I started running this past spring. It’s a great way to clear my head, manage stress and anxiety, and gear myself up for the day ahead. I finish my runs and feel ready to conquer the world, ready to “run through walls”, as my colleague Ryan says.
As great as I feel post-run, sometimes getting to that feeling of elation is a challenge. There’s a moment in my practice runs when all I want to do is give up. I experience a mental block, where moving at any speed feels impossible and my strategy for getting through it is to breathe heavily (while people in the park look at me strangely), focus on the music, and tell myself – sometimes out loud – that my app is going to chime in and give me that lovely “workout complete” message any second now.
There are rare times when I give up before the end of the workout. My immediate feeling after “giving in to giving up” is deep regret; I only had x miles/minutes left, why couldn’t I push through? Through running, among other experiences, I learn that staying the course and pushing through to the end is always best, even if getting there is a struggle.
Clearly, running and sales have some similarities.
There are “bad sales days” that happen from time to time. There are days when pickup rates are low, or a phone call that you’ve been looking forward to doesn’t come to fruition, or you feel like you’re hitting a wall when everyone around you is thriving. I think it’s often very easy to give into the bad days, coasting until the end and taking it easy when things go awry.
The challenge is how to get out of that mindset. You can decide to practice your gambit over and over until you feel confident again (I find that my way of getting proficient with things is to do them over and over and over, stumbling until success occurs.) You can decide to get a drink of water or a snack. You can decide to make a strategy or a plan of attack. You can decide to talk with one of your coworkers about what the roadblock is. (Pro-tip: There are some great listeners here at Reveneer!) I would not recommend deciding to give up, though. The feeling of regret that occurs after supersedes the temporary feeling of relief in giving in. And you only had “a little bit longer to go”, after all.
Here at Reveneer, when we have a success on a small or large scale, there is an option to ring the horn. It’s a really great feeling–your “walk up song” – a song of choice that particularly inspires you – starts to play and everyone claps. And you wouldn’t get to that great feeling if you checked out before the end. My “walk up song” is Sia’s “Never Give Up”. In the song, Sia sings about battling demons that won’t let her sleep and calling out for help but not receiving a response. The chorus repeats over and over that “I won’t let you get me down / I keep getting up when I hit the ground”. And that’s the secret. We keep getting up when we hit the ground.
In the very act of running, we are constantly hitting the ground. Our foot or heel strikes the surface and then we lift up with our calves, over and over, until it becomes a meditative rhythm. In sales, we are constantly doing the same thing: hitting the ground and then lifting ourselves up, though inertia, through confidence in ourselves and clean speech, and with the help of one another.