Sally sold cosmetics and every year she finished in the Top 10 Sales Directors. By October of each year, she was always 1st or 2nd in the company’s sales. It was clear to everyone that Sally could be the top producer if she continued to sell at her current rate. By December, Sally’s sales would invariably begin slow. Despite good preparation, many of her sales would fall through for no reason. At year’s end, she’d always finish 5th or 6th, which was excellent, but the much sought-after number one slot would have evaded her again. This happened year after year. She’d get so close then she would seize defeat from the jaws of victory.
Sally was sabotaging herself. Since Sally was an excellent producer, no one would normally notice this yearly trend, but a sharp Director saw it and called me for help. The truth was that deep down: Sally did not feel she deserved to be number one. She felt she deserved to be in the top 10, but not number one. So she unconsciously sabotaged her sales every year. In working with hundreds of salespeople, I’ve found that most of them have a “Deserve Level”- an amount they have unconsciously set as what they deserve to make. If a salesperson approaches his or her unconscious deserve level, he or she will put in motion a host of sabotage mechanisms to see to it they don’t exceed that amount.
I’ve seen it time and again. Salespeople will lose sales for apparently no reason, or they will keep hitting an earrings ceiling over which they cannot climb no matter what they do. Most figure, “Well, I guess I just can’t do any better. That’s my limit. ” The reality is they’re sabotaging, and the reasons people sabotage are as varied as the people themselves. In Sally’s case, for example, I found that an early childhood message had planted the belief that if you were number one professionally you wouldn’t be liked. For Sally, it was vitally important to be liked, so she unconsciously sabotaged herself to avoid that fate. I worked with Sally to overcome this unconscious negative belief. It took her time to understand the message, but she slowly climbed toward first place, finally attained it, and has remained number one or two in her company ever since.
Generally, four things make up your Deserve Level. Your beliefs about yourself, your self-esteem, your self-confidence and the permission for success you got from your past. It’s often necessary to re-think these areas of your life and to discover why you have set your Deserve Level where it is and what fear holds you back.
To increase your Deserve Level, ask yourself these three questions: What are my business or personal goals for this year? What am I doing to sabotage my goals? And what fear is causing the sabotage behavior? For example: Louise wants to make $75,000 a year. She realizes that she doesn’t make her goal because she is too timid in her sales pitch. She discovered that her fear of rejection is causing her tentative approach.
There is a fear behind all Sales Sabotages. It could be a relatively common fear such as fear of rejection, fear of asking, fear of closing, fear of failure, or fear of success. Or it could be a more complex fear like the ones cited earlier. Psychologically, most sabotages are based on hidden fears, negative beliefs or lack of permission from your past.
Once you discovered what you want and how and why you sabotage it, you can stop the sabotages and increase your Deserve Level with these four steps:
1. Self-talk- What you say to yourself about yourself and the world.
2. Self-release- The need to express and release negative emotions.
3. Self-nurturing- The ability to be nurturing and kind to yourself, especially when you are not perfect.
4. Self-support- The ability to create and sustain a personal support system
Choose people as mentor who have the kinds of things you want in your life- love, success, fitness, money- because they can help you believe in yourself and encourage you to go after your dreams the same way they did.
Create an acknowledgment system for yourself, an environment in which you can give and received positive acknowledgment on a regular basis. Allow yourself to receive praise for your accomplishments, and to ask for positive feedback when you are feeling uncertain. It’s possible to stop sabotaging yourself and reach your goals. The first step is to sincerely believe that You Deserve the Very Best!
Pat Pearson, MSSW is an internationally known author and speaker with a passion for inspiring individuals to claim their own personal excellence. Her powerful seminars are informative and entertaining, offering practical methods for helping people mobilize their resources to achieve greater success in their business and personal lives.
Pat has authored four books, “You Deserve the Best, " “Passion: Rekindling the Fire in Your Heart, " “Stop Self-Sabotage, " and “Party with a Purpose. " Her Audio of the Month Club, “How the Best Become Better, " addresses all the elements of psychological health everyone needs to be truly successful.
A clinical therapist for over 30 years, Pat travels throughout the world sharing ideas on professional development and sales success with many of the world's leading companies, such as American Airlines, IBM, Century 21, Holland America Cruise lines, and many more. Pat Pearson MSSW. Speaker and self-published author of “Stop Self Sabotage!” For the Inside Scoop on how to “Stop Self Sabotage” go to http://www.patpearson.com/