Be prepared for adversity by looking it straight in the eye and believing in yourself…no matter how difficult life becomes.

A national sales executive said the following to me yesterday in one of our coaching sessions, “No one is buying… We have been creative and aggressive in terms of finding opportunities. I shouldn’t say no one is buying but for months the stream has been drying up. My team has lost confidence, and quite frankly I am not sure what to tell them anymore.”

Undoubtedly, it is still a very difficult economy out there, and it appears we still have a ways to go. It will become even more essential to have the mental toughness to stay confident and to fight through adversity.

In 2007 I was working with the St Louis Rams, and we started the season by losing our first 8 games. It was the worst losing streak I had experienced in my career, and I found myself driving out to Rams Park with my confidence shot. The mental game plan I had produced for the upcoming week was average at best. I remember thinking to myself, “What if we were 8-0 instead of winless? How would my approach be different?”

It was amazing to me to realize that if we had been on a winning streak just how different my approach to my job would have been. My approach would have been aggressive and full of confidence with an attacking mentality, as opposed to “just don’t screw up.” I decided to approach the day “acting as if” we were undefeated. In doing so my ability to teach and motivate was dramatically improved. Instead of a scared staff member, I was a leader for change.

The Rams went on to win their next 2 games. We still ended the season with a terrible 3-13 season. However, I felt much better about giving my all in tough times.

I told this same “act as if “ story to a Financial Advisor who was just getting started in the business. She said that “acting as if” she were already a million dollar producer helped her find the courage and confidence needed to look her clients in the eye and give much more solid advice. Ultimately, she said “acting as if” helped her to become a much better broker, and she overachieved on her own financial goals her first three years in business.

The Act “AS IF” Process:
1. Identify what success feels like: Whether it is a million dollar producer, an undefeated NFL football team or a division leading sales division, think about what it feels like to be highly successful in your field.
2. Replace lack of confidence with confidence: Anytime you are feeling less than successful, recall what it feels like to be highly successful.
3. “Act As If”: Act for the next 24 hours in a way that represents how a highly successful person would act.
4. Keep acting until it becomes reality: Continue behaving in a way that causes success until success becomes the reality.

Acting “as if” will have a dramatic impact on your approach to success and will significantly improve progress towards greatness. BELIEVE TO BE BELIEVED.