How to get your mojo back?
Sales is one of the most fast-paced and challenging environments out there. There is you, sales targets and endless opportunities. It can be the best challenge ever or your worst nightmare. When things are going great and sales leads are pouring in, it’s the best feeling ever. You are sharp, motivated and raring to go. But what do you when things are not so great? How do you pick yourself up and motivate yourself to carry on with all your fancy pro-active activities when really you just can’t be bothered and would rather have a pajama day? How do you get your mojo back? It’s bloody hard, I’ve been there myself. When you feel demotivated and your performance suffers because of it, you feel it big time. As a rule it comes and bite you on your ass out of nowhere, or so you think.
Most sales training out there mainly talk about how to influence others or communicate effectively but they rarely touch upon you. How do you influence yourself? How do you move on from a failure? How do you overcome negative self-talk that gets in the way? One thing I know for damn sure – all those fancy techniques you may learn will be wasted unless you are focused, goal-oriented and in sound mind.
The reality is, our motivation must be intrinsic for you to make a change or to get up and do something about a situation that bothers you, which means it you have to push yourself. Motivation is being ready, willing and able. Luckily there are a few things you can put in place to ensure you stay sharp during turbulent times, be on point and carry on regardless of the challenge in front of you.
Performance is Potential minus Interference.
I think it is a great way to star looking into what hinders your performance by looking into interferences that may hinder it.
Low performance may be due to a number of few factors, such as (Centre for Coaching, 2016):
- Physiological factors
- Psychological barriers such as self-restraining and negative beliefs
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of support or resources
- Lack of motivation
- Low self-efficacy
- Lack of training or bad training
- Skills deficits
- Personal past experiences
- Organisational culture, etc
Basically, all personal performance challenges can be divided into two categories – psychological (thoughts, emotions, feelings) and behavioural (action or inaction/procrastination). Behavioural issues are easier to eliminate and change can be almost immediate. Psychological blocks are the one that require a lot more work and usually they are the root of the issue. This is were a coach comes in handy.
Top tips to stay motivated and focused.
1. Set your goals right & create a well-defined plan.
Being goal-less is like running a marathon without a finishing line. You must a goal to work towards. Goals must be framed positively and use SMART framework too. In my experience, people don’t achieve goals not because they don’t put enough effort to it, but because the goal is not framed properly. When goals fail, they are either not specific or challenging enough.
There are two types of goals in performance management – learning or skills development ones and performance ones. Learning goals focus on developing knowledge, skills and abilities in order to increase competence while performance goals aim to demonstrate competence and focused on task execution and are typically expressed as being competitive. When the goal is stated positively, you are more likely to resonate with it and internalise the things you want to be able to do rather than the things you want to avoid.
Here’s a detailed guide to 5 steps to set and achieve goals.
2. Assess your motivation.
RICs scale is an amazing tool to use to probe your motivation and see where’s the problem.
Ask yourself the following questions and rate them on the scale of 1-10, where 1 is low and 10 is high:
How Ready am I right now to achieve my goal?
How Important it is to me to achieve my goal?
How Confident am I that I can achieve my goal?
If you score 5 or below on one of these q’s, this is where the problem is. You might not be ready to do something or consider it unimportant or may not feel confident about it fro whatever reason. Think about what step you can take to change it and move towards your goal?
3. Boost your motivation.
Self-motivation is intrinsic, which means it is within you. Change always starts from within. Self-motivation is the ability to energise, direct and sustain your goal-related behaviour whether or not you have the support and encouragement of friends, family or your boss. Lasting and meaningful change can only occur when you are intrinsically motivated. Motivation to change is being ready, willing and able.
Possible solutions may include looking for exceptions to see when your self-motivation was high and see what other resource were available and helpful or what you were doing differently. Ask yourself the following two questions:
- What do I do that stops me from achieving my goal?
- What do I need to do to achieve my goal?
4. Use motivation imagery.
Motivation imagery is useful if you are ambivalent or reluctant about addressing a problem, challenge or issues in your life. It consists of two parts – inaction and action. Here are the steps:
- Visualise the rest of your life not having undertaken the changes that you would like and not achieving your desires goal. Imagine the effect upon yourself and perhaps on significant others too, for the rest of your life until the day you die if you do absolutely nothing. Think of your regrets too. Imagine the effect year by year.
- Now imagine yourself undertaking what you want to do and see how your future unfolds without this particular problem after having worked hard to deal with it.
- Now consider how you are going to put action step into practice.
Practice this technique every time you feel demotivated until you feel like you are back on track.
5. Use goal imagery
Here’s how it works:
– Keep your goal in mind that you have just developed.
– Develop an associated image or a key word / phrase for this goal.
– Practice visualising this image regularly or saying key word / phrase.
5. Beat negative thoughts.
Ever had your inner critic on full blast telling you ‘You are going to fail again so there is no point to waste your time again. Everyone would think you are a big looser. Blah-blah-blah.’? Rule number one – you hold the volume button. Rule number two – stop this bs right away and instead start challenging those self-doubting beliefs, that’s rule number three. Limits exist only in your head. Our believes about ourselves ultimately determine what we can be and what we will achieve so don’t handicap yourself.
Use PIT / PET technique that is used on cognitive coaching. Your negative self-talk is like this trojan horse virus that is hard to stop and it’s highly destructive. PIT/PET is an antivirus for your brain so keep it switched on 24/7. Here’s how it works:
– PIT stand for ‘performance interfering thought’ – your self-nagging & negative thoughts related to your performance. Write them all down in one column.
– PET stands for ‘performance enhancing thoughts’ – helpful, rational and functional thoughts that you will develop to challenge your PITs.
- You should challenge your TICs via 4 ways that are most effective:
- Reality – Is it real? Where is the evidence that everyone will think I am a looser?
- Logic – Is it logical? Even if I failed once at a task, how does it logically make me a total looser? Happens to the best of us.
- Pragmatism – Is it helpful? OK, even if I am right, how does it help me to achieve my goal?
- Third party perspective – If I was a fly on the wall and witnessed the whole process, would I agree with me? What would I say to my best friend? Am I ready to take my own advice?
- Now challenge your TICs and write down helpful, rational, realistic TOCs in the column next to it.
Keep on practicing it whether in writing or just in your head. It is very powerful stuff.
6. Get out of procrastination mode.
The one and only solution to tackle procrastination is action. You just have to do it. Full stop.
Four key steps to overcome procrastination:
– Awareness: become aware of your procrastination behaviour and consequences it brings. just think how many leads / business / contacts / opportunities / sales you’re losing or missing out on!
– Goals: develop goal-oriented behaviour to carry out currently avoided task as awareness alone doesn’t necessarily lead to actions. Goals stated positively are more likely to encode and rehearse thing that you would like to do
– Commitment: effecting change is an on-going 24/7 process. Ask yourself – What do I have to do to get it? Am I willing to do it?
– Persistence: develop a ‘maintenance message’ or a slogan / image of your goal / mood board to maintain achievements, list some benefits of new belief and prevent slipping back.
7. Remember The Pareto Principle.
The Pareto principle also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the input. Of course, ratio can change to 70/30 or 90/10. The key idea here is that most things are not 1:1, therefore most likely your top 3 actions will deliver the results you strive for even though you might also do 7 more other things on a background. Think carefully, what are your vital few actions that would get you to your goal?
This list is not exhaustive of course and there are more things you can do to boost your performance. If you feel like you’ve tried it all but there hasn’t been much change, get a coach.
If you have any questions or want me to cover somethings I haven’t talked about yet, feel free to email me direct – firstname.lastname@example.org