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Letting Go of Sabotaging Self-Talk with Shelly Smith and Jennifer Bennett – Episode 175 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Shelly Smith, a Professional Sales Coach here at Southwestern Consulting, is a natural encourager and loves to laugh hard while working hard. She honed her sales and recruiting skills working 9 years with The Southwestern Company selling door-to-door. She is passionate about helping people visualize where they want to go and holding them accountable on the journey there. She has experience in the travel and fundraising industries. Lately, she has been having a blast encouraging a new sketch and improv group that she directs.

Jennifer Bennett has been in the housing market for 25 years. She is currently working at Caliber Home as a Loan representative. Jennifer is dedicated to providing superior service and personal expert guidance throughout the home financing process.

Show Highlights:

  • We had to catch the negative self-talk and change the way she was thinking about her situation. – Shelly Smith
  • When you’re in sales, it’s hard to hide what is going on in your personal life. – Jennifer Bennett
  • Self-talk is the biggest factor in my positive results. – Jennifer Bennett
  • The talks I had with Shelly got me so grounded. – Jennifer Bennett
  • I was able to share what was happening both professionally and personally. Shelly helped to redirect my focus.  – Jennifer Bennett
  • I didn’t realize how many things I was telling myself internally. – Jennifer Bennett
  • It’s hard to realize that you are allowing your self-talk to become negative when you’re in the thick of it. – Jennifer Bennett
  • It is crazy, it won’t be soon and you now need to start acting as if it isn’t. – Shelly Smith
  • I felt a complete lack of control and desperation. -– Jennifer Bennett
  • Your thought process is so powerful and affects your sales process. – Jennifer Bennett
  • Slowing down self-talk was unbelievably impactful. – Jennifer Bennett
  • If you can’t physically change what is happening, then you have to change how you think about it. – Shelly Smith
  • Some people don’t change because their identity is wrapped up in the thing they are complaining about. – Shelly Smith
  • My biggest obstacle wasn’t my circumstances; it was me. – Jennifer Bennett
  • If you believe it long enough, eventually you don’t have to talk yourself into it anymore. – Shelly Smith
  • Decide in your heart that you’re willing to fight for whatever you’re after. – Jennifer Bennett
  • There is a direct connection between attitude and self-talk. @rory_vaden
  • Attitude is simply the way you choose to see things. @rory_vaden
  • You have to be able to imagine a life where the problem isn’t there. – Shelly Smith
  • Change does not come easy; you have to be willing to fight for it. @rory_vaden

If you interested in a free 1-on-1 call with one of our Professional Sales and Leadership Coaches to help determine if this is a fit for you CLICK HERE.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Enjoying it isn’t a requirement of doing it

Woman using laptop computer

There’s going to be days that you don’t love it.

There’s going to be days that you don’t want to do it.

There’s going to be days when you feel annoyed and pestered by the monotony of just keeping up with the endless routine of things that need to be done.

That’s fine.

You still need to do it.

Because enjoying it is not a requirement of doing it.

There is no promise in this life that you’re supposed to enjoy every part of pursuing your goals.

There is no guarantee that you won’t have tough days.

And honestly, enjoying something isn’t a necessity for being successful at it.

Doing it, is what has everything to do with being successful.

The 2 concepts are independent of one another.

It’s great if you can enjoy your job, your career, your profession, or the path it takes to achieve your goals.

It’s great if you can enjoy your work but you don’t have to enjoy it to do it.

You can just do it.

That’s what the greats do.

They know there will be good days, great days, and tough days.

But they know that regardless of what type of day it is, the work needs to get done.

Because the greats know that if you find a way to do the work consistently day in and day out, then over time it gets easier and you’re going to win more often.

And when that happens you’ll look back and realize that actually you enjoyed it just fine.

The Cure for Complacency


Complacency is a sign of self-centeredness.

Complacency says, “I have all that I need so I don’t need to work anymore.”

But a Servant Mindset is one that can never be complacent.

Because a Servant’s Mindset is never just about themselves; it’s always about helping others.

And when it comes to helping others, your work is never done.

There is always someone in need.

There is always someone who is struggling.

There is always someone who you can help.

If you are finding that you are complacent, it may be because you’re living a self-centered life.

You’re not thinking about all the people you could be helping.

You’re not thinking about all the good you could be doing.

You’re not thinking about the difference you could be making.

And my guess is that your work is probably not as meaningful and significant as you once thought it to be.

Perhaps, the complacent person is very much missing something after all.

Because money, titles, fame, awards, and recognition eventually lose their allure.

But a heart of Service always inspires, always motivates, and always sustains.

Maybe the cure to your complacency is simply found in your focused service to another.

Did You Do Your Best?

“Losers always complain about their best. Meanwhile winners go home with the prom queen.” – Sean Connery in the movie The Rock

A memorable line for sure, but I have to disagree with what Sean Connery is implying on this one.

I’ve noticed that there are conflicting philosophies in the world when it comes to “doing your best.”

Some live by the philosophy that “you can never really do your best.” And they seem to use that as motivation that they can always do better.

I’ve tried that philosophy and here’s what I found it produced for me: perpetual stress.

It constantly leaves you feeling like you’re not good enough.

It robs you and the people around you of being appropriately recognized for their work and achievements.

And it creates an empty void in a place where there should be a deep sense of satisfaction.

I believe this is a major deteriorate of culture over time because its unsustainable. Sure it’s a way to grind out peak performance from people for short periods of time by pushing them relentlessly. But you can only have so many celebrations where you are feeling guilty about the fact that you’re celebrating, instead of being back working, before it wears you down and leaves you exhausted and tired yet somehow feeling like you aren’t actually making any progress.

