Creating an inner desire

June 1, 2001
Brian Duffy

Pharmaceutical Representative

To excel as a competitor, you must be hungry - hungry for success, for results, hungry simply to become the best at what you do.

To excel as a competitor, you must be hungry - hungry for success, for results, hungry simply to become the best at what you do. It starts with a vision of yourself succeeding, but somehow you must be inspired or you will never be able to reach your goals. We often read about athletes overcoming physical disabilities: Lance Armstrong surviving cancer to win last year's Tour de France, or Marla Runyan running the 1,500-meter final at the 2000 Olympics while legally blind. Out of these challenges, these athletes developed a fierce, burning desire to succeed. They demonstrated that desire is sometimes as important as talent or specific abilities.

The drive to achieve must come from within, whether you are an athlete or a sales professional. If you compete, you must have desire. The good news is that building and maintaining a high level of self-motivation is a learned skill that you can acquire. Motivation is energy, and a sense of self-direction is one of the most powerful sources of energy available to any competitor. From internal motivation you gain the willingness to persevere with your work, to endure fatigue and stress, and to make sacrifices of your time and energy as you move closer to your goals.

The characteristics

So, what are the key characteristics of well-motivated competitors? Here are some traits that define a true champion's mentality:

Enthusiasm and desire. Top competitors have a love for competition, a fire inside that fuels their passion to achieve an important goal, regardless of their level of talent or ability. To accomplish anything of value in life, you need to begin with some kind of vision or dream. The more clearly you see that picture in your mind, the more likely it is to become reality. Wherever you place your attention, your energy will follow.

Courage to succeed. Back up your desire with courage, the tenacity needed to make any dream become reality. It takes courage to sacrifice, to work hard when you're tired, to seek out tough physicians when you assume they will not prescribe your products. It takes courage to stick to your game plan and the relentless pursuit of your goals when you encounter obstacles. It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before - physically and mentally.

Internal motivation and self-direction. Champion athletes decide early that they are training and racing for themselves, not for their parents, their coaches or the medals. Direction and drive need to come from within. The goals must be ones that you have chosen because they are exactly what you want to be doing. Ask yourself, what keeps you going out there every day to face your customers? Who are you doing it for? What are you trying to accomplish?

Commitment to excellence. How good do you want to be? Elite salespeople know that to excel at their profession, they must decide to make it a priority in their lives. They make an honest effort each and every day to be the best at what they do. At some point in your career, you must say, "I want to be really good at this; I want to excel." To notice significant growth as a professional, you must live this commitment and regularly stretch what you perceive to be your current limits.

Discipline, consistency and organization. Winning competitors, athletes and salespeople alike know how to self-energize and work hard on a daily basis. Because they love what they do, it is easier for them to maintain consistency in training and in competing. Regardless of personal problems, fatigue or difficult circumstances, they can generate the optimal excitement and energy to do their best.

Ability to handle adversity. Top competitors know how to deal with difficult situations, and facing adversity builds your character and self-esteem. When elite salespeople know the odds are against them, they embrace the chance to explore the outer limits of their potential. Rather than avoiding pressure, they feel challenged by it. They are calm and relaxed under fire. Setbacks become an opportunity for learning; competitors open their eyes toward deep personal growth.

To develop an inner desire and maximize our personal potential, we must all make the most of the talents, tools and resources each of us possesses by incorporating these characteristics into our daily lives. PR