It’s not unusual for financial advisors to experience fear, burnout and procrastination just like everyone else. When I meet with financial advisors to discuss the improvements they want to make to their businesses, I see many of the same recurrent themes. Here is a list of things on many a financial advisor’s to-do list:

  • Develop a different attitude.
  • Reinvent myself going forward.
  • Improve my inspiration (as opposed to drive).
  • Eliminate fear.
  • Eliminate burnout.
  • Get better at making phone calls and booking appointments.
  • Eliminate the roadblocks to working with high-end clients.
  • Eliminate procrastination.
  • Eliminate second-guessing myself.
  • Understand how I contribute to the roadblocks in my path.
  • Review my telephone appointment-prospecting script.
  • Review the way that I’m presenting the life-insurance conversation.

For most advisors who face the above issues, the struggle has gone on for years. In every case, it’s the same operating system—the six inches between their ears—that creates the toughest challenges.

The six inches between their ears has taken over. It has developed a mind of its own (so to speak). And this mind will hang on for dear life, for it is the survival-based mind that lives in fear. This mind will, out of fear, bite the hand that reaches out to offer help.

In parting, I offer you a couple of quotes to inspire you on your journey toward self-mastery:

  • “Avoid resistance at all cost. Resistance is an all-encompassing term for what Freud called Death Wish. Resistance cannot be reasoned with. It understands one thing: power. Resistance takes on the form of drugs, shopping, TV, gossip, alcohol, drugs, and the consumption of all products containing alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fat, salt and sugar. The greatest danger is Resistance knows when the finish line is in sight and it will throw out one final assault.”—Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
  • “Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve earned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’ ”—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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Simon Reilly of Leading Advisor Inc. is a financial advisor coach, speaker and writer. Simon writes a daily blog and can be reached at www.leadingadvisor.com/blog.