3 Key Steps for Quickly Developing the Mindset of a Champion Financial Advisor-Part 2

Champion Mindset Step #2:

Take Charge of Your Explanatory Style and Give Yourself Optimistic

Explanations for Disappointing Events


Proven FACT: The Most Powerful Determinant of

Consistent Success in Your Career is Your How You Explain Disappointing Events to Yourself 

  • How do you explain disappointing outcomes, such as a failed sales attempt, to yourself?
  • How do you persevere and remain resilient under adverse circumstances?
  • Do you view setbacks as overwhelming disasters or as manageable hurdles that can be overcome?

These three questions form the essence of whether your “explanatory style” for unfortunate events and circumstances is optimistic or pessimistic. Whether it’s in athletic pursuits or in annuity sales, your explanatory style represents one of the most powerful determinants of your success or failure. This style is broken down into 3 components:

  • your perception of the cause of the unfortunate event or outcome
  • your perception of the permanence of the unfortunate outcome in your view
  • how pervasive you view this outcome, relative to your overall abilities and skills

Pessimistic Explanatory Style 

When disappointing events and situations take place, pessimistically oriented people blame themselves (internal cause), believe these events will continue to plague them (permanence), and see this situation as just another example of their inability to be successful (pervasive).

Failing to make a sale is viewed as…“my fault, because I didn’t do a good enough job explaining the benefits of the annuity.” These people believe that these failures will continue to happen, they feel helpless to do anything about it, and they see this episode as an example of their overall ineptitude.

Even when they are successful, pessimistically oriented folks do not take credit for the success. They tell themselves such as…“that was a lucky break for me because he was really in need of the product I had available.” (External Cause)

Pessimists see this as a fluke, unlikely to repeat itself (temporary), and they do not see this as not an example of their overall worth and skills(exclusive result, rather than pervasive). 

Optimistic Explanatory Style 

When disappointing outcomes take place, optimistically oriented people consider this result to be a fluke and an exception to the rule (external cause), they believe this is only a temporary setback and they know they will bounce back successfully (temporary). In short, optimistically oriented people see failures as an exception to the fact that they are successful in so many other areas (exclusive, rather than pervasive). 

When they are successful, optimistically oriented folks take full credit (internal cause), believing that …”Good things happen to me because of my work ethic and skills.”

They believe good things will continue to happen to them for these reasons (permanent), and they see this outcome as “…an example of many areas of my life where I have the skills and talent to be successful and it is highly likely to repeat itself.” (pervasive). 

Like your internal dialogue, learning to interpret successes and disappointments with an optimistic explanatory style is easy. The key is consistently catching yourself when you fall into a “pessimistic trap,” practice counter thoughts, and focus on optimism. 

Champion Mindset Step #3:

Take Charge of Your Mental Toughness

Proven Fact: This Easy-to-Learn, 5-Minute Mental Toughness Routine will Change Your Life! 

Elite athletes, when they are faced with challenges and adversity, practice coping mechanisms, and one of the most successful ones is “Mental Toughness Training.”

In my work with insurance producers, I have found this simple routine to work wonders whenever they are faced with threatening, stress-producing thoughts, as a result of the challenges that go with the territory in the insurance and investment business.

Part #1: Write Down A Specific “Performance Statement” 

A “Performance Statement” is the answer to this question: “What do I need to do to perform my best against my competition?” Once you decide the specifics of what it would take, you come up with a self-talk statement in the present tense, as if you are already doing this.

For a baseball player, for example, a performance statement to emphasize hitting might be… “Watch the pitcher’s release point, look for the spin, track the ball, smooth and easy.” 

For an insurance producer, it might be…”Every day on my way to the office I remind myself to get smarter and wiser this day, grow my knowledge, and be able to provide my clients and potential clients with the best products and services available to them.”

Part #2 : Write Down A Specific “Identity Statement”

An “Identity Statement” is a self-statement designed to raise your self-image and what you believe you are capable of accomplishing, as if you have already done so.

What strength do you currently have or plan to develop?

What objectives do you ultimately want to accomplish? There should be no modesty here. Lay your dream accomplishment out there.

An example of an identity statement for an athlete striving to be the best he can be is…”I am the most talented athlete on my team, I work the hardest, and I am unstoppable in competition.” 

An insurance producer I worked with came up with this identity statement: “I am the most conscientious producer in my firm. I always have my clients’ specific needs and goals at the top of my priorities and I dig deep with each client, making sure that I understand their needs and making sure they are so happy with my service that they will want to refer me to family and friends.”

Now that you have your performance and identity statements, here is the 5-part Mental Toughness Routine:

  • Recognize Your Stress-Producing, Negative Trigger Thoughts (Example: “I am worried that I will never be able to deal with all of the changes and requirements coming from the DOL law.”
  • Stop the thought dead in its tracks, by snapping a rubber band (a loose, fat one like the mail comes in) on your wrist, and telling yourself to “stop this nonsense.”)
  • Take a few deep, relaxing breaths (4 seconds in through your nose, 4 seconds holding it,7 seconds completely exhaling through your mouth)
  • Repeat Your Performance Statement (see above)
  • Visualize Your Personal Highlight Reel (close your eyes and recall the most productive, positive day you’ve ever had in your career. Visualize the specifics of your success, as if it is repeating itself today.
  • Repeat Your Identity Statement (see above)
  • Anchor this technique with another few deep, relaxing breaths, as above.

So there you have it. These are the three key steps that all champions take in order to put themselves in position

to attain peak performance, consistently:

  • Take charge of Your Inner Dialogue 
  • Take Charge of Your Explanatory Style and Give Yourself Optimistic Explanations for Events 
  • Take Charge of Your Mental Toughness

I promise you that once you embrace these three concepts and practice using them, your career success will skyrocket!

Dr. Jack Singer is a Professional Clinical/Sport Psychologist, author, speaker, consultant and “Success Acceleration” Mentor for financial advisors and insurance producers, He teaches financial services professionals the exact same skills he has been teaching to world champion athletes for the past 33 years.

You can visit his website here: http://advisingtheadvisors.com

To learn more about Dr. Jack’s e-course for financial advisors, worth up to 12 hours of continuing education, visit: http://www.developthemindsetofachampion.com