Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, author, and sales leader. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

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Breaking Bad Habits: How to Achieve Escape Velocity

alt text image of a space shuttle launch

It takes a massive amount of energy to launch a rocket ship into space. The rockets must provide enough power to propel the craft at 7 miles per second, or 25,000 miles per hour. If the spacecraft doesn’t gain that momentum, gravity will pull it back to Earth, or it will end up trapped in Earth’s orbit.

Your results are very much affected by gravity, albeit a different kind of gravity. The gravity that keeps you from reaching escape velocity are the routines you’ve allowed yourself to fall into, the comfort you feel now, your avoidance of discomfort, and the amount of energy it takes to create a better result.

Hard Habits to Break

It isn’t easy to break a habit and replace it with one that serves you better. A lot of what you do you’ve been doing the same way for a long time. Maybe you begin work by opening your email inbox and responding to other people’s requests and demands, knowing that operating in a reactive mode is one of the factors that keeps you from reaching your goals. This pattern is difficult to break. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to ignore your inbox and do your most important work first each day.

Growth comes from doing the things that make you uncomfortable. You might not want to make cold calls, ask for referrals, or pursue companies that have already rejected your request for a meeting dozens of times in the past, but you aren’t likely to build the pipeline you need without doing these things. It takes a lot of effort to change your beliefs and your behaviors, eliminating ideas and strategies that don’t serve you and replacing them with ones that do.

Breaking Gravity’s Pull

Most of the fuel used to propel a rocket into outer space is used freeing it from Earth’s gravitational pull. The research on willpower indicates that it is finite, the more you use now, the less you will have later as your day progresses.

“Gravity” is why a lot of people who workout consistently go to the gym first thing in the morning; they have to break the gravitational pull of a little more sleep. It’s also why I try to do my most challenging or most unpleasant task first thing every day, a habit that will revolutionize your results. I want to expend that first big burst of energy and build momentum. Moving too slowly to do the things that must be done won’t allow you to reach escape velocity.

  • Are you expending enough energy on the things that really matter to create the velocity you need to produce the results you want?
  • What makes up the gravitational forces that keep you locked in the status quo? How do you break free from those things?

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