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Tennessean Column- Sunday, July 12

Posted on: July 30

Author: Tom Black
Tennessean Column- Sunday, July 12

So You Have a Bad Attitude, Your Attitude Doesn’t Matter

When I started to sell, I was told “You can’t sell with a bad attitude.”  What I came to understand is that, “You can’t sell if you let your attitude affect your performance.”

If you’re like me, you have mood swings   most people do. Most people are more productive when they’re in an upbeat, positive mood. Most people are less productive when they are in a low or bad mood. Since I want to be as productive as possible I try to do 2 things:

First, I try not to let my attitude affect my performance. Every professional goes through mood swings. The greatest in every profession separate themselves from others by not allowing a bad attitude to determine their performance. Actors say it well, “The show must go on.”  Despite how we feel, we must put out our best effort and give our clients and prospects our best performance. Our mind set must be “I don’t feel as good as I’d like but my mood won’t control my performance or results. As I’ve said before, “No excuses accepted today!”

Second, we can to some extent, control our attitude to keep it in its most productive state. William James, the Harvard Psychologist and founder of modern psychology said “The mind can’t tell the difference between real and artificial stimulus. If we tell ourselves we feel healthy, happy and terrific, we can become healthy, happy and terrific.” It’s not mysticism; over 3,000 books have been written on this topic – Controlling Your Attitude.

Over the years, I’ve put together a four step plan to help me keep my attitude as high as possible, as often as possible. First, most psychologists tell us to read and listen to inspirational material. I subscribe to four different ‘Quote of the Day’ services. They’re all free. Inspirational material helps us focus on the positive and the potential, not the problems.


Second, creative visualization. Close your eyes and paint a mental picture of what you want. Your name at the top of the sales leaderboard, a new car, a new house, etc… this works! What the mind can conceive and believe and act upon it can achieve. There is a law of the universe, what we ardently believe and act upon, the universe will deliver. Olympic athletes are taught this technique. Psychologists use it in therapy. It works.

Third, positive affirmations. Either verbally or in writing repeat what you want. “I can, I will, I am going to become the greatest salesperson in my company.”  “I can, I will, I am going to win the sales contest.” These are positive affirmations, verbalized or written work some kind of magic on our attitude. It’s been proven over and over again that this works.

Fourth, focus on purpose. Denis Whaitley, former Chairman of the Psychological Advisors for the US Olympic team says, “In the moment of crisis, focus on purpose.”

Every world class athlete faces a moment of crises. “Is it worth it?”, “it’s painful”, “He’s just faster than me.”

It’s in the moment that our attitude drops and we’re in danger of letting our attitude affect our performance.

However, a focus on our purpose at this moment allows the great athletes, sales people and entrepreneurs to push through to success. Control your attitude and increase your success.

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