By Paul Reilly

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”

Henry Ford is stressing the importance of attitude. Attitude drives behavior. You move in the direction of your thoughts. If your mind is filled with negativity and self-doubt, how do you think you will behave? How often do you meet a really negative, successful salesperson? Not often, I’ll bet.

Attitude is critical in sales because there are many opportunities for frustration. Salespeople are constantly battling price objections, multiple rejections, failures, and silence. Constant rejection and failure can be demotivating or inspiring depending on your attitude. These experiences can either embolden you or deflate you.

Dwelling on failures and rejection can be deflating. It’s important to analyze failure, but don’t dwell on it. Reflecting too much on failure, rejection, or doubt leads to negative behavior and poor performance. Learn from it and leave it.

Positive attitudes drive positive behavior. Positive behavior leads to greater happiness and more success. Here are some tips to shape a positive attitude.

Write down your self-talk

Self-talk is the act of reciting to yourself, either silently or aloud, the thoughts that enter your mind. When you are frustrated, write down those thoughts. If the list is negative, then it’s time for an attitude change.

Once you create a list of your negative self-talk, tear it up. This is a symbolic gesture. By writing down the negative thoughts, you are getting the thought out of your mind. By tearing up the paper, you are telling yourself, “Negativity will no longer fill my mind.” This behavior helps shape your attitude.

You can’t control the outcome, but you can control your attitude. Once you free your mind of negative thoughts, fill it with positivity. Positive self-talk fills the void. Write down several positive affirmations to shape your attitude. Repeat these affirmations when you are frustrated.

Surround yourself with positivity

Have you ever noticed that negative people find each other? Misery loves company. The same way you flush your mind of negative self-talk, flush your life of negative people. Negative people want other people to be just as miserable as they are. Their negativity will impact your attitude and your behavior.

Surround yourself with positive people. Talk to a positive colleague. Invite your top-achieving salesperson to lunch. Surround yourself with people that have a positive influence in your life.

Ford is right. Your attitude either drives you forward or holds you back. What if you began every day with a positive attitude? Positive mental programming shapes your attitude and drives your behavior. Negative mental programming will as well.

You can’t control the outcome, but you can choose your direction. Dr. Seuss made this point in his perennial best seller Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

What if you viewed every day as an opportunity? What if today is your day?

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