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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!

How to Change Your Life

how to change your life

We like to think that all of the things we believe in our minds are factually true, but they often are not.

Because our brains don’t delineate between true and false. The brain doesn’t inherently know what is accurate and what is false.

So, instead we simply believe whatever we tell ourselves most often.

Whatever we hear or assume over and over again is what we accept as truth.

The human brain is much like a computer. It just enacts whatever programming has been put into it.

Like a computer, it also doesn’t delineate between good and evil, positive or negative, right or wrong.

Your brain simply does whatever you tell it to do.

And it believes whatever you tell it to believe.

Which is why self-talk matters.

And it matters gravely.

Because what you tell yourself about yourself is what eventually becomes true for you.

And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t even monitor the things you say about your own life.

Or if you do, you might think the whole concept of self talk is hokey- but it is not.

You are the author of your own life.

You dictate who you become by allowing certain thoughts to reprocess over and over and by disallowing others.

Your beliefs are not based on what is fact as much as they are based on repetition.

Just ask anyone who found out later in life that they were adopted, or discovered that a family legend never really happened. Or ask anyone of the millions of people who use to believe the world was flat, the sun revolved around the earth or that air travel was impossible.

They all had things in their mind that they “knew” for sure were true.

Until one day they found out they weren’t.

Similarly, you have beliefs about your own life that you accept as truth that aren’t really true or unchangeable. You have beliefs about what your capable of, what is possible for you, what you’re good at, and who you’re destined to be.

And whatever those thoughts are will determine your limits.

They will determine your happiness.

And they will determine your path.

So choose the words you use to describe yourself carefully.

You can’t call yourself fat and think it’s going to help you get in shape.

You can’t say you’re terrible at something and think it’s going to make you better.

You can’t tell your mind that you don’t deserve something and think it’s going to ever show up for you.

Because your brain will believe whatever you tell it to believe. And it will lead you to arrange your life in a way to allow for those beliefs to take shape as your reality.

So retire your self-limiting beliefs.

Destroy your old boundaries.

Let go of the negative things you were yesterday.

And rewrite your future.

Reinvent your possibilities.

And redefine the person you are becoming.

Do that now and never stop.

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.

Positive Self-Talk and the Power of Affirmations

Recently we analyzed the results of the first 18 months of participants from Southwestern Consulting’s Focused 40 online self-assessment.

Some of the most compelling findings to me were around the area of positive self-talk. Out of the 3,542 responses in the survey, here’s some statistics that caught my attention on this topic:

–       Only 19% of people report that they “consistently monitor their internal thoughts every day

–       76% report that they “do not have a list of affirmations”

That means that less than 1 out of every 5 of us actually thinks about our thinking – which is a major error in judgment and a massive growth area for most of us.

Affirmations are simply what you tell yourself about yourself and your environment. And what I’ve noticed about myself is that if I’m not consciously saying good things about myself and my environment I am almost always unconsciously saying negative things. And that’s a problem because our Affirmations ultimately affect our Attitude.

I define Attitude as “the way you choose to see things” and our attitude is directly shaped by our Affirmations. Think about it, if I’m always telling myself how much I hate my job, or how much a certain person annoys me then that likely means I won’t have a good Attitude about that particular part of my life and I won’t choose to see the best parts of it, only the worst.

Whether you realize it or not, Attitude directly shapes your Actions. If you have a bad Attitude about your job, do you think that you’re going to show up early, work as hard as possible, and go the extra mile? Of course not – you’re going to do the opposite.

And obviously your Actions determine your Actual Results. If you don’t work as hard, and you don’t put in as much effort it’s easy to see that you won’t get great results.

Here’s the scariest and most defeating part of all though…when you get poor Actual Results in a relationship or a certain area of your life then it reinforces your original set of negative Affirmations! You take your poor Actual Results as proof of what you said that someone or something is a certain way and it perpetuates the cycle all over again. Only this time it’s in a deeper rooted and more permanently engrained mindset!

As it turns out, negative self-talk is a deceptive form of self-indulgence. You allow yourself to unconsciously perpetuate this cycle in a way that validates your own falsities about how the world works.  Your bad attitude might not serve your life well but at least you get to be right about how hard you have it.

Interestingly enough in a completely different section of The Focused 40, 74% of people reported “they are not maximizing their potential in professional endeavors.” Is that a coincidence that it’s almost the exact same number of people (76%) who said they don’t have affirmations?

I think not.

I think that what you think is what you get. I think that when you stop thinking about your thinking it starts to think on it’s own. I think our affirmations our way more important than we realize.

And, I think that if you don’t have a list of positive affirmations, you should stop what you’re doing immediately and create some. Because if you do, I think you will find that your life will begin to change.