Written by Sean McPheat |
I had an email from a salesperson recently, saying that he had (in his words) “become downhearted, demotivated and discouraged” about his job, as he wasn’t hitting targets and his boss was always on his back and did I have any tips for him?
I wrote back and helped him to determine what he could do to deal with this situation, and I’ll share some of the ideas here.
Basically, feeling discouraged and demotivated normally occurs when you are going through a bad patch. Nothing new there – but what perpetuates it is what you focus on.
For example, if I read the newspapers for my daily motivational push, I would soon be down in the dumps because of what they always seem to focus on…bad news sells, as they say.
When you are going through a bad spell, you tend to keep your focus on what is going wrong, the poor results you’re achieving and the rejections you constantly keep getting.
It might sound profound and pie-in-the-sky, but you have to be focusing on your purpose, that is, the significant reasons why you are doing what you’re doing. What gives you your passion? What makes you see your future as something to look forward to? Your purpose has to be bigger than the current results you’re getting. If it isn’t, you will simply equate your whole persona with things that are out of your control.
There’s one thing that normally drives bad results, and that is the inability to take personal responsibility for what is happening in your job. If you check back, you’ll see that your successes were mainly down to you putting the effort in, making the calls, seeing the right people, identifying the common objections, negotiating well and being positive about gaining commitments.
When things start to go badly, you may well notice that most of the reasons are put down to things outside of your control being against you. In other words, you are happy to take the accolades when things go well, but tend to blame others when things go poorly.
Learn from past successes. Identify what you did right then and see how you can apply those ideals in the future. You need to make plans that you can have control over.
Remember how that word is actually broken down: dis-courage-ment. Yes, it takes courage to look to the future, accept responsibility for what is happening now and identify what can change to make it something you could start looking forward to.
Your focus has to be on what you can do to help others, rather than moping around or blaming everything else for your situation. Concentrate on how you can get your biggest and best customers to be even better than they are now. Concentrate on success. Whatever problems you think you may be facing will probably fade into insignificance when you see the much larger problems your customers are facing, and then you can switch perspectives to help them overcome the challenges, which in turn will help you refocus on yours.
Discouragement and demotivation are just attitudes that you choose to display through focusing on what’s wrong. I’m not suggesting you behave Pollyanna-ish and close your eyes to what’s really going on. No, when you see weeds in the garden, don’t ignore them…do what needs to be done and get on with life.
Focus instead on what action needs to be carried out to get yourself back up and running. Action is the antidote to misery and when you think of what needs to be done and how you can do it, you create a more positive mind-set and start taking more courage to turn things around and get moving in the right direction.
I sent an email back to that salesperson, and received a nice message back, thanking me for my uplifting words. Hopefully, they will help him, and you, to overcome any discouragement in the future.
Originally published: 15 January, 2015