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Feeling Down: It Ain’t That Bad…

When I first started in sales many years ago I knew that the toughest challenge, aside from getting business, was the ability to stay motivated and not give up so easy. I mean, let’s be real with one another here; we all get in a blue funk (i.e., a blue mood where your world just seems all funky). I was asked the other day during an interview what I do personally when I get into a blue funk.

I responded by saying that the first thing I do is take a long walk, run an errand or do some physical activity around the house. Anything is better than sitting alone, moping around and watching reruns on television. My favorite thing to do is walk. Walking clears my head and allows me think about what is brings on this blue funk.

During my walks I ask myself the simple question, “Why am I so bummed out?” I then start doing a mental inventory of all things that are going right and all the things that aren’t. What usually drives me into a blue funk is PROCRASTINATION. I guess I could call this a P-Funk (for those of you who remember George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelics…I know you get the double meaning 😉

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to put things off for another time. The problem is that there are many things, little things, that I continue to put off or never get around to completing. Most of my funks come from an ‘accumulation’ of small things that I haven’t taken the time to do. The sum total of my procrastination is usually the root cause of my funks.

The next step for me is to mentally prioritize a plan of action to extricate myself from the funk. When I get back from my walk I list out all the little things I need to get done in priority and I start to go at them right away.

If you’ve done this yourself in the past you know what happens. As soon as you start crossing things off that to-do list you start to feel a sense of relieve and the funk begins to subside. What does that tell you? Well…that you had the P-Funk.

The last thing I do to silence any anxiety is to always remember, “It ain’t that bad.” I internalized this statement a long time ago when I was a salesman. One day I went to visit one of my customers to do a presentation. After the presentation in the training room, he escorted me to his office to finish our discussing.

When I sat down in front of him, I saw a picture cut out from a newspaper posted on the wall behind that was very disturbing. I mean really “disturbing”. As we talked my eyes were drawn to the picture behind him. Finally, I had to ask him why he had that picture on the wall behind him.

He paused and turned around and looked and he said the following, “Victor, anytime I start feeling sorry for myself because things aren’t going well in my business or personal life, I look at this picture to remind myself that it (the situation) ain’t that bad.”

What was the picture? It was a picture of an Ethiopian woman squatting by the side of a dirt road holding her child’s lifeless body in her arms. The child’s stomach was bloated to 3 times its normal size from the hunger he had suffered while flies collected around his eyes, nose and mouth. The picture was heart wrenching and to this day I still see the image in my head as if it were in front of me right now.

No matter how bad your situation is right now, or how dire you may feel about current circumstance, find some comfort in knowing that we live a great country where success is possible and that scenes like that are the exception to the rule. So the next time you’re in a funk, remember,…it ain’t that bad.

Victor Gonzalez is a Sales Trainer and Motivational Speaker with 20 years of industry experience in selling. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering and an
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