“The outward work will never be puny if the inward work is great.”

Meister Eckhart

The hardest work one will do is the heart work. The journey to self-discovery is a long and winding road. It becomes freedom for many who are willing to do the work. It’s the road less traveled.

Are you ready to take the journey?

Grab a cup of coffee or some tea, find you a comfy place to sit, and reflect… now, take yourself back to 5 years ago and then push to the present…

  • Have you reached greater heights in your sales life, now?
  • Are you happier and more fulfilled, now?
  • What has changed about your sales career, now?

If you want to live a better sales life, you must learn to grow.

Success does not come to you overnight. It is achieved through daily improvement and small consistent increments over time.

A true sales professional doesn’t sleepwalk through the day nor their career.

Voltaire, the famous 17th century writer once wrote: 

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

You see, a fulfilling life isn’t determined by what you know, it is by how willing you are to learn.

One obvious way to learn is by asking questions. You do this every day without thinking about it.

Sales professionals actively think about the things they do. They objectively evaluate themselves on a regular basis. They view things through an unbiased and crystal-clear set of lenses.

Every single day, they ask themselves:

  • Am I learning from my mistakes?
  • Am I constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone?
  • Do I still believe I can do this?

DEEP QUESTIONING… STARTS WITH LOOKING INWARD

“We need to go inward instead of outward, and learn to trust our own inner guide, preserving our identity and finding the answers from within.”

Jane Fulton Alt

Many of you already have commendable achievements in the ‘outer work’ aspect of your life.

With this I mean growth in your sales career, management or leadership career, or having meaningful relationships. However, the ‘outer work’ is a small part of who we are as humans.

The key to happiness is transforming yourself and your life through inner work

Question becomes… What does it mean to do the inner work?

Turning inward is freaking scary!

We all live in a rapidly and I mean rapidly changing world. Our marketplace has changed. Our communities have changed. Our clients have changed. Their clients have changed. Are you getting the picture yet?

Question for you… Have you changed?

It’s much easier to point fingers at something outside ourselves, it’s the excuses many in sales love to dish out – (“those people,” “the situation or circumstance”) then to look inward and accept responsibility.

As a sales society, we’re largely fixated on the outer work. We focus on the stack rankings, where we are at quarter or year to date, key performance indicators, and number of new clients… starting to the get the picture?

Take a step back and realize that these are merely outer symbols. This does not reflect your inner world. 

It becomes difficult to transform your sales career if you’re unwilling to transform yourself

I love how Dr. Yvette Erasmus talks about inner work,

“Inner work brings light, compassion and awareness to the conscious, subconscious and unconscious realms of your being. It’s about diving inward: speaking to yourself, being in connection and dialogue with yourself, seeing yourself, knowing yourself, loving yourself.”

Doing the inner is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s hard, it’s heart-breaking and it’s surrendering yourself to the unknown.

It’s giving yourself grace to be called out, as you build yourself back up.

Self-growth happens through self-leadership

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On his last day as the CEO of General Electric Corporation, Jeffrey R. Immelt said,

“Leadership is this intense journey into yourself.”

Dr. Yvette Erasmus goes onto say,

“No matter how crappy something feels, you remember that a phoenix rises from the flames. You stay the course. That’s what it means to have courage: to feel into the things you don’t want to feel.”

And she shares you must be able:

  • To tolerate discomfort.
  • To challenge your own beliefs.
  • To examine your attachments.
  • To do unfamiliar and uncomfortable things.
  • To reach beyond the whims of desires of your fearful, limited, finite self.

Do you have the courage to dig in and ask yourself deep questions?

THE INNER WORKS DEFINES YOU

What makes your heart sing?

How would you define yourself?

I encourage you to become your own Sherlock Holmes. Become interested in what grabs your attention and tugs on your heartstrings.

Stop looking in the dictionary for words that define you.

Getting to know yourself allows you to tap into the road of happiness as this is critical to your success. Your beliefs, your attitude and your daily routines are mission critical.

Understanding yourself means recognizing your shortcomings. It’s about putting them on display for others to judge.

Yes, this means getting extremely vulnerable. This starts with looking in the mirror and saying to yourself, “This is me. This is the real me. This is who I am.”

This is about your ability to ask yourself…

Who am I and who do I want to become?

What do I want for myself?

Why do I want to achieve these things?

How can I become who I want to be? And what actions do I need to take to achieve this?

If you struggle to ask yourself deep questions, then you will struggle to ask your clients deep questions?

BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE

Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is what ferocious self-honesty is built upon.

I encourage you to think about this one…

How can you become ferociously self-honest if you struggle to deal with any discomfort in your sales life?

Those of you who are willing to take risks, step out of your comfort zone and create some discomfort, will reap the biggest rewards.

Let this one sink in for a moment…

If YOU, can’t challenge yourself to improve then how can you challenge your clients to improve?

John Simone nails it,

“The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.”

What questions are you asking yourself daily?

The questions you ask yourself directly affect the sales life you lead. The questions you ask yourself literally determine what your mind focuses on, which triggers certain thoughts, actions, and inactions, ultimately affecting your sales results.

When you ask yourself empowering, deeply reflective questions, it shifts your mind to a whole new level and sets into motion the thinking and actions to jumpstart your sales life.

I will leave you all with this Maya Angelou quote,

“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.”

The inner work you do will set you free!

 Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn

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