Understanding the Downside – and Choosing the Upside By Dr. Peter Pearson Ph.D.

Dr. Peter Pearson

At first glance, “the prospect’s journey” seems as if it would be about bringing people into your downline and helping them grow and succeed.

And yes, that’s an important part of it. But have you thought about your own journey? This article is about concepts that will help every prospect’s journey, including your own.

Success is dependent on your focus – which is too often given a back seat.

Understanding this key factor about your journey will serve you and your downline alike. Let’s do a thought experiment to illustrate the importance of focus.

Imagine you are an ordinary person minding your own business when you’re approached by a network marketer. You have an interesting discussion about increasing your income and promoting a product that you feel good about.

A part of you is interested, maybe even feels inspired. You start drooling a bit as you imagine the benefits and how some of your dreams could become your reality. Now you are embarking on an incredible adventure of personal, professional, and relationship discovery.

It took just one unexpected interaction to feel this new excitement about your future. The spark of inspiration from a spontaneous conversation led to greater awareness of the possibilities that lie ahead.

At this point, I will assume you are a typical prospect. Therefore, some interesting things will unfold in your mind.

As you think more about what is needed for success, another part of your brain will begin to hesitate. Voices of doubts and insecurities, and memories of failure both distant and recent emerge. You consider expressing your need for support, but you feel a growing temptation to trap your inner dialogue in a cage so that no one else can hear its truth.

The first shot has just been fired and your internal civil war has begun.

The opposing sides are:

1 The Upside: This part of your brain wants you to create more of an inspired life – build a strong loving team with your spouse and work to bring out the best in you both. It tells you to dream big, wonder what you could create and lets you be moved by inspiration.

The upside is the part of you that seeks to live a life of more fulfillment, a life that is in alignment with your higher self and aspirations.

The upside is the path to liberation. It is your North Star, a reflection of your higher values and priorities. It’s what really makes you feel alive in key areas of your life: marriage, family, health, finances, spirituality, friendships, hobbies, and contributing to the world.

However, once you start dreaming big, another voice emerges. 

2 The Downside: This part of your brain wants to protect you from failing, ridicule, rejection, unworthiness, embarrassment, or even the burdens and increased expectations of success. Better to live a life of familiar mediocrity.

The downside is your self-protective brain at work. “Safety first” is the motto. It only wants to keep you from the painful experience of failure or emotional risk. The downside always emerges when you begin the journey toward “stretch goals.” Because goals that truly stretch you illuminate areas where you don’t feel strong/brave/smart/talented/worthy enough to pull it off.

So your self-protective brain generates multiple reasons to abandon the journey, and give up before you fail, get embarrassed, or experience rejection.

Never underestimate the power and influence of this part of your brain. It is influenced and shaped by trauma, lessons from your family of origin, institutional prejudices, culture, and other life experiences. You will never be able to permanently subdue it. Nobody does.

At the risk of being too dramatic, your focus and how you respond to your fear will determine how magnificent, how miserable, or how ordinary your future will be.

You can focus on the UPSIDE or the DOWNSIDE.

Let me paint a picture of your life if you focus on the downside.

As doubts creep in, you don’t express them to your spouse because (you think) they will:

    Tell you to quit.

    Think poorly of you.

    Not offer the supportive response you will need.

So you learn more about network marketing, hoping that information will bolster your confidence. Or you try to get more knowledge of business and personal growth. That can help.

You make some tentative steps to be successful. The results are too often discouraging. More questions emerge than reassuring answers. You struggle in silence.

The result is that you pull the plug and become a member of an enormous club: Former Network Marketers.

The cycle is distressingly common in network marketing.

Now imagine another scenario.

You begin your journey, excited about what’s possible. You’re full of enthusiasm, you see your big dreams on the horizon. And then, you take your first big risk: you tell your spouse you want to talk about an opportunity and your concerns.

You ask your spouse to listen. You discuss the advantages AND disadvantages. You agree not to make a decision in this conversation. Just let the new idea marinate.

After some time, and further discussions, your spouse agrees to support you for a period of time, as an experiment. So you learn more about the opportunity from your sponsor.

Then the downside shows up again: the insecurities, the doubts that you can do it.

But instead of being silent, you take the next BIG RISK. You discuss your fears with your sponsor.

Your sponsor is smart enough to encourage you to really understand your fears instead of immediately trying to talk you out of them. You feel understood. Then your sponsor gives you some ideas about dealing with your fears.

Your sponsor doesn’t ask for a commitment. Instead, they ask you to experiment with a couple of things to see what you can learn. Your sponsor says there is no failure when you are stretching yourself – only valuable learning. That helps take the pressure off.

This process strengthens two of the most valuable qualities for a new prospect: a willingness to learn and a willingness to apply what you learn.

As you keep learning, experimenting, and applying what you learn, your confidence grows. You get clearer on what you really want and why you want it. This “why” is the fuel of motivation. This is what keeps you going when the DOWNSIDE emerges. 

The “what” and the “why” are the foundations of THE UPSIDE.

Your key to greater rewards is where you focus your attention and how you act when faced with fear. By keeping your focus on the upside and avoiding as much as possible the downside,
you reinforce ongoing success even though it is not a straight upward line.

This is the secret to joining a smaller but much more satisfied club: Successful Network Marketers...


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Peter Pearson
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