How Fear Can Cripple Your Financial Advisor Career
Top advisors have fears. They don’t like facing rejection any more than average advisors do but they just accept their fears as part of the job. Here are some common fears that prevent good advisors from becoming great advisors, and some tips about how to face down your fears.
Fear of failure
In order to do the three essential things you need to do to succeed i.e. prospect, open accounts and get referrals, you need to face your fear of rejection, of failure. Too many people steer themselves away from the possibility of rejection, halting any prospect of success in its tracks.
Failure and rejection are part and parcel of the career path you have chosen. You therefore need to overcome your fear of failure. If you do you will soon find that the rewards outweigh the risks. Remember it’s not personal, people are rejecting your ideas, not you. So get used to failing and learn to keep getting back up. Accept failure as part of your path to success, as an important life experience you need to learn. See your skills as adaptable in the face of failure. Change them to ensure success next time round.
Fear of rejection is like the bully at school, it needs to be faced up to, because otherwise your life will never be your own. Overcome your fear of rejection by eliminating it, or more practically, by learning how to control it. Become so good by practicing every day that you will experience more acceptances. Top athletes control their fears by endless practice. The more you practice your skills the less power a fear of failure will have over you.
And remember, the consequences of rejection are often exaggerated. So you didn’t manage to open the account? You are in no worse off position than you were before.
Fear of being wrong
One sure-fire way to ensure your business gets stuck is to blame yourself when things go wrong. If you want to keep your business on track, don’t feel guilty when something doesn’t work out. Don’t fear being wrong. You are not paid to get it right all the time.
So long as you don’t overpromise you can’t be accused of underperforming. In fact you will probably be wrong around a third of the time. Which means you’ll be right most of the time, but the economy can and does crash, and there’s nothing you can do about this.
So take the loaded gun away from your head and stop being fearful of being wrong since this will prevent you from being the best financial advisor you can be.
Fear of success
We’re all conditioned to fail. We’re used to being told ‘you can’t do this’ from childhood onwards. But out of this comes the fear of success and fear of success can be paralyzing.
It’s the feeling you can’t live up to your own achievements; that you’re not good enough or smart enough. Self-sabotage creeps in, along with it the tendency to procrastinate and become ‘all talk no action’. In fact this procrastination is not laziness but is actually due to a ‘fear of success”. Rather than taking practical steps to achieve your goals you spend the night watching TV or talking about your dreams rather than making them happen.
You need to be honest with yourself about what’s holding you back from getting that promotion, losing weight, or winning that account. If you don’t study for the presentation, or keep choosing the wrong personal or work partners, your life will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. It’s little comfort to say to yourself when you’ve failed again that ‘it wasn’t my fault’.
Stop repeating the past and start believing you control your own fate. Your success or failure is up to you, not fate. If you get shot down it’s no big deal. If you’re not content with your success strategies, change them. We’re all afraid, but the sun will come up again even when you fail or someone says ‘no’.
Fear of closing the deal
Your goal is to open accounts. In order to do so you need to ask for them to be opened. The difficulty lies not in saying the words, but in anticipating the answer. It’s about fear of being rejected. We hate the word ‘no’, simple as that.
In order to succeed you need to put this out of your mind and visualize success, enter the discussion believing you won’t be rejected. Fear will make you hesitant and people will not trust you if you are hesitant. Get clients to the point where they will begin to like you, trust you and buy into your products. Don’t be too quick to get clients on board, since this will increase your chances of rejection. Build the relationship between yourself and a prospect until you feel confident you’re in the right position to ask.
Don’t be afraid of having fears.
Do what the top advisors do, and, in the words of writer Susan Jefferson “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Be scared, but don’t be scared of working hard. And compete against yourself – nobody else, otherwise you’re just setting yourself up to fail. Keep going. Your fear of rejection, of failure, once experienced many times over, gets easier to deal with.
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