Salespeople and business leaders face challenges, setbacks, and disappointments every week. If you’re in business, it happens! Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive.
Unfortunately, a negative attitude can destroy your motivation. Over time, it hurts your business, your career, and your personal life. Maintaining a positive attitude is often the biggest hurdle a salesperson must overcome.
Positive Emotions: The Key to Positivity
Barbara Fredrickson is a well-known psychology professor and an expert on positive psychology. In addition to writing several books on the subject, her ideas pop up all the time in books and articles about the importance of positivity.
Her main idea: You can use different emotions to bring a more positive outlook on life.
She identifies ten positive emotions that we can tap into and increase our positivity:
These positive emotions show up in your personal life and work life. When we pay attention to these emotions during our workday, we can increase our positivity and motivation. Think about each emotion and how it relates to your sales career:
Joy occurs when we’re surprised and delighted—when we experience an unanticipated good thing. When something good happens, joy is usually the first emotion to follow. In sales, joy happens when you win. Conquering a goal, closing a deal, or hitting a milestone gives us joy and keeps us positive.
We experience Gratitude when somebody else’s effort comes back in a way that benefits us. You can be grateful for your team, your product or service, or your company. The great thing about gratitude is that it can motivate you to pay it forward and do something for someone else. Find a way to be grateful every day!
Serenity is what we feel when we’re at ease. Serenity is such a powerful emotion for our well-being. It encourages us to savor the moment and gather ourselves. I love a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of tea, but you can cultivate serenity anytime—in the morning before you’ve started your day or in the evening when you’re curled up with a book. Rest and recovery are critical after all the effort we put into our business. (And, if you haven’t tried meditation, start!)
Interest is the curiosity to explore something when it feels safe. When you’re thinking about a new way to grow business, a new way to prospect, a new product, or even a new job, those are all positive emotions of interest. You are really curious about what this will do and how it will bring positivity to your life!
So many people say, “Hope is not a strategy.” But hope is a strategy! Hope allows you to dream about a brighter future. That’s how you get through difficult times! For me, hope has brought me tremendous peace throughout the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can be optimistic and resilient through hope.
Pride sometimes gets a bad rap, but it’s the emotion we feel when we’re happy about something we did. It’s great because it’s a chance to feel positive about our accomplishments. When you get a promotion, hit a goal, or are recognized for your achievements, don’t hide your pride!
Amusement is always tied to laughter. When you think about what makes you chuckle or someone else laugh, that positive emotion can bring you great happiness. When you flub your way through a presentation or trip in front of a client, sometimes all you can do is laugh. Amusement lets us stay positive even when we make a fool of ourselves.
We feel Inspiration when we see the best in someone else. In turn, this feeling motivates you to do your best. When you see one of your team members win Presidents’ Club or see an underdog win a big account, it’s an inspiring moment. With an abundant mindset, you’ll see their accomplishment and think, “If they can, I can.”
Awe is one of my personal favorites—I am constantly in awe of nature and what people can accomplish. I love the sunset, every time, even when it’s partially blocked by telephone poles and power lines. Taking in and appreciating the glorious, unbelievable awesomeness around us will motivate you to do great things and create your own awesomeness.
Love is the emotion we feel when other positive emotions are shared with someone else. This shared experience makes it the most powerful way to increase positivity in your life. In business, this includes growing relationships and loving what you do. “Love what you do” is part of our motto at Skillway because it’s so critical to what you are able to accomplish.
Use Your Emotions!
Throughout my years of sales coaching, some of the most inspiring changes I’ve seen in people’s lives (and businesses) came from cultivating a positive attitude. The next time you’re feeling amused, inspired, in awe, or full of love, think about how you can draw on this positive emotion to keep driving you forward!
Until next time—go sell some stuff!