It's another Monday and the week stretches before you. You check your calendar and feel your palms begin to sweat as you obsess over a sea meetings, paperwork, and deadlines that must be met.
Hit the brakes and don't panic. As you're absorbing all that lies ahead for the week, perhaps it’s time to consider something else: Gratitude.
So, what are you grateful for? And what does gratitude have to do with sales anyway?
Stick with me… We’ll get there.
Have you ever had a time when things were not going well and appreciation was the furthest thing from your mind? It’s easy to feel grateful when everything is going your way. But some of the most surprising reasons for gratitude can manifest in the darkest of dark times.
I was going through a period of struggle when a friend suggested I keep a gratitude journal. I was skeptical. I thought (1) What do I have to be thankful for? and (2) How can this possibly improve anything?
She convinced me I didn’t have much to lose, so I grabbed some sheets of note paper and kept them on my bedside table. Every evening before falling asleep, I’d scrawl down 3 things I was grateful for that day. Some nights I’d sit staring at the blank page trying to summon up something for the list. There are a lot of days when it looked like this:
(1) I woke up
(2) I have food to eat
(3) My kids are healthy
Sometimes all we have are the basics – yet, the most fundamental things in our lives are considered decadent luxuries by much of the world’s standard. Without them the struggle would be exponentially worse.
Do you pause to take in what’s around you when you’re in the field and on the road, or do you find yourself moving blindly from meeting to meeting? When was the last time you consciously acknowledged how awesome life really is, even on the bad days? (Hint: If you woke up on the right side of the dirt, it’s pretty damn awesome.).
By now you’re thinking, “Enough already, Kim: What does this have to do with my sales job?”
When was the last time you gave thanks for your job? Your customers and co-workers? Your boss?
Think about it… We spend (at least) a good 1/3 of our lives at work. What’s your attitude toward your job? Do you wake up each morning excited to get going, or do you repeatedly hit the snooze button, hoping to stave off the day until the last possible moment?
Attitude is a huge part of success in sales (and just about anything else in life). It can’t be faked for long. When you’re harboring negativity, it will slowly seep into your relationships with peers, clients, and family. You may not notice at first, but it will impact your quality of life.
Negative energy begets negative energy, creating a downward spiral – unless you do something to cut it off. Cultivating gratitude is a proven way to shift from a negative outlook to a positive mindset. Your success potential increases dramatically when you move from a negative to a positive attitude.
“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” ~ Dalai Lama
There’s no overnight miracle elixir that will change your circumstances. What I do know is when I shifted my mind from frustration and scarcity to gratitude, things did change. As Dr. Wayne Dyer frequently said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
If you’re feeling fed up and on the verge of becoming a toxic waste dump, try this gratitude experiment:
So, what does gratitude have to do with sales success? A lot, actually. Your mind is your greatest asset and the things you put into it, you’ll also get out of it. Gratitude moves you from negative thought patterns to a positive mindset, and positive people tend to feel more successful in life. When you feel successful, you act successful. When you act successful, you become successful. Gratitude puts you on the path of a positive upward spiral.
A final thought: To be grateful is also to be generous – generous with your appreciation. Generosity begets generosity. When you give generously, you will find others responding in kind and the experiences you have with your manager, peers, and customers will begin to improve dramatically.
If you’re not happy where you’re at, give yourself 15 minutes a day to practice gratitude. Make an investment in yourself – the return will be worth it.