The Role of Our Inner Dialogue

I am reading a book right now called the Art and Science of Communications by P.S. Perkins. In her first chapter, she speaks of “Intra-personal” communications. That is, what we say to ourselves and the effect that has on our days and our lives. I also just finished 8 hours of Sales Training where the trainer spoke of the roles that our beliefs have on our success or failure in the deal. It’s funny how synchronicity works.
I have been giving some thought to this recently and the specifically how we can never achieve a certain level of success until we reach it in our own mind. As Earl Nightingale used to say, “We become what we think about most”. So what does that mean?

Well, ask yourself, "How will my day go if I get up and immediately start grousing about how much I don't want to go to work?" How does that contrast to the feeling you get when you get up and say, "I can't wait to get to work and get started?' It makes a difference.

Take a moment right now and think of something that you want. Something that is very important and/ or desirous to you. Now, Hope that you can get that.  How does that feel? Now Expect that you will get that. How does that feel? Can you feel the difference? That's the difference our internal dialog makes in the way we go through our lives.

I can remember my second job in sales. (I had not done very well in my first job). They had me read books on enthusiasm and how to dress for success. They gave me books on selling, teamwork and closing. And, by the time I hit the street, I had a different belief about how I felt about myself as a sales man. Because I had been reading about success, the power of enthusiasm and belief, it was as if I had a tape loop playing in my head saying:

"I am a great sales person"

"I am in rapport with my buyers"

"I know how to sell this"

"People are waiting to buy my service"

The result was that the level of success in my career changed. I began to make sales and in fact became one of the star performers as the youngest sales exec in the company.

It can go the other way also. Later on, I changed companies and this company had a different culture. It was one of mediocrity. In their minds profit came first, performance came second, and we did not want to push people too hard.  Can you believe that "we didn't want to push ourselves too hard"? How many winning teams did not want to push too hard? So here, the inner dialog sounded something like this:

"Why won't they push for the deal"?

"Stop pushing so hard, people are getting upset"

"Why bother, I can't change things"

"It doesn't matter if I make the sale they won't do what it takes anyway"

Guess what? I had to leave this company. It took me a couple of years to change that programming around so that I was thinking like a success again and achieving success again.

So what do we want to do as achievers and producers? I have been listening to the Anthony Robbins "Get the Edge" tape series at the gym recently. In it, he makes a couple of relevant points.

1. As we move through the day, we can use affirmations. He calls them incantations. We can say to ourselves things like:

    a. All I need is within me now
    b. All the joy I need is within me now
    c. I am a great sales person
    d. I am a great student

I think you get the idea. As we say these things, over and over again to ourselves, our subconscious mind takes hold of these thoughts and internalizes them so that we begin to behave in ways that are congruent with these new beliefs.

2. The second point he makes is that part of what separates people with high standards from those with less than high standards is their peer group. That's right; just like we become what we think about most, what we think about most is highly influenced by our peer group. If our peers keep raising the bar, we will chase it. If they lower the bar, in most cases, we will follow the bar. Most of us want to be comfortable more than we want success.

Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve? Whether it is high achiever or comfort ,you can have a large influence on either outcome by being conscious of your inner dialog and by exercising some control over what you say to yourself.  So let me offer three things to consider:

1.  Become aware of what you are saying to yourself about your performance (at school, on the job and in relationship.

2.  Choose to modify those beliefs you think can change your life. Then through affirmations start changing your internal dialog.

3.  Examine your peer group (Let me expand this a little to include not only the people you hang out with but the books you read, the TV you watch, and the sites you surf).

If you do these three things, your life will change and for the better.

John Gies is a professional sales person, and publishes his own blog on The Softer Side of Business.  You can read his blog here