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Why is change such a challenge?

Many business professionals are successful but still face the challenge of kicking bad work or personal habits and developing helpful ones. Why is it so difficult to create new positive changes quickly? Why do we fall back to old habits? How can you stop the madness? Glad you asked.

In a majority of cases, change takes place more quickly and long term when three elements of the change are in line:

  • #1 The logic behind the change.
  • #2 The emotional reason for the change.
  • #3 The crystal clear path to change.

Let’s break it down. The logic is led by the emotional reason. If you do not have a strong emotional reason for the change, you will typically not succeed in making the change. The emotion could be fear or pleasure, either one works. But it has to tie into the logic. Finally, without a clear path and direction to making the change, you are more likely to get off track and fall back to an old habit.

As I coach my clients into becoming better sales professionals, I work on making sure all three elements are in line when bringing about a desired change. I find that the most likely element to quickly derail the whole process is the emotional reason. If it is not strong enough, another emotion will pull you away from the logic and the clear path of the change.

For example, a client may say, “I want to come home at a decent time and have more time for myself and family”. We discuss why it is important, how he or she will feel by accomplishing it, and what it looks like when it is successfully completed.

If the client has three-out-of-five good days on the new schedule, that’s an improvement. In the weeks that follow we continue to focus on keeping all three elements in line while gaining ground each day.

Where professionals stumble is when their emotions are tripped up by a sale gone wrong, a bad encounter with the boss, or a hundred other challenges we face in our profession. We throw everything out the window including all the progress we’ve made if the emotion at the moment is stronger than the emotional reason we founded our change on.

When you reach that point, you’re facing the big test. Which emotion will lead you? The emotion of sticking to your new schedule or the emotion to go back to an old behavior pattern?


Another emotion to be aware of is complacency. It grabs hold to the emotion you had for the big change, chews it up and spits it out. Now you’re in a complacency coma and back to old habits.

Here’s when complacency hits:

  • When you had a great month.
  • When you feel you deserve a break (it was the first time you even got close to selling that much).
  • When you lose focus of your goals.

Remember, your mind does not like you to change. It wants you to be in a state of less pain or struggle. You need to be mentally tough on your own, or maybe with the help from a coach, to push yourself, stay focused, and reach your new goals.

By simply being aware of how the three elements of change can improve your habits, you can quickly increase your sales performance and reach your goals.

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