Reducing Stress in Sales

Is it possible to reduce stress when working in sales, or does this simply come with the territory?

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and last week on Andy Paul’s Sales Enablement podcast Andy, Richard Harris, and Howard Brown discussed a recent survey in which 75% of sales reps reported feeling “stressed” or “highly stressed.”

In sales, this stress level often comes from feeling like we’re “‘not enough” unless we are performing or achieving at a high level, sometimes based on our own impossible standards.

Common effects of stress include anxiety, poor sleep, feeling overwhelmed, restless, irritable, angry, and depressed. Worse yet, high stress can lead to changes in our behavior including angry outbursts, overeating, drug or alcohol misuse, social withdrawal, and exercising less often, which further increases our stress levels.

For the majority of my career, I experienced high stress which led to ongoing struggles with addiction. Fortunately I faced my demons and am sober from multiple vices I had used to escape or detach.

What I quickly learned in my recovery journey was that abstaining from addictive behaviors alone was not enough. It was critical to replace these behaviors with healthy ways of coping and living so I could feel good about myself for the things I was doing outside of work, regardless of how much I sold.

Today I share the methods I use to reduce stress every day, which in turn helps me to turn my previous desire to “escape” into a new desire to “connect.” Hope this will help anybody looking for a better way to cope and live.

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