You know those moments, right? The celebratory moments that are truly few and fleeting because either you or some voice on your team is saying “tomorrow we have to get up and do it all over again!” Except it’s implied that only this time it has to be better because apparently this last time wasn’t good enough.

These people present it as if it’s weak minded to take a few moments or a few days to really sit back and soak up a bit of satisfaction from all that you’ve put in.

I may be going against the grain here of just about every football coach, military leader or CEO, but my conviction is if you want people to go with you for the long haul they need to feel appreciated, satisfied, and recognized when a job is well done – and not just immediately pushed to do something better next time.

Appreciation is a source of inspiration that refills people’s work ethic gas tanks.

Here’s an alternative strategy that’s less stressful and more sustainable: create a culture and a mindset for yourself and your team where rather than telling people they can always do better you simply pose the question “are you doing your best?”

“Are you truly doing the best you know how to do at this very moment?”

“Are you doing your dead level best?”

“Are you giving it everything you have right now?”

If you are then you should be proud. Because…

If you’re doing everything you know how to do…

If you’re trying to maximize every single second…

If you’re working as hard as possible towards your goal…

Then what else can anyone ask of you?

All you can do is the best you know how to do.

What good possibly comes from constantly being told that what you’re doing isn’t good enough?

And how does it make anyone feel valued or successful when the leader is just constantly looking toward the future and never helping people to feel the satisfaction of looking back for just a few moments?

Instead what if they said, “Incredible job! You really laid it all out there. What you’ve done is spectacular. I’m so proud of you and I’m so thankful for the work you’ve put in. You’ve gone above and beyond of what could ever be expected from someone in your position. You have over delivered on what you said you would do.  Please make sure you take some time to soak in the knowledge that what you have achieved is truly remarkable. Thank you for setting such a great example. I’m honored to work with you.”

Would you feel exhausted or recharged after hearing that?

Appreciation is a source of inspiration that refills people’s work ethic gas tanks.

And by the way there is a big difference between doing your best and achieving your best.

I agree that you may not have achieved the best that is ever possible for you.

I may not ever achieve my best. I should always be getting better. I agree with that.

But the gateway to me getting better in the future is to perform the best I know how right now.

And if I’m performing the best I know how right now then I have reason to stop for a second and be proud of that.

I have reason to be satisfied with that.

You can be satisfied without being complacent.

But if I worked as hard as I possibly could have given my other obligations then that was my best. That is something I should feel good about. I’m not going to just write it off as no big deal and move on to thinking ahead because it’s not the best possible I can ever achieve. Because what matters is it is the best possible I could do right now. And I held nothing back.

So I guess ultimately the question comes down not to a leader, or a boss, or a parent, or a coach, or anyone else asking, but to you simply asking yourself:

Did I do my very best this year?

If you did then take a moment to soak it in. You deserve a moment. You’ve done well. And you’ve done it in spite of challenging odds.

If you didn’t then that’s ok too. Pretty soon this year will be closed and gone forever.

The good news for all of us is we get another chance next year to go out and do the best we currently know how to do. And it will be yet another step forward in figuring out what the best possible for our life can really look like.

Finish Strong

Finish Strong

Champions are made in the fourth quarter.

You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to agree with it; but if you want to be a Champion you’re going to have to embrace it.

Because sooner or later your ability to win is going to come down to what you have left and how hard you play in the final stretch.

Champions know that there is something magic about finishing strong.

They know there is something glorious about exhausting themselves completely and asking “can I give more?” “Can I work harder?”

And so Champions push themselves to develop the habit of finishing strong in everything they do.

But most people don’t have it.

Most people don’t have that special ability to find more inside of themselves.

Most people don’t have a desire deep enough to make their best performance at the very end.

Most people don’t have the passion it takes to pull together heroic effort as the time ticks down.

Most people run out of gas. Most people coast. Most people just want it to be over and they want the win to come easily at the end.

Which is exactly why most people never become champions.

Champions fight hardest at the very end.

I’m not talking about the sandbagging effort where you play the rest of the game with partial strength so that you preserve something for the end.

I’m talking about the kind of epic effort where you left everything out on the line to begin with.

You were completely exhausted and then your desire to win gave you new energy.

You had nothing left and then you drew your deepest strength.

You had already given all you had and then you found a way to give even more.

It’s not just a physical thing. It’s a mental thing. It’s an emotional thing. It’s even a spiritual thing.

Champions find a way. They find the passion. They find the energy.

Because they know that even if you’re the best in the world, sooner or later you’re going to be tested.

Sooner or later you’re eventually going to meet an opponent who will fight you to the very end. You’ll meet an opponent who will push you to the brink of losing.

And in that moment it will simply come down to who wants it more. It will come down to who has something left in the final hour.

Champions finish strong.

Happy fourth quarter of 2015 everyone.

Time to see what we’re all made of.

You Are Enough, You Are Adequate


There is a quiet voice deep inside of me.

It tells me that I must let you know of my accomplishments.

It tells me that my possessions should signal to people like you that I am successful.

It tells me to undercut other people to better position myself.

This voice makes me want a fancier title. A fancier car. A fancier bio.

This voice is the voice of inadequacy.

It’s not that I’m a shallow person.

It’s just that deep down I still feel inadequate.

I still feel like I have to prove myself to everyone.

Somehow this voice has never gone away. It tells me I won’t matter. I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve to be here.

As of today I’m letting that voice die.

I’m replacing it with the true voice that says

I am good enough.

I am adequate.

And my value to others is not based on what I’ve done but simply that I desire to help.