Birdcage challenge proves law of attraction
His proclamation reminded me of an exercise you can do to gain the things you want.
Imagine that I gave you a birdcage that you take home and place in plain sight in the living room. The only caveat is that you’ve got to keep a bird out of the cage for 30 days, otherwise you fail the challenge. Oh, and there’s one more rule: You can’t let anyone know that you want to keep the cage empty.
Here’s what’s going to happen:
Your family will see the birdcage but be hesitant to ask you why it’s in the living room. They might wait a few days before they ask you about it.
However, one of your friends will drop by for a visit, see the cage and ask, “Where’s the bird?” You’ll respond, “I don’t have a bird.” The friend will probably drop the subject.
Several more friends will visit, and you’ll go through the same exchange with them. You’ll decide to put a cover over the cage, but then a friend will ask, “Is the bird sleeping?” You’ll reply, “I don’t have a bird.” The friend will say, “I don’t understand. Why would you cover a birdcage with no bird inside?” You’ll shrug off the question, and your friend will move on.
About three weeks into the challenge, you’ll think you’re going to win. None of your friends or family is inquiring about your empty birdcage anymore, so now you’re counting down the days to victory.
However, what you don’t know is that your family has called a clandestine meeting: “Looks like Dad (or Mom), wants a bird,” they agree. “What do you think? Yep, let’s go to the pet store and get him (or her) one.”
When you get home from work that day, there it is. A bird is in your cage.
So, what’s the moral of this story?
It’s very simple: Decide what you want (the bird), build a plan (the cage), and you can bet on the outcome (the goal). The minute you set up your cage, you’ve already achieved your goal. It’s just a matter of time before you collect.
Courage is an action word
A good friend of mine, a master recruiter of top-performing salespeople, has always said, “Given a choice, I will always hire someone with ‘brawn over brains.’ ” Expanding on her point, she said, “A successful salesperson has the courage to fight through the fears that hold unsuccessful salespeople back. No amount of intelligence can trump courage.”
Courage is not taking a risk, and it’s not undertaking new endeavors. Courage is all about taking action. It requires discipline, vitality and guts to face those things in your life and your business that are far outside of your comfort zone.
As a salesperson, getting a “no” isn’t an act of courage unless a no is something that you fear. And if talking to prospects about money is difficult for you, that’s an example of courage. It’s not an act of courage to get past gatekeepers if getting past gatekeepers is easy and natural to you. It’s an act of courage to get past gatekeepers when getting past gatekeepers is challenging and fearful for you to do.
It’s common for us to idolize top salespeople and project envy and admiration on their actions, especially when their actions are so fearful to us. Do these top performers have a magical source of courage that’s unattainable to the rest of us? Probably not. Through their past actions, application, discipline and discomfort, these top performers found courage in the past, so today, they now perform without it.
Courage is represented by every salesperson who is confronted by inner fear. In those quiet moments of introspection, alone with your own thoughts, making the day-to-day decision to continue on in your professional sales career, begging for the strength to face the next tomorrow and stare down your fears — that is courage.
It is a sad truth that we sometimes resign to our fears just before our most wonderful quality is about to help us rocket through a barrier, on to new heights. This quality is courage.
Bob Bolak is president and owner of Sandler Training in Boulder and can be reached at 303-376-6165 or email@example.com.
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