by Certified Life Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA
Shane’s financial practice was a doomed roller coaster ride of failure. All of the people he called rejected him and made him feel like a greasy used car salesman. Phoning was impossible. He could not understand why his RACE coach didn’t get that. When a QS he phoned was nice to him his day would go well. If the QS was mean he would stop phoning—sometimes taking weeks to recover. The clients were making his financial life hell, too. None of them could see how obvious it was to follow the PPA and he was going broke. On days when the clients were especially frustrating and difficult, he was stuck doing nothing until his mood improved. Reversals were a part of the business, but Shane felt they were unfair and punished him for other people’s poor decisions. He struggled to prospect because all of his clients thought he was too inexperienced to refer their colleagues. No one appreciated his sacrifices, he thought.
George, by contrast, was mastering his practice. While it had some ups and downs, he really learned from them and it was starting to level out. When people rejected him he was thankful because his rejection resiliency was really growing. George was grateful to phone and meet new people. He was curious that some people were not interested at all in working with him and others were. He asked for feedback and help from clients, his mentor and joint work partners and it was only getting easier. He knew it wasn’t personal. While his commission-based practice challenged him to manage his money in a whole new way, it opened up endless earning potential and increased his appreciation of it. Many of his clients struggled to proceed with his recommendations, but he found when he faced his own money fears it helped his clients, too. George was excited to see the growth that his practice spurred in him. He was amazed what could be accomplished by just asking—for a meeting, for a referral, or to proceed with filling out applications. This practice was making him a better person.
Shane is clearly going to fail out of the business—except that Shane and George are the same FR. The difference is in the storytelling! Shane is the victim of his practice and George is the victor. Which one are you?
“Imagine, for example, what a pitiful story James Bond could tell about his life. An hour doesn’t go by when that man isn’t attacked by simpers, crushed between some woman’s viselike thighs, or confronted by men tossing deadly hats. If he decided to see himself as a victim, 007 could organize a pity party that would put your hard-luck stories to shame. Instead, people sit around having fantasies in which they take his place,” writes life coach and author Dr. Martha Beck in her book “Finding Your Own North Star.” (Beck trains and certifies the Unleash Your Practice coaches.)
Here is a Martha Beck exercise that you can try:
1) Write a brief time line of the major events in your Northwestern Mutual journey.
2) Get all of your "helpless victim" out of your system by re-writing the story as if you are powerless, stuck and being punished by your practice.
3) Next, write it again as a funny adventure where you overcome every obstacle in a creative and hilarious way.
“Learning to look at yourself this way is an incredibly effective step toward psychological freedom, personal power, and mastery of your circumstances,” writes Beck. If all that you can see in your practice is victimization, then you and Shane will not be able to imagine success. “Most people think they’ll believe in their own potential for success when they see it; the truth is, you’ll see it the very instant you decide to believe it,” writes Beck.
What’s your story?
Coaching Tip Consider the way you talk about the daily events of your practice. Do you say things such as “that client ruined my day” or “I can’t phone once someone hangs up or yells at me”? If so, you are giving your power away and acting like a victim. Think about how you can reclaim your power and be the victor. What if you take responsibility for your own moods and reactions? What becomes possible for your practice with that mindset instead?