THE SELLING DISCOMFORT DILEMMA: How to Keep Going When You Just Don’t Wanna!

Your hand is poised over the phone to call a potential client you’re afraid may say “no”…or over the keyboard to write your first blog…when suddenly, out of nowhere, you become unbearably uncomfortable. The Discomfort Dilemma grabs you! Whatever the next step is, it seem agonizing. Sometimes even impossible.

The Discomfort Dilemma is that perilous moment when you stand poised between moving forward and doing whatever is next—or doing something to avoid it. It happens in every aspect of life, but it shows up on steroids when you sell.

You want to dive under the bed and mainline chocolate. Even trim the cat’s toenails or shampoo the carpet. Anything to avoid that scary next step—even when you know from experience that trying to avoid it only makes you more uncomfortable!

You know that when you’re sitting at your desk with little chocolate smudges on your face, with the kitty licking her new manicure, and both of you are staring down at your spanking clean carpet, that next step will still be there. And it will seem even bigger! Plus, it’s later in the game and you may feel even more behind the Eight Ball. You may feel pressure to make up for lost time, to produce more and better results, more quickly.

The Discomfort Dilemma usually pops up when you are doing something new or bold—anything that represents change, however small and however good.

This is when mental chatter gets startled and wakes up—on the wrong side of the bed. It scowls and stamps. It pouts, and begins its siren songs:

  • I’m only thinking of you. You need a rest. Take a load off. Relax! You’ll do better in the long run.
  • Playing  a computer game will sharpen your wits!
  • C’mon, don’t be such a stick-in-the-mud! You’re only human. Life’s too short to work that hard. Give yourself a break. Here, try this tiny piece of chocolate…

And before you know it, you’re mainlining.

When mental chatter starts cajoling and nattering, remember that it does not always have your best interests at heart. You can postpone or delay whatever is next, but ultimately you have to do it. The longer you put it off, the longer you prolong the agony and the more uncomfortable it becomes.

Here are some fixes I’ve used and that clients have shared with me:

  • Anticipate your likely Discomfort Dilemmas and prepare some “fixes.” In the world of selling, Surprises ‘R’ Us. We’ll always have to think and speak on our feet, so it behooves us to prepare for anything we already know is coming our way. What could stop you? What could you do to keep going?
  • Anticipate your mental chatter, and how you will answer it. Each Dilemma turns on surround-sound mental chatter—and not just any mental chatter. The chatter you hear will be created especially for you. It will consist of the specific complaints and arguments to which you are most susceptible. Mental chatter is no fool. It will choose exactly the grousing and whimperings that are most likely to make you bite! What will it say? How will you counter?
  • Eat the biggest frog first, as Brian Tracy advises. This means doing the biggest, hardest, most challenging task on your to do list first. I do this every day. It not only guarantees that I get the important things done, but I can then look at my to do list and think, “Hey, the rest of this stuff is all easy and fun!”

What are your fixes for the Discomfort Dilemma?

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  1. I loved swings well into adotuhold, but not the strap kind. If they had hard rubber seats I would swing, too. I read that somewhere in Europe (Finland or Denmark) playgounds for all ages were catching on. Sounds good to me!

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