A lot of inspirational training misses a crucial step by Peter Pearson

A lot of inspirational training misses a crucial step

I love inspirational training. Especially when it urges persistence. 

As in Churchill’s famous quote, “Never never never give in.”

It’s a shot of adrenalin that sometimes I need.

Encouragement to persist resonates with our desire to succeed. Check out motivational speeches on the internet, some of which have been seen over 30 million times!

There are many reasons people desire inspiration. They want the rewards, the benefits, the good feelings that come with success beyond what they currently experience.

Inspiration triggers our aspiration goals. But sometimes this can be a problem.

Moving from vision to action requires dealing with a critical middle step: the resistance to actualizing those dreams.

The resistance comes from the part of the brain that wants to play it safe.

This “safety first” brain seeks to avoid danger, rejection, failure, embarrassment, and especially self-criticism for missing the mark. This brain has been with us for hundreds of thousands of years. And it does its job very well.

Inspirational training energizes us to reach for more, to do better, to live larger.

But the safety-first part of the brain responds with even more energy and generates convincing reasons not to go for it.


“You are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, deserving enough, strong enough, or persistent enough.”

“You are too old, too young, or too something.”

These fears are powerful enough to kill dreams and hopes, squash aspirations.

But those beliefs and voices are there for an important reason. They keep you safe from the sting of trying and failing. They help you avoid the pain of rejections.

Respect these beliefs. Don’t see them as the devil which must be conquered, destroyed or beaten into submission. The safety-first part of your brain will never totally go away in all areas of your life.

Just about every person I have worked with, in over 30 years of coaching and consulting, has the dilemma between reaching for more in some area and playing it safe.

Many people join network marketing because the model makes sense. It is logical. They learn about the outstanding rewards of peak earners.

“I want some of that,” they exclaim as they see photos of exotic travel, luxury cars, grand houses, happy couples or families. It’s the jackpot of goal achievers.

The bigger the picture, the more some newbies get fired up.

Then they create a marketing plan. And pull the trigger.

And start to experience “No thanks. Not interested.” The safety-first brain shows up and they postpone or even stop initiating calls.

Then they feel bad because they have failed in pursuing the boldness of their dreams.

Most training in the network marketing is very good at reaching the logical part of the brain – the region of the brain that thinks and acts with deliberation. Often the message is to “Change your thinking. It’s time to outgrow your crippling dream strangling beliefs.” This works some of the time. And with especially motivated people it works quite a bit of the time.

But for greater levels of success, enlarge your focus of attention.  Make all the regions of your brain work together in harmony to deal with the safety-first brain.

It’s teamwork for your brain. It’s the whole-brain approach to reaching your dreams.

Here’s what to do.

First identify the objective or results you seek. This is your North star.

You will have multiple objectives as a network marketer. Choose one.

Let’s say you have trouble approaching or following up with a prospect.

Before thinking about what to say or do (action steps of the logical brain) think about how you aspire to be in that situation.

Your aspirations of “how to be” will illuminate your values, your interests, your priorities.

For example, when approaching a prospect my focus could be seeing myself as courageous, confident, organized, persistent, calm, friendly to strangers. The mental picture could include taking “no” with a grain of salt and learning from the experience without self-criticism or embarrassment. I might even imagine I was given superpowers to being this way.

The key is creating a mental image of being like this when approaching prospects in person, phone, internet, email or text.

This approach is not telling yourself you are courageous. It is seeing yourself being courageous. And feeling yourself being courageous and confident.

Interestingly when I focus on “how to be,” the “what to do” comes more naturally.

Here’s your total brain success approach.

List your actions steps when prospecting and/or talking to a potential client.

Then allow yourself to feel whatever anxiety emerges. And mentally tell the anxious (safety first) brain, “Thank you for trying to keep me safe. However, I want to experiment with some new approaches. Please cut me some slack to experiment with some new ways of being. I can always go back to the old ways of doing things.”

Paradoxically, acknowledging the intent of the anxious part of the brain is much more effective than seeing it as an adversary and trying to over-power it. The second paradox is it can also be calming to remind yourself that you can always go back to the old ways.

Now describe how you aspire to be when doing these action steps. For example, calm, confident, clear thinking, good listener, curious, easy-going, courageous, etc.

Get a clear mental image of being this way. Sometimes it helps to close your eyes and rub your temples when doing this mental image. Take a relaxing breath and rehearse this image. The more times you rehearse this image the stronger it gets.

Describe all the benefits of being and acting this way. This increases and supports your motivation for the aspirational part of your brain.

You can do this anytime. At red lights waiting for green lights. Standing in grocery store lines (temple rubbing optional here), in the shower, doing house chores of all kinds, walking the dog, before you go to sleep, etc.

Reviewing this image for even 10 seconds several times a day is a great goal.

Keep refining this image and repeating the benefits. Because whatever you rehearse in your mind, it will get stronger. It is the way your brain works for positive OR negative images like worry. Your brain simply strengthens your dominant focus – positive or negative.

It takes courage to override the safety-first brain. By doing this exercise you are supporting the part of your brain that judges something is more important than your fear.

Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

So how about getting started by doing this mental image exercise?

Then rehearse it.

Then take the next action step.

Be brave. Picture it. Feel it. Then you’ll be readier to do it.

Peter Pearson
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