Your brain is a powerful computer, but it’s not always a very good one. It’s comes equipped with a program that will answer any question you ask of it, but it doesn’t care very much whether the answers it provides are true because it is always running its emotions and ego programs in the background.
When you ask your brain whose fault it is that you are failing, it will run the program that answers that question, but the ego and emotions programs will override that program and return a list of untruthful reasons to protect your fragile ego from the truth.
Let’s look at an example. When you are asked, “Why aren’t you making your number,” your brain will respond with a list of reasons that have nothing to do with the real reason you are failing. Your brain will suggest something like this:
My sales manager doesn’t motivate me.
My competition sells price and wins.
My market is saturated.
My territory sucks.
The economy is in a slump. No one is buying.
President Obama is ruining the economy.
President Bush ruined the economy.
My commission structure sucks.
Or your brain might come up with one of hundreds of other excuses, none of which suggests that it is your fault you are failing or that you can do something about it. Each of the answers above insists that the reason for your failure is outside of your control. The answers are proof positive that you are not to blame for your failure.
You are not to blame, and you are not responsible. And just like that, your brain has freed you from responsibility and protected you from feeling bad. But it hasn’t done anything to improve your results, because that isn’t what you asked it to do.
Run a Better Program
You can hack the brain by asking it different—and more empowering—questions. It will find answers to those questions too (it’s what the brain does). You start by running the program that overrides the ego and emotions program before asking your questions. You run the responsibility and empowerment loop.
Like this: “I alone am responsible for the results I produce. If I really wanted to make my number, what would I change about what I am doing right now?” If you ask that question and sit down with a legal pad and a pen, you’ll have an action-oriented plan that will help you make your number.
Or you might ask your brain to make observations, another task it’s sometimes good at: “I alone am responsible for the results I produce. What do the top 20% of salespeople do differently from me? What could I model that would help me?” Your brain will seek out the answer to these questions.
You could ask, “I alone am responsible for the results I produce. Why do I even need a manager to motivate me? Aren’t there a lot of people that succeed in sales without a manger?”
You could also try, “I alone am responsible for the results I produce. What would my dream clients need in the way of results that would make me worth paying more to obtain? How can I create that value?”
Or, you might ask your brain to answer this, “I alone am responsible for the results I produce. How do I create the value that move my dream clients to action when they have budgetary constraints?”
The responsibility override is a powerful program. It will find answers for you, but it also works well when connected to other powerful, three-pound, pinkish-gray supercomputers. You are allowed to link it up and ask: “Who can I ask to help me come up with new ideas and strategies to produce the results I need?”
If you ask your brain to identify the reasons you are failing, it will provide you with answers. If you ask it to answer the question as to how you can do better, it will find the answer to that question too. You need to ask it to work on the right questions.
What questions are you asking your brain to answer for you?
Are you running the ego and emotions program underneath your operating system?
How can you run the responsibility and empowerment loop instead?
What questions should you being asking your supercomputer to answer for you?
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