Written by Sean McPheat |
A report this week detailed the fact that children at school are losing the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. They have shorter attention spans than they did even 10 or 15 years ago.
This is caused on many occasions by children spending time on games that require shorter focus and less effort than before they played them. The obvious result of this is that less time is spent on focusing on real issues, as the child’s brain flits from one thing to another, not spending enough time on ideas and techniques to understand the real meaning behind things.
It set me thinking about one of the main contributors to success in sales these days. And one of the main obstacles as well.
I find many salespeople lack the critical thinking skills to see the major issues their prospects are facing, not just on a day-to-day basis, but also for the futures of their businesses. This is manifested in a lack of focus.
Have you ever got up in the morning and asked yourself, “What am I going to do today?” or “I wonder what’s going to happen?”
This means you are at the beck and call of everything going on around you, reacting to whichever way the wind blows, and what urgent thing comes along at a certain time. Your day isn’t structured well enough and you lack clarity and planning. The result is your day is unproductive and unprofitable, because you aren’t focused on the things that really matter.
Focus gives you that added edge, that distinct vision that helps you achieve your goals for your day and for your life.
Focus helps you to:
* Be decisive and take necessary action
* Give you the motivation to go forward
* Develop the passion you need to make the day great
* Produce a day to remember rather than to forget
Focus is a pre-requisite to powerful performance, because it offers a structure to face the main obstacles that hold you back. And one of those obstacles is fear.
Fear can destroy focus. It can take control of everything you do in a day. It can drive your performance down because, basically, fear absorbs all your passion and drives your thoughts down the road to doom.
To fight fear, understand that it is just a thought mechanism, just as focus is. So face up to it. Respect it. Understand exactly what it is – a call for you to prepare and show assertiveness. Understand that the message fear gives you is that you need to do something different to get a different result.
Preparation is the first thing that will help. If you are fearful of that upcoming meeting, plan what you are going to say to beat the fear. Recognise that it is just a symptom of you painting a future picture that hasn’t happened yet. Realise that others have faced this exact same situation thousands of times and won through.
Fear can destroy your focus, so identify how the focus can overcome the fear. Focus gives you pin-point concentration so you can see the best way of handling things and then plan how you will meet the problem head on. Focus will bring up ideas that fear will destroy. So identify what you want from a situation and then stick on that road to achieve it.
Remember, what you focus on becomes your reality. If you keep dwelling on what might go wrong on your next call, you will attract that into your world. Let focus become your friend.
There’s no doubt that today’s world with its plethora of major and minor distractions can take your focus away, just like the children in the report mentioned earlier. By recognising that focus can bring better results, you will destroy the fear that could be the biggest obstacle to your success.
Originally published: 12 March, 2013