Why We Lose Sight Of Our Vision - Linda Reese Young and Joyce Jacobs
Networker A and Networker B are both pretty new to the business. Networker A is excited and immediately starts talking to other people about her opportunity. As a result, Networker A starts to enroll people and is now well on the way to building a Network Marketing empire.
Meanwhile, Networker B, excited as well, is also sharing the opportunity - with much less success. Soon, Networker B's enthusiasm begins to wane. She finds herself sharing the opportunity less and less. Networker B slowly fades into the sunset.
Is Networker A smarter than Networker B?
Has Networker A received more training than Networker B?
Is Networker A not getting any "no's"?
Is Networker A just lucky?
Or is there some skill, perspective, or tool that Networker A knows about and is utilizing, that Networker B isn't - and could - if she just knew about it? If you feel more like Networker B than A, for your own sake, please read on...
Everyone has dreams and aspirations, and our sponsors encourage us to connect with those dreams when we start building our business. They say things like: "What's missing for you? If nothing else mattered, what would you rather be doing other than what you are doing today?" As they speak, we reach back through the cobwebs of our minds and start to think about things we may not have thought about for 20, 30, or 40 years.
We're encouraged to write down our vision for where we'll be in life several years down the road and we're advised to set goals that will make that vision come true.
In the moment, we get caught up in all the possibilities we see for ourselves... it's emotional, and we can see it all so clearly. Then we go home and the reality we've created returns. We wake up the next day in the same house in the same environment with the same input from the same people. Time passes, and we read our vision statement less and less, until eventually we don't read it at all. Perhaps we even "misplace" it. In short, we "lose" our vision.
This is a very common scenario. We slip back into the habits of our day-to-day existence, living the same day . . . day after day after day . . . which soon overpowers that part of us that tuned into the possibility and adventure of it all.
What's missing here? Even when we envision fantastic futures for ourselves, why are the goals we set so hard to keep?
We believe it's because most of us haven't built the bridge that will carry us from where we are now to where we want to be. In fact, most of us haven't even built the bridge from thinking about our vision to writing out our vision to actually reading our vision. That bridge, that missing link, is the way we speak to ourselves every day, which is based upon the way we feel about ourselves, and what we believe about ourselves. The missing link is our "self-talk."
You see, as Networker A is interacting with other people, what she's thinking to herself sounds something like this: "I feel great! I appreciate myself and my potential! I love the way that I feel when I'm interacting with other people!"
Conversely, Networker B is having a completely different dialogue within herself which sounds something like this: "The last person I talked to didn't want to do it, so here goes nothing. I hope I don't sound as stupid as the last time! Maybe my husband was right . . . maybe this business just doesn't work. Why am I doing this anyway? I must be a glutton for punishment. But then again, what did I expect? Nothing I do ever works out, but I'm no quitter . . . nope, I'll give this business a real chance to work. I'll give it another whole week, and then, if it doesn't work, at least it won't be my fault. It will just be something that wasn't meant to be."
If you are thinking to yourself: "Neither of those examples describe me. I don't have self-talk," that is your self - talking away. Know this: The predominant conversations that we all have with ourselves and about ourselves will effect how we feel about the vision or goals we've set. Our self-talk will determine whether we script out our vision, and, having written it, whether or not we will ever read it.
Is it any surprise that within a week or two, most people's carefully written visions begin to sound like they belong to somebody else? What we say to ourselves about ourselves is the impression we leave with other people. In other words, our self-talk - what we're saying to ourselves about ourselves - speaks louder than the actual conversation we are having with others.
In Network Marketing we want to do everything right all of the time. We want to know what "secrets to success" our upline sponsor used to succeed, as well as what their upline sponsor did to succeed. We're always looking for the right answer outside when it's really inside . . . in ourselves. What our upline tells us may indeed be useful, and we already have the answer that's right for us. We're just so busy trying to please everyone else, to act like they think we should act, to say the things they think we should say, to be the people that everyone else expects us to be, that we give up our power - we give up our own authentic communication, thinking we have to be like somebody else. That is the trap.
As children, we are full of possibilities. There are no boundaries, no limits. Then, when we finally get old enough to do something about those possibilities, the "three Rs" set in - reason, responsibility and resignation. We become re-programmed, both by our own experiences and by other people's input about those experiences and gradually, over the years, we begin to give up on ourselves. This process is so insidious that we aren't even aware of it. In fact, other people's input begins to blend in with our own self-image to the degree we forget we ever had one.
We're stuck, and we don't even know it.
We live... we die... and everything in between is made up. We live a continuous cycle of talking ourselves in and out of our own greatness. When we repeat a pattern based upon the past, all we will ever get is the same thing over and over. The conversations we have with the one person we spend more time with than anyone else - ourselves - creates our reality.
These little conversations, our self-talk, act as "filters" through which we view both the world around us and the experiences that we have. Experiences which support our negative self-talk easily pass through that filter and are added to the mounting pile of evidence that supports why things never work out for us. We have difficulty even remembering the positive experiences that don't support our negative self-talk. For all intents and purposes, they don't exist at all! The longer this continues, the more likely it is that we will continue to react - and act - the way we always have. We repeat the same behavior over and over and over again, expecting a different result - all the while wondering why we never get one! In other words: Same action, same results.
| The conversations we have with the one person we spend more time with than anyone else - ourselves - creates our reality.
