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The power of self-examination

By Brian Barfield

82608323-mainLast time, I shared with you some insight on ways to overcome fears that hold you back from greatness. Now, we turn our attention to sales truth number ‘3,’ which looks at the power of self-examination.

In our industry, there is a disease that has quietly set in throughout the sales floor. I call it ‘dependency blindness.’ By this, I’m referring to sales associates who have become dependent on others, leaving them in a world of darkness just waiting to be led around. Instead of being self-sufficient sales professionals, they are constantly waiting on every little order before they act or examine a situation. I am here today to share with you a truth that has the potential to revolutionize your sales career and give you back the vision needed to become a modern-day sales professional.

The truth is that only you hold the power to make lasting change. Others can guide or give you direction, but ultimately, it is you who holds the keys to your own success. Have you ever witnessed the scenario of the associate who attends an amazing seminar and comes back ready to rule the sales floor? Something within them appears to have changed as they explode onto the scene with their newfound skills. Fast forward a month or two and they have resorted back to their old bad habits. Why does this happen?

In order to make lasting change, you must have the ability to manage yourself and maintain your newfound skills. I call it looking into the mirror of your soul or self-examination. The world today is full of many stresses and demands that can often lead us to disconnect from ourselves. That is why it is important to take at least 15 minutes a day and open up your mind for self-examination. Each day, look closely at one specific area in which you believe change is needed—see it with clarity. With intense focus and desire for success, you will discover the answers within to find lasting success. It is literally just like looking in a mirror.

Stop and think for a moment what life would be like without mirrors? If you could not see yourself, you would definitely become a mess; your hair would be unruly and those blemishes you could not see would become hideous. Sure, someone else could point them out to you, but could you really clean yourself up without the use of a mirror? The answer is NO! Could you imagine a friend trying to style your hair without you seeing what they were doing? Their taste and style could be totally different from what you would like your hair to look like. The same goes on the sales floor. Why do we just allow others to do the work for us that we should be doing ourselves? I want to be clear that managers are to be respected because they are in that position for a reason. However, it is time for the modern-day sales associate to tap into his or her newfound power and take control of their destiny.

Now that you’ve opened your mind to self-examination, what do you see that needs improving or is hindering you from greatness? Focus in on the things you discover and begin to work on finding the answers within to make lasting change. As you go through this process, I recommend having a mentor like a store manager or well-rooted sales associate to give you further insight. Those who have found success before you are a perfect source of knowledge that will free you from your blindness. That said, you must always remember that change starts with you.

There is one thing of which you must be mindful, as you peer into your inner mirror. I’m referring to vanity! For instance, there is nothing worse than an arrogant person who sees themselves as humble. It is kind of like an American Idol contestant who thinks they can sing when in fact they sound hideous. Make sure you examine yourself with honesty and clarity. This is the key to giving yourself the proper makeover needed for true change.

Hopefully, this has given you some fresh insight into finding greater success. Next time, we will discuss the benefits of serving customers while selling them. This is a forgotten pastime you will not want to miss.

This article is based on the book, “Modern Day Selling: Unlocking your Hidden Potential,” by Brian Barfield. For more information, visit his website at or e-mail him at

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