During a political season, each candidate defines himself or herself before their opponent does it for them. As the campaigns heat up and issues are tossed around in the media and discussed with friends and neighbors, you can base your beliefs on what you believe to be true, based on your evaluation of each candidate.
The effort to “define yourself ” is not limited to just political figures. You do it for yourself as a salesperson who constantly opens yourself up for acceptance and rejection in the role you play. You also take the risk of letting others define you, causing you to live according to their definition of you instead of your own. But by defining yourself, when you are rejected by prospects, criticized by others and judged by strangers, you will know their judgments to be untrue because you have decisively defined yourself.
When you define yourself, you are consciously deciding what your goals and values are now and in the future. To help stay on track when you are tempted to accept and believe criticism, these goals and values determine your daily behaviors and priorities. Here are three questions to ask yourself about who you are and want to be.
1) Whose approval do you to seek? The greatest weakness of salespeople is a high need for approval. This “success limitator“ will cause you to stay in your comfort zone and you will not prospect, not sell and not grow. Your goal as a salesperson is to play the role and seek to be respected, first. That takes guts, courage and focus. (see “Be Hamlet” for more information on playing a role)
2) What is your “why?” Why do you fight the battle every day? What do you focus on when you encounter adversity? Ask any single mother for her “why” and she’ll tell you – her kids and a better life for them. Your why is the source of your motivation. The emotional reason you fight to protect what is scared and defend what you honor. Understand it and you have just tapped your everlasting source of strength. (see “Commitment > Consequences”)
3) What do you want “be?” What words would you want others to use to define you. Does courageous, considerate, compassion, committed describe you? What 5 words would you want others to say about you in your absence? Maybe in your eulogy. Lou Holtz talks about defining your dash. The symbol between your birth and death. Think about the roles you play and the words that you strive for as a goal.
If you let others define you, you put the need for their approval before your “why”. Your fear of rejection is given a greater value than your “why” and you will never live up to who you want to be – as a human being.
This defined “being” will help you decide what you will accept and not accept in yourself and others. It will identify and help remove the barriers, entanglements and encumbrances that are holding you back and preventing you from living up to your true, God-given potential.
Nobody is keeping track of your successes and failures, but you. Don’t let your past failures limit a prosperous future. Forgive yourself, learn the lessons from your mistakes, find better answers to the questions, apply them and watch your world change.