Many of us, especially women, feel guilty when we try to break this pattern, thinking that if we're doing something for ourselves, we are somehow self-centered or self-serving. We feel the weight of all the "shoulds" that have accumulated in our lives. We feel that we're supposed to put others in front of us when, in truth, it's so much easier to support and love the people we care about when we are self-confident, empowered and feeling good. We're expecting other people to provide for us what we're not willing to give to ourselves. Networker B is trying to create self-validation by having someone else agree to join her. When you run on empty, there's nothing left for anybody, and when you're "full of yourself," just to play on words, you become a magnet for success. Caring for yourself is not selfish, it's self-preservation - and here's how it starts:
This is a process. It involves not only an understanding of the process, it requires having the patience and the courage to embrace the process, because it's not something you can change over night. After all, just look at how long it has been in place! Just look at the lifetime of evidence you have compiled to support your current self-talk! Since you made it all up anyway, why not make up new self-talk which truly empowers and fulfills you?
Once we become aware that we have a choice about our self-talk, we can begin to change it with "conscious languaging." Our self-talk can disempower us or we can choose to empower ourselves with it. Shifting that self-talk involves consciously choosing language that supports the results we seek - and it's a conscious choice you get to make each and every time you are confronted with some new decision you need to make.
Will it be creative justification? "I've talked to 15 people and none of them wants to get in. I told them that I wasn't a salesman, it's not my fault. I could have done better, but Network Marketing is saturated in my area. Nothing I ever do works out anyway."
Or will it be creative interpretation? "I've talked to 15 people and none of them were interested. However, I enjoyed my interactions with each person, and I feel great! In fact, I am inspired! I am so close to success! I am a winner!"
As simple and as logical as this choice may seem, breaking the old self-talk patterns isn't easy. Start by simply being "in the noticing." At first, just notice your self-talk, and resist the temptation to "beat yourself up" over it. Just noticing your current self-talk is a giant step towards shifting it. It's like this: Either you're running it, or it's running you. When you're unaware of your own self-talk, it's running you. As you become more aware of the process, you can begin to shift the process and break the pattern.
Secondly, "hire" a coach . . . someone that you can trust to be non-judgmental and who will champion you on your journey.
Like any new habit, this is something that takes time. Sit down and script out some new self-talk. Here are some guidelines to assist you:
- Make it first person and present tense, and about you only ("I am _______").
- Make it simple (Unlike a formal vision, self-talk is usually one or two sentences or thoughts).
- Embellish it with positive adjectives.
- Attach feelings to it.
- Read it over and over - out loud - until it is all that you can think about.
In so doing, you will be re-training the little voice inside of you to be your best friend the way you train a muscle to be stronger. When you catch an old conversation going on in your head, why not stop it and choose some new language? Use words like capable, brilliant, outgoing and successful.
How would you feel if someone called you up every morning and said: "You are the most fantastic person I know! I love your energy, your enthusiasm, and your creativity!" What better way to start off the day, right? This is the reward of changing your self-talk, because when the voice in your head becomes your best friend, you will hear something like this every morning - and all day long.
Shifting your self-talk is like getting dressed up in an evening gown or tuxedo. It may not be the most comfortable attire - as compared to the sweats you wear to run down to the grocery store - and yet, when you do get dressed up, don't you feel elegant? Don't you walk differently? Talk differently? Don't you, in fact, hold yourself as someone special? In the same way, when you are empowering yourself through conscious self-talk, you walk differently, you talk differently, you look different, you feel great and it shows. Other people notice. Is it any wonder that people wanted to join Network Marketer A? Is it any wonder that they wanted to have some of whatever Network Marketer A was "giving off"?
If you're like most of us, you didn't get involved in Network Marketing for the personal development that comes with it. Whether you realized it or not, however, choosing to get involved in Network Marketing is, in and of itself, an indication that you were ready for personal development. People who come into Network Marketing are open to possibilities. We're looking for more, we're willing to go beyond the nine-to-five struggle to find something bigger and better. We're pursuing a different lifestyle.
The personal growth we experience in this industry is a fringe benefit we generally don't think about when we first get in, and once we get a taste of it - of people being bold, courageous, confident, powerful, outrageous, accepting themselves for who they are - we want it. It's hard to step out of a pattern, but once we do, everything is possible.
The past does not have to equal the future. Self-discovery and rediscovery of who you are, mixed in with a few basic tools to be used every day, will evoke self-motivation and self-actualization. Along with it, a never-ending stream of creativity, belief and joy of living will flow from every part of you.
LINDA REESE YOUNG & JOYCE JACOBS are with Oxyfresh Worldwide and have been involved in Network Marketing and personal growth for many years. Long-time friends, their passion for partnering with dynamic women inspired them to start the women's workshop: Women on Fire, The Spa For Your Mind Inc. For information, see Learning Opportunities.
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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Young and Jacobs Feature - October 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com