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Escape from the past

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Before you sit down to write your plan to make next year rock, take a few minutes (or longer, if you’re serious about your goals) to decide what you need to unlearn. Over the course of your life, you’ve been infected by certain beliefs that you now hold as truths. You’ve learned to take certain actions based on those beliefs and to avoid other actions, some of which might have helped you produce much greater results.

I won’t lie to you—this isn’t easy to do. But growth only comes when you venture outside your comfort zone.

Escape from old, limiting beliefs and adopt new ones. Nothing has a greater impact on your results than your model of the world. This model is built on all your foundational beliefs, the rules you live by. There is nothing more powerful. And there is nothing so dangerous.

Here are some shockingly difficult questions you need to answer on your way to freedom from limiting beliefs:

  • Which of your long-held beliefs are you willing to shed?
  • What new beliefs are you willing to adopt to replace those beliefs?
  • Do you believe that you need to wait for permission?
  • Do you believe the kind of prospecting you don’t like to do doesn’t work anymore?
  • Do you believe that your competitors are beating you on price and that there’s nothing you can do about it?
  • Do you believe you’re not really big enough to make a difference?

We all have self-limiting beliefs. Each and every one of us believes the lies we tell ourselves because it helps maintain our illusions, our hallucinations and our models of the world.

Write down a long-held belief and then write the opposing belief next to it. Now see if you can make the counter-argument and explore what it would mean for you to hold that belief instead. (Pick a belief that you suspect may no longer be serving you.)

Escape from old, limiting actions and adopt new actions. A lot of what you’re doing is already working for you. You want to keep what’s working in your repertoire; there’s no reason to change that. But if you don’t take some new actions, you aren’t going to produce any different results next year. You’ll just have the same sales results year after year.

Here are two more tough questions. (It’s an act of bravery to answer these honestly. It’s even more courageous to act accordingly.)

  1. Which actions are you willing to abandon?
  2. What new actions are you willing to take?

What actions do you take that no longer serve you? Do you procrastinate? Are you dependent, always counting on someone else to do the heavy lifting that you should be doing yourself? What actions, if religiously taken, would propel your sales results to a whole new level? Who do you have to become in order to take those actions?

As you sit down to write your plan for next year, first decide which of your existing beliefs no longer serves you and which beliefs might better serve you. Then decide which actions you routinely take that might be better replaced by new actions.

This is the price of change. This is the price of improvement. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.

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Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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