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How many times have you sat through a sales meeting, or any meeting for that matter, where you’ve heard someone make the suggestion: "We’ve got to think outside the box!"? It’s a phrase that doesn’t need a lot of explanation. In fact, it’s seems like the perfect phrase to capture the frustration we experience when our imagination feel strapped and our thoughts appear stuck to the soles of our shoes.

If we think of this "box" metaphorically, containing the walls that confine our thinking, then by understanding these barriers we open up the opportunity to break free and take control of our negative senses. We can then use the power of our thoughts to develop new ideas and opportunities. In the Little Red Book of Selling, Jeffrey Gittomer outlines the 8.5 negative senses that the subconscious mind presents and projects when we are selling, which become the "walls" that paralyze our thinking:

1. The sense of fear.

2. The sense of nervousness.

3. The sense of rejection.

4. The sense of procrastination or reluctance.

5. The sense of justification / rationale.

6. The sense of self-doubt.

7. The sense of uncertainty.

8. The sense of doom.

8.5. The sense of "I’m unlucky."


Recognizing that our minds move us in the direction of our current dominant thoughts, we have the ability to penetrate these walls by focusing our attention to our positive thoughts and taking back control. When you begin to feel in control, you begin to radiate positive energy, which leads to (sales) success. According to Gittomer, adopting the following 6 positive sales senses is the way forward:

1.  The sense of confidence The air you have about you that is bred by preparation and previous wins. The best part about confidence is that it’s contagious. You can give it, for example, to your sales prospect. However, don’t confuse confidence with its evil twin: arrogance.

2.  The sense of positive anticipation – Most everyone has read the classic children’s book on the subject, The Little Engine That Could."I think I can, I think I can." Thinking you can is 50% of the outcome. (So is thinking you can’t.)

3.  The sense of determination – The sense of hanging in there no matter what. Determination is having the sales prospect tell you "No" and you hear "Not yet."

4.  The sense of achievement – Everyone subconsciously strives for their goals. Sensing achievement comes from a replay of the satisfaction you gained from making your last sale. Remember how good it felt?

5.  The sense of winning – Everyone wants to win but only a few actually do. That’s because having the will to work hard and prepare to win must exceed merelyhaving the will to win.

6.  The sense of success – This is the hardest sense to master because you must sense it before you actually achieve it. It’s that calm feeling of money in the bank; an "I can do it" attitude; a well-lit path in front of you; and the sense of positive purpose.

Earl Nightingale states in "The Strangest Secret" that "You become what you think about." Truer words have never been spoken. The key to "The Strangest Secret" is that this self-discipline of positive thinking must be practiced as often as possible, every day. How close to "every day" are you?

Another interesting aspect of "The Strangest Secret" is that it contains the counter-balance to turn all of your destructive senses into constructive senses by employing the strongest sense of them all: common sense.