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What to Do When You're Taking a Necessary Action

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While you’re working on implementing that plan to make 2021 a great year, you will inevitably have times when you’re overcome by any or all of these feelings and emotions:

  • Anxiety.
  • Fear of the future.
  • A sense of being overwhelmed.
  • A feeling that you’re “not enough”.
  • A feeling that you’ve been rejected.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Doubts about your capabilities.
  • Confusion about choices.
  • Disbelief about your value to clients.

By themselves, these feelings are not the challenge for most advisors.

(Related: What Are Your Personal Roadblocks?)

The challenge is that we let these negative feelings own our next few hours or days — or even months. We let them cause us to lose focus and momentum and disrupt our actions

We often don’t even realize the huge negative impact that these feelings are having on our actions. We tell ourselves we are in control, but, in reality, these emotions are.

Even when we can see that we’re being affected by negative feelings, we trace those feelings directly back to some event or something that someone said. But that’s a mistake. Events in our lives don’t lead directly to our actions. First, they lead to thoughts. Those thoughts lead to feelings. And the feelings determine the focus and intensity of our actions.

The events don’t cause a disruption. Our thoughts about those events and the emotions they trigger do. We create a story around the event that triggers emotions. If the emotions are negative, they disrupt our actions.

Say, for instance, someone says no to us [Event]. The thought — the story around that — might be that they don’t like us or that we did a poor job presenting [Thought]. The feeling that comes from that thought is that we’ve been rejected [Feeling]. And that feeling causes us to be reluctant to reach out to the next person [Impact on Action]. But the no was just information. It could have any meaning. The rest was created by us.

Change the thought and you change the impact on action. Someone says no. The thought is, “This is a person who is not intelligent enough to see the value in my offer.” That gives rise to a feeling that I have to get out and find people who are not as stupid, and that opens up the door to more action.

Without help, we can rarely stop the feelings. I laugh when someone says, “Don’t be afraid,” or “Don’t get upset.” You can’t easily turn those emotions off. Better to embrace them. Do be afraid — it’s okay. Do get upset — it’s okay. But don’t let those feelings affect the actions you need to take to get the results you want. It’s human to have negative emotions. But we don’t have to allow those emotions to disrupt our action.

Being aware of that chain from event to disrupted action gets us halfway on the road to getting back into full action. If you’re not taking the actions you want to take, practice these awareness exercises:

  • Look for the emotion behind your disrupted action.
  • If you recognize it, try to determine what thought (story) triggered it and what event triggered that thought
  • Embrace the emotion but disconnect it from your action: “It’s okay that I’m feeling fear (or inadequacy, etc.) about that, but I’m not going to let it stop me.”

You can do some of this on your own, but if you work with a coach who can help you unblock your actions from all of these negative emotions, you’ll be taking the kind of action that top producers take.

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Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved Million Dollar Round Table coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel‘s scheduling calendar is available.