“Self-reflection entails asking yourself questions about your values, assessing your strengths and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.”
Robert L. Rosen
What are your values?
What are your strengths?
How do you want to be perceived?
The nature of sales often creates mental turmoil (self-induced at times), craziness and chaos; creating a way to level-set and refocus on what’s important is valuable.
Being able to set aside alone time regularly through self-reflection becomes a powerful technique to help you be more successful.
Let me ask you a question, how far and how much have you grown in your sales life?
Now think about this quote by Michel de Montaigne
“If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.”
Please take a moment, grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and reflect… go back 5 years ago and then push yourself to the present…
- Are you reaching greater heights in your sales life, now?
- Have you achieved most of your sales goals, now?
- Do you feel extremely fulfilled with your sales life, now?
If you want to live a better sales life, you must learn to grow.
Success in sales does not come overnight. It is achieved through daily improvement in small consistent increments over time.
In Selling from the Heart, I write about the many differences between sales professionals and sales reps. You see, sales professionals do the work that many sales reps find excuses not to do.
A true sales professional doesn’t sleepwalk through the day nor their career. They work harder on themselves than any sales manager ever will.
Sales professionals actively think about the things they do. They objectively evaluate themselves on a regular basis. They look at things through an unbiased and clear set of lenses.
Elite sales professionals do more self-reflection as opposed to deflection.
Self-reflection, some of you may be thinking… Serious, come on.
Simply look at self-reflection as a mindfulness technique. This is where you place yourself in a quiet place and state of mind to recall events or experiences from the past, observe your current state, and then envision the future you want to create.
What concerns me is how many, especially in sales, do not allow themselves to pause and reflect on where they are and where they want to be.
And in doing so, this eventually leads to:
- Failing to look for opportunities to improve
- Lackluster feelings and burning out
- High levels of stress and emotional gymnastics
- Lower levels of excitement for a better future
How can you perform at high levels month in and month out or year over year, if you struggle to become your best self?
SELF-REFLECTION… IT STARTS WITH LOOKING INWARD
Socrates famously said,
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Self-reflection and looking inward is not an easy thing to practice. All of us live in a fast-paced, hyper-connected world.
Our mobile phones are constantly buzzing, social media is constantly vying for our attention, and Netflix always has something new to binge on.
Taking the time for reflection and inward thinking is tough. Most of us, unfortunately, are living unexamined lives.
The self-reflection journey to sales betterment starts with understanding who you are at your core. It is becoming more in tune with your deeper self. It is the ability to recognize what fires you up, what makes you happy or sad.
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.
The key to sales happiness lies in transforming yourself and your career through the inner work.
When you truly understand who you are, you can make the conscious effort to improve yourself and how you communicate better with others.
- How do you deal with your emotions?
- How do you react when your sales life goes astray?
- What areas do you need to work on in your personal growth and development?
Do you have the courage to dig in and ask yourself deep questions?
SELF-REFLECTION… HELPS IN DEFINING YOU
Self-reflection and the quietening of your mind allows you to look inward, helping to rediscover and redefine you.
At this very moment…
- 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 as a sales professional. Your beliefs, your attitude and your daily routines are mission critical.
Understanding yourself can mean 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.”
If you struggle to ask yourself deep questions, then you will struggle to ask your clients deep questions?
Again, elite sales professionals do more self-reflection as opposed to deflection.
STOP DEFLECTING START REFLECTING YOUR WAY TO SALES SUCCESS
I encourage you to start becoming comfortable with self-reflection.
This will require ferocious self-honesty, self-discipline and massive action.
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.
What questions will you ask yourself daily?
The questions you ask yourself affect the sales life you lead. The questions you ask yourself will determine what your mind focuses on, which triggers certain thoughts, actions, and inactions, ultimately affecting your sales results.
Here are a few questions to help you on your self-reflection journey:
- What is currently working well for me? What can I appreciate and be grateful for?
- What have I recently learned that I can apply into my life and my sales life?
- What is the most important thing for me to focus on right now? Why is it important?
Imagine what could happen when you ask yourself empowering, deeply reflective questions?
This all starts to shift your mind to a whole new level and sets into motion the thinking and actions to jumpstart your sales life.
When we fail to reflect, we lose perspective, get caught up in things that don’t matter, and often lose sight of the things that are most important.
Do not live an unexamined life. Practice self-reflection.
When you deflect and not reflect, you lose out the rewards that soon follows.
Originally Published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.