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Programming Myself 

Jeffrey Gitomer, the worldís greatest salesman, used to worry so much about getting the big sale that it interfered with his confidence. Prospects could sniff out his nervousness and detect that something was not quite right. The fear of losing the sale would actually result in the loss of a sale. And once this cycle happened a few times he became reluctant even to try, resulting in even more lost sales. He had to change his way of being or find a new career, and that meant working at a real job so that was out.

Jeffrey wanted to find a way to reprogram himself not to care if he won or lost. So each time he made the big sale, he would take himself out to an expensive menís clothing store and reward himself with some new clothes. And each time he didnít make the big sale, he would also take himself out to an expensive store and buy clothes. Fora year he faked it but after that he really didnít care if he made or lost the big sale. He had successfully used operant conditioning, a la Pavlovís dog, to make trying for the sale the rewarded activity and not getting the sale. Through added confidence and sheer numbers this resulted in his becoming a successful super-salesman. And having six closets full of clothes.

The mind is programmed through repetition. Combining repetition with reward is a great way to change my mind. Unlike a computer, which can be reprogrammed simply by making a change once and compiling new code, a human mind needs training. It is possible to change my mind. That is the core belief that makes everything else possible. If I had trouble with that one I would say it every morning in front of the mirror (right along with ďIím good enough, Iím smart enough, and, doggone itÖĒ). I change my mind by identifying the unworkable beliefs I haveóbeliefs that interfere with my purposeóand replacing them with workable ones. There may be a whole network of unworkable positions preventing me from going in the direction I say I want to go. I canaddress them one by one or I can simply identify the way of being that is ineffective and train myself to be another way.

I used to pout when someone said something that rubbed me the wrong way. I would guess that it was an effective way of being with my parents when I was growing up. But in a seminar many years ago I got feedback that people thought it was irritating and incongruous with the powerful way I otherwise presented myself. So I put into practice a new way of being. Whenever I noticed myself about to pout, instead I beamed a genuine, charming smile. It didnít feel so genuine the first few times but after less than a month I had successfully reprogrammed myself. The awkward discomfort only lasts a little while, like when I learned to ride a bicycle.Soon thereafter I knew what I was doing, and within a year I didnít even have to think about it.

Richard Brodie
February 2000