keep going forward."
If you want to learn more about how to
get into the B-Mode, I have a 2-CD Set with a written transcript that
goes into much greater detail. In this product I call the B mode,
The Prospecting Mentality, which is also the title.
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