I was faced with a dilemma: Claustrophobia wins or I get to fulfill my dream of walking on the ocean floor. Prior to this moment, claustrophobia had hammered me when I was stuck in an MRI machine. In the cold room, I found being placed into the MRI machine was like being rolled in a morgue drawer, into a wall. Suddenly, I felt that I was suffocating, and I kicked off a blanket.
Now, months later, I had the opportunity to wear a diving helmet and walk on the ocean floor. The problem included claustrophobia and James Cameron’s film, The Abyss. As an effective film director, James Cameron had a scene in which we, the audience, took on the point of view of a terrified diver. The diver looks out through his diving helmet, and he’s hyperventilating. The scene got your heart pumping, and I dreaded that I might hyperventilate like that terrified, diver-character.
Now, I had a choice: Give up or find a way to get past the claustrophobia. I decided to use rehearsal — something that I do with my own clients — in my work as the Spoken Word Strategist. With effective rehearsal, I could access new resources.
My solution was to rehearse — using my imagination — walking on the ocean floor. I wore a hoodie that stood in place of the diving helmet. I rehearsed, imagining that I would concentrate on the wide expanse of the ocean (seen in the window of the helmet) — instead of feeling suffocated by the enclosure — the helmet itself.
Yes! The rehearsal worked, and I fulfilled my dream to walk on the ocean floor. The dream had captured my attention since I was 8 years old, watching TV and viewing the Disney film, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
I share this story with you because every day we are faced with a choice. It affects many of us on the subconscious level. The choice is: Allow yourself to be pushed around by toxic people and toxic ideas and continue working in a frantic way — or learn new methods and discover how to work less and make more money.
Here are 3 Secrets so you overcome real blocks:
1. Let go of a Limiting Belief
My client, Cynthia, told me that she had to abide by the industry standard of clients pay half up front and half on delivery. Her problem weighed on her as she found it truly uncomfortable and time-consuming to keep returning to clients and get the second payment.
During our coaching session, I pointed out a couple of important details. “Cynthia, you have enough credibility, and you’re trustworthy,” I said. “Have you considered asking for full payment upfront?”
Cynthia pushed back and said, “No, that’s not how it’s done in this industry.”
“You’ve heard from other people, and they’re arguing for what they know, not what’s possible,” I replied.
I helped Cynthia rehearse so she could ask for full payment upfront. Asking for that payment was a big stretch for her — like my overcoming claustrophobia to walk on the ocean floor.
Cynthia discovered that she released herself from so much stress and extra work for having to chase after money. She found that she could work less and make more money.
2. Replace Hard-headed Convincing with Soft-hearted Persuasion
Many of us get stuck in trying to push and overcome objections when we’re trying to get a new client. I refer to this is Hard-headed Convincing. You’re trying to overcome or push your way through objections.
Instead, replace that process with Soft-hearted Persuasion. You focus on being a good listener. Using a soft-hearted approach, you help the person realize that you really care about their concerns. You’re trustworthy. You stop pushing your ideas. With my clients I emphasize this idea: When you’re listening, you’re winning. Author and top negotiation expert, Chris Voss, emphasizes these ideas: It works best when you listen and then summarize. Then you set up a situation in which the person says, “That’s right.” That’s when they let you know how they feel you truly understand their situation, their values and their problems.
You might find it a stretch to rehearse and use Soft-hearted Persuasion. But it’s worth it — like my rehearsing and fulfilling my dream to walk on the ocean floor.
Using Soft-hearted Persuasion is an opportunity for you to work less. You avoid trying to be hard-headed and convince somebody of the logic of your reasoning. Additionally, it’s a classic idea that people believe more what they say than what you say. Your providing a summary shows that you have a clear understanding of the other person’s priorities.
3. “Contain the Damage”
Many of us find ourselves thrown off by certain toxic behaviors inflicted on us by other people. A disgruntled customer may yell. Some family members may do cruel actions.
You have an important choice. You can decide to learn to “contain the damage.” By this I mean, you do not let someone’s bad action contaminate your whole day. I’m not talking about pretending that some bad action didn’t cause damage. Instead, you can limit the amount of time and energy you use to dwell on that bad action. You could talk with a coach about this person’s bad action for a limited time, say 15 minutes. Then, you decide to move on with your day.
Why is this important? The reason is: When you contain the damage, you have more time and personal energy. That’s when you can work less and make more money.
Containing the damage can include ending the interaction with a negative, untrustworthy vendor — for example. You might closeout working with a troublesome client. Containing the damage might include changing a system in your company’s work.
Here’s Your Special Advantage When You Contain the Damage … You Gain Access to an Intuitive Download.
An Intuitive Download is when you get a rush of great ideas that can expand your business or refine how you do business activities.
What’s the enemy of an Intuitive Download? That’s when your thoughts and feelings are jammed up with worries or upset from toxic people causing damage. When you contain the damage, you free up your thinking and feelings.
Often, an Intuitive Download will save you time and bring new money-making ideas to you. You’ll work less and make more money.
I emphasize this phrase with my clients: “You cannot get the Intuitive Download if you’re gummed up by the damage.”
Instead, make sure to elevate your perspective. Imagine that you rise above your daily work patterns in a helicopter. From this elevated perspective, you can make better decisions. You become aware of patterns that cause damage and people who cause damage. You can choose to protect your personal energy and time.
For example, some of my clients choose to limit their exposure to certain negative family members.
To work less and make more money, you need to be strategic about what patterns and which business associates you allow to remain in your life.
In summary … I shared my choice to take action to overcome claustrophobia so I could fulfill my dream of walking on the ocean floor. I made a plan and took action. Similarly, I’m encouraging you to use these 3 Secrets:
· Let go of a Limiting Belief
· Replace Hard-headed Convincing with Soft-hearted Persuasion
· “Contain the Damage”
You’ll discover how you’re able to get more done in less time. You will make space in your life for ease and many Intuitive Downloads. You’ll have ways to make breakthroughs in your work life.
The best to you.
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Tom Marcoux, Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach
CEO, International Speaker-Author of 50 Books
including the book Convince Investor to Fund You: The Insider’s Guide to Avoid Deadly Mistakes and Gain Real Success with Your Startup Business