I had an interesting email this morning from someone I’ve known, worked with and coached over the last five years or so. He’s a businessman with a lot of heart – just a genuinely good guy.

He was asking me for input because he’s frustrated with his forward progress – not as fast as he would like, and sometimes not as steady. He was telling me a bit about what he’s doing and how he’s marketing and how he’s feeling about it all.

What struck me – and I know this subject intimately, because baby, I’ve been there (!) is that he’s feeling one thing and saying another. My rock solid belief is that what you’re feeling permeates whatever you’re saying, no matter what words you choose.

Somehow, especially if you’re talking to other people in the business context – prospects, clients, business partners, customers, you name it – you have to get your head and heart aligned. If you don’t, no matter what you say, what comes through is what’s in your head.

It’s why I’ve never cared for the fake it ‘til you make it concept. People know when you’re faking it and who wants to do business with a fake? If you’ll lie to me about you, you’ll sure lie to me about me!

That doesn’t mean you can’t get work done and be effective unless you’re feeling beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt great. You just have to learn how to work effectively with your own mind. No small feat, I know – believe me!

I teach people to get a new story and release your emotional charge around the old one. The story is as much for you as the rest of the world. Let me use ‘aforementioned guy’ to illustrate what I’m talking about. He does several things – one of them is that he’s a network marketer. He’s frustrated that his business isn’t growing as fast as he’d like. It’s hit a plateau. My advice to him was to stop talking to people through the filter of the anxiety he feels about how fast it ISN’T going. Instead, focus on something he feels really good about – the company, the products, the potential and talk with that in mind.

Suppose someone asks him how it’s going for him – the new story can be along the lines of: It’s been going OK, but last week I decided to take it to another level – I’m very excited about that and I’m looking for some strong partners that I can help be successful and really increase my business in 2010. Nothing more. It’s a new story. Or the story might be: It’s going well, and I’ve decided to really ramp it up this year – I’m putting more focus and attention on building this income stream and I’m excited about that. Here’s how you might fit in….

We often think telling the truth (and we Americans are known for often telling too much of what we’re feeling anyway…) means revealing what we’re feeling at the core of our being. We think unless we do that, we’re being inauthentic. No. You’re telling the truth – but you don’t need to show your fears and insecurities. Be real, tell the truth and make your truth the story you see and visualize and want to embrace. If you can master that, your life, your business and your paycheck will inevitably follow suit.

Change Your Story
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8 thoughts on “Change Your Story

  • February 9, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Clients and prospects can smell desperation a mile away!

    In sales, you simply cannot speak to your prospect from your point of view, from how you are doing or even from how many sales you have this month. This process simply kills sales, ends prospective long term relationships and at the end of it all, INCOME.

    Thanks for the post and I could not agree with you more.
    .-= Jose H. Caraballo´s last blog ..The Biggest Problem Credit Counseling Agencies (Part 1) =-.

  • February 9, 2010 at 6:14 am

    This has really been a hot button issue for me lately because as a visual-verbal person, I want to be truly, deeply, sometimes brutally real and honest about what I’m feeling in the moment. It’s very hard for me to keep filters in place and put a “true but new” spin on things some times. I am finding though that when I’m most prone to do that is when I haven’t had anyone to vent to recently, so I’m feeling emotionally worked up or pent up and not “heard”. Choosing carefully who we allow ourselves to vent with is a critical step. I’m most thankful for those that put up with my rambling emotional tangents, as they help me to keep a better focus most of the rest of the time!
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..The Power of Authenticity =-.

  • February 10, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Kim, Thanks for being so brutally honest here! I know exactly what you mean. It took me many years in my business life to learn how to be selective about what I said when and to whom. In business, it’s much harder to ‘take it back’, especially these days with how quickly things fly around! Amy

  • February 10, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Jose, It’s so true. I think good sales is really about listening and responding to the clients needs, and trying not to respond/react through your ‘personal filter’. When you master that skill, you really can help people get what they want – the most important mission of the committed salesperson (imho)…Thanks for your valuable input.

  • February 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Yes, it is so important that our head and our hearts are aligned. I couldn’t agree more. In terms of the “fake it til you make it”, to me that isn’t about lying….it’s about exactly what you talk about in this post ~ creating a new story based on the new power you are stepping in to ~ something that is authentic and works for you ~ and leaves behind the fears or insecurities even if they are still there.

    Thanks for the great insights, Amy!
    .-= Beth Allen´s last blog ..The Importance of Balance for Truly Radiant Health =-.

  • February 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hey Beth – I like your view of ‘fake it ’til you make it’. I think it’s the fake it part that always bugs me. How about: believe it ’til you make it or something? I guess it’s the fake part….I’ve seen people think they have to lie or act like they’re more successful than they really are….your idea makes much more sense….Thanks for it.

  • February 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Hi Amy,

    This is such an important message. I think it is a difficult part of human nature that always feels the need to show the world that they have ‘made it!’ even when they have not…not yet any way.

    But what so many people forget is that they are on a journey and even though they dont seem like this they are getting anywhere fast, they have probably made more progress and knowledge then they actually think they have.

    Afterall, the people that ask us how our businesses are going arent doing anything as exciting with their lives…unfortunately there will always be some types of people who want us to fail.

    But if you are being consistent and making small steps everyday then there will always be something to talk about as a good news story.

    Thank you for sharing this Amy, authenticity is the key everytime.
    Beth Hewitt
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Beginners Guide to Blogging =-.

  • February 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Beth – I think you’re right on the money – no pun intended (!). We’re so much better at criticizing ourselves than we are at marking our achievements — better to look for what’s right and what we can build on! Thanks – Amy

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