A positive mental attitude is absolutely paramount to success in our business and even in life. You have a choice every day, no matter how the day starts, to be positive or negative.
Staying positive is tough. I struggle with it daily, including this morning. I woke up late this morning after one too many snoozes on the alarm clock. I spilled coffee on myself, as I was trying to rush out the door to make sure I got my son to school on time. After a quick change, we rushed out the door and into the car. The drive started out with a barrage of back to school traffic. I caught myself turning more and more negative. Being negative is always the path of least resistance, but heightening your negative emotional state only makes things worse. You have to make a conscious effort to stay positive and turn your day around.
You have to become self- aware when you are being negative, and when you realize that you are, there are a few easy exercises to turn the negativity to positivity. First, start focusing on everything you are grateful for in your life. Second, start focusing on things that are not actualized yet, that you are grateful for. I focus on immediate things, for example today: I began telling myself how grateful I was for having light traffic and making it to my son’s school on time, and how grateful I was for getting to the office early and having a productive day. Traffic did clear, we caught mostly green lights, and made it with a couple of minutes to spare. I also, arrived at the office early, and I am having a great day! There are a couple of important things when conducting this exercise in positivity. You first, have to believe what you are giving thanks for is going to happen. Secondly, you have to have a true earnest feeling that you are receiving in the now, what you are giving thanks for/asking for. It is very similar to when you are praying for something that has not been actualized yet, your prayers will not be answered, unless you believe they will and you are truly open to receiving them: “Therefore I say to you, What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” (Mark 11:24). A great way to making yourself open to truly believing and receiving what you are giving thanks/asking for in the now, is visualizing what you want happening, and focusing on how great that outcome makes you feel. This can be applied to all aspects of your life, but it is extremely important while you are out in the field and not having the greatest day!
The next piece of a positive mental attitude is eliminating B.C.D.(Blame, Complain, and Defend) behavior, and “Embracing the Grind.” B.C.D. behaviors are often our first reaction to a difficult situation that we are facing, and another daily struggle for people in life, but especially in life insurance sales. It becomes a habit forming pattern, and much like negative thoughts, is the past of least resistance when you are coping with something challenging. In his book, Above the Line (thank you Mike Passaglia and Eric Salazaar for pushing my hand to read it), Coach Urban Meyer says, “BCD has never solved a problem, achieved a goal, or improved a relationship. Stop wasting your time and energy on something that will never help you.” How do you get out of the trap and vicious cycle of B.C.D. behavior in order to maintain a positive mental attitude? I feel the best way is by surrounding yourself with positive people who hold you accountable, and “Embracing the Grind.”
Resisting the things you need to do to succeed doesn’t do anything to lessen the need to do them. Trying to place blame elsewhere, of you not doing what you need to do, does not absolve you from having to do the work. The problem is then exacerbated (that is for you Scotty) by complaining about it (remember, a negative emotional state makes an already challenging situation more difficult). Lastly, defending your actions prevents you from being self- aware, and making the choice to end negative thoughts and behaviors. You will always be fighting these behaviors, as I do on a daily basis, the same way you will always struggle to stay positive.
Before we get into the action of “Embracing the Grind,”, one of the best ways to break the cycle of the BCD behaviors is surrounding yourself with positive people and mentors, who can keep you from falling into the trap of BCD behavior and negative thought patterns. I am held accountable on a daily basis by Jeff Burch and Tyler Rees and vice versa. You have to be called out on your BCD/Negative behaviors by people who are holding you accountable, as even if you are self –aware, it is just too easy to not go down that path sometimes(honestly, it is a daily struggle for me). The worst thing you can do in life, relationships, and especially sales is commiserate with people who have a bad case of the B.C.D’s. That will work to reinforce the BCD Behaviors, and create with you a culture of excuses and victimization because no one will want to be held accountable to break the cycle.
”Embracing the Grind,” is the act of confronting the challenge head on with everything you have, and getting enjoyment out of it. It is a practical action that breaks B.C.D Behavior and fosters a Positive Mental Attitude. Acknowledge the challenge that you are facing, and relish the opportunity to tackle it. Scotty Elliot does a great job at this, and he attacks his problems with a great zeal. When you, Embrace the Grind and tackle a challenge head on, it will automatically start to eliminate B.C.D. Behavior. Here are a couple of insurance sales based examples of how to, Embrace the Grind. When you are approaching your dial sessions to set appointments, get excited about how many people that setting these appointments is going to allow you to help, and how much income you are going to generate for your family by helping all of those clients. Never go into a phone session complaining about having to dial! The same applies to the field! Don’t dread knocking doors, when it 100 degrees outside, cold and rainy, or cold and snowy. Embrace the Grind, and get excited about how many people will be home because the weather sucks!
A Positive Mental Attitude, Breaking the BCD Behavior(s), and Embracing the Grind are all interconnected and overlapping things. They are the difference in being successful in our business and accomplishing your goals. You can also apply them to your daily life which will enrich your relationships and make you happier all around!
Thank you and God Bless!