Our series on the topic of call reluctance continues with ways to combat the problem. Here are two steps you can take when you are confronted with call aversion.

Observe
First, observe yourself experiencing call aversion. Pay careful attention to what you are feeling. Chances are you have let your self-sabotaging and irrational thoughts drag down your self-confidence. Detach yourself, for once, from your emotions and simply be an observer instead of a participant. You are probably thinking, how am I supposed to do that?

One simple method for affecting a phobia cure is a concept developed through Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Using this therapy, a phobia sufferer watches himself in a mental movie, imagining himself on the screen. He sees himself experiencing the fear and all that comes with it. He is able to feel the heart palpitations, the perspiration, and the shakes caused by anxiety. When he sees this happening, he is better able to deal with the uncomfortable emotions that brought on the fear in the first place.

If you can imagine yourself as the central character on the movie screen, experiencing your heart pounding, the perspiration, and the dread you feel on the telephone, you will be able to aid yourself in recognizing the symptoms you are going through during call-reluctance episodes. The next step is to engage in the pattern-interrupt phase. From now on, when you start feeling those emotions, detach yourself by watching your mental movie.

A salesperson reported testing this method. As he was about to follow up on a referral lead, he started to panic. His palms became moist, his heart palpitated, and he became aware of his irrational mental dialogue: “I really don’t want to make this call. The prospect won’t talk with me because he’ll know I’m new at this. He’ll probably recognize how scared I am.” By detaching and observing, the salesperson saw how his fears were influencing his logical thought.

Pattern interrupt
The second step is to interrupt your aversion emotions. By recognizing when the irrational thought patterns of call aversion sets in, you can stop them from causing problems. When next you become aware that those patterns have surfaced, immediately do something physical. Stand up and walk around your office. Say out loud what you are thinking internally. One effective way to interrupt the pattern is to cause yourself quick, yet mild physical discomfort. Wear a rubber band around your wrist. When you become self-sabotaging, snap the rubber band. The sting will break the cycle.