Attention Sales World... Are You Reflecting Your Way To Success Or Deflecting Your Way To Nowhere?

Jun 12, 2023
Attention Sales World... Are You Reflecting Your Way To Success Or Deflecting Your Way To Nowhere?
"Self-reflection entails asking yourself questions about your values, assessing your strengths and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.” 
Robert L. Rosen

As we set up our time together, let's take review parts of the above quote... As I ask you...

What are your values?

What are your strengths?

Where do you see your sales career 3 years down the road?

Think about where trust and credibility sit inside the sales world... How do you want to be perceived?

The nature of sales often creates mental turmoil (self-induced at times), craziness and chaos; creating a way to level-set and refocus on what’s important becomes extremely valuable.

Setting aside alone time regularly through self-reflection becomes a powerful routine to help you be more successful.

You spend more time with yourself than anyone else. How well do you really know yourself?


To know thyself is to value thyself.

At its heart, self-reflection is a process of introspection and examination, where you take the time to sift through your thoughts, attitudes, motivations, desires, emotions, and behaviors.

It involves stepping back from your day-to-day activities to create a space for self-awareness and self-analysis.

Self-reflecting encourages you to challenge assumptions, question your own perspectives, as you explore different viewpoints. It enables you to examine your values, goals, and aspirations, as you reassess whether they align with who you truly are and what you really want to achieve in life.

Some of you might be thinking self-reflection is a daunting task. It's naught. It can be as easy as looking back at your behavior in any scenario, then asking yourself, why you behaved the way you did.

Salespeople... think of all the scenarios you find yourself in daily... this provides you ample situations to self-reflect.

Self-reflection builds self-awareness, but only through intention and dedication.

I encourage you to regularly press “the pause button” on your life to create time and space to sit quietly, sifting through your thoughts and interactions, as you inspect them without judgment. 

Self-reflection routines can:

  • Give you a fresh perspective
  • Help you better understand yourself
  • Foster a sense of well-being
  • Provide you better decision-making skills

Allow this quote by Michel de Montaigne to sink in for a moment,

"If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways."

This might be a terrific time to pause, find a quiet spot, and self-reflect. A little self-talk might just do you some good.

  • What were your biggest lessons from this last week/month/year? This can be personally and professionally.
  • What are your proudest moments from this last week/month/year? This can be personally or professionally.
  • If you continue doing what you’re doing right now, where will you be in five years’ time? This can be personally or professionally.
  • What are the words you live by?
  • What areas of my life do I feel satisfied with? Which ones need attention?
  • What can I do to take better care of myself mentally, physically, and spiritually?


If you want to live a better sales life, you must learn to grow.

Success does not happen overnight. It's achieved through daily improvement in small consistent increments over disciplined time.

In Selling from the Heart, I write about the many differences between sales professionals and sales reps. I believe, sales professionals do the work that many sales reps find excuses not to do.

A true sales professional doesn't sleepwalk through the day nor their career. They work harder on themselves than any sales manager ever will.

Sales professionals actively think about the things they do. They objectively evaluate themselves on a regular basis. They look at things through an unbiased and clear set of lenses.

Elite sales professionals do more self-reflection as opposed to deflection.

Self-reflection, some of you may be thinking... Larry, seriously, come on man. Yes, I'm being quite serious!

Simply view self-reflection as a mindfulness technique. This is where you place yourself in a quiet place and state of mind to recall events or experiences from the past, observe your current state, and then envision the future you want to create.

What concerns me is how many, especially in sales, do not allow themselves to pause and reflect on where they are and where they want to be.

All this putting off, eventually leads to:

  • Failing to look for opportunities to improve
  • Lackluster feelings and burning out
  • High levels of stress and emotional gymnastics
  • Lower levels of excitement for a better future

How can you perform at high levels month in and month out or year over year, if you struggle to become your best self? Now think about it.

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Socrates famously said,

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Looking inward is not an easy thing to practice. All of us live in this fast-paced, hyper-connected world.

Our mobile phones are constantly buzzing, social media is constantly vying for our attention, and Netflix always has something new to binge on.

Taking the time for reflection and inward thinking is tough. Unfortunately, many of us are living unexamined lives.

The self-reflection journey to sales betterment starts with understanding who you are at your core. It's becoming more in tune with your deeper self. It's the ability to recognize what makes you come alive, what makes you happy or sad.

In general, as a sales society, we have become fixated on the outer work. We focus on the stack rankings, where we are at quarter or year to date, key performance indicators, and number of new clients... starting to the get the picture?

Take a step back and realize that these are merely outer symbols. This does not reflect one's inner world. 

The key to sales happiness lies in transforming yourself and your career through the inner work.

When you truly understand who you are, you can make the conscious effort to improve yourself and how you communicate better with others.

  • How do you deal with your emotions? Especially when deals go astray.
  • How do you react when your clients are unhappy or concerned with their levels of service?
  • What areas do you need to work on in your personal growth and development?
Do you have the courage to dig in and ask yourself deep questions?


At this very moment...

  • What makes your heart sing?
  • How would you define yourself?

I encourage you to become your own Sherlock Holmes. Become interested in what grabs your attention and tugs on your heartstrings.

Getting to know yourself allows you to tap into the road of happiness as this is critical to your success as a sales professional. Your beliefs, your attitude and your daily routines are mission critical.

Self-reflection is an ongoing process that requires time, patience, and honesty with yourself.

Understanding yourself can mean recognizing your shortcomings. It's about putting them on display for others to judge.

Yes, this means getting extremely vulnerable. This starts with looking in the mirror and saying to yourself, "This is me. This is the real me. This is who I am."

If you struggle to ask yourself deep questions, I promise you will struggle to ask your clients deep questions?

Again, elite sales professionals do more self-reflection as opposed to deflection.


"Deflection is about protecting one's self-image instead of taking responsibility. If one feels guilty or inadequate about something they did, deflection pushes that feeling away by shifting the focus on to something else."
Aimee Daramus, PSYD

This quote should be framed on the walls and virtual walls of all sales teams.

How many times in sales does this happen...

  • Making excuses for (well you can fill in the blanks)
  • Refusing to take responsibility
  • Pointing fingers elsewhere

Deflection is used as a shield to prevent the truth. This prevents one from coming face to face with themselves and accepting responsibility. 

Deflection is when you can’t or won’t accept full or partial responsibility for your actions and thus you place blame on someone else.

This is further reinforced with Galatians 6:5,

"For we are each responsible for our own conduct."

I encourage you to start becoming comfortable with self-reflection.

This will require ferocious self-honesty, self-discipline and massive action.

I encourage you to think about this one...

How can you become ferociously self-honest if you deflect instead of reflecting?


What questions will you ask yourself daily?

The questions you ask yourself will ultimately affect the sales life you lead. The questions you ask yourself will determine what your mind focuses on, which will trigger certain thoughts, actions, and inactions, ultimately affecting your sales results.

I encourage you to create a daily habit of self-reflection.

Set aside 15 minutes a day to practice self-reflection. Start focusing in on the important things in life, such as your emotional and mental well-being. Train yourself in practicing mindfulness.

Making this minor change will improve your well-being, strengthen your relationships (personal and professional), make you a better person, and help you gain strides in your personal and professional development.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from starting your self-reflection journey.

Please set aside any fears, doubts and the lukewarmness of the comfort zone.

Go out and find the person you have often neglected and whose hand you have let go all too often. And folks, that hand would be yours.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.

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