Just because I disagreed with Star Wars’ Jedi Master Yoda in my last post, doesn’t mean I discount everything the character said. On the contrary, one of Yoda’s most insightful comments occurs just after the exchange I described in my previous post.

After Luke attempts and fails to lift his fighter out of the swamp, claiming it’s impossible, he collapses to the ground in frustration. Yoda closes his eyes, lifts his arm and—concentrating with all his might—causes the ship to rise out of the water, float a few hundred feet and come to rest gently on dry land. Luke walks around the ship, awestruck, then says to Yoda, “I don’t believe it.” The Jedi Master replies, “That is why you fail.”

Scientists studying the human brain have confirmed what many motivational speakers have long preached: our beliefs and expectations affect our outcomes. While the actual neurological and psychological processes involved are not yet understood, researchers have proven that our subconscious minds will actively work to create the outcomes we expect to see.

Which means if you believe your price is too high, it will be. If you expect your buyer to say no, that’s what they’ll say. If you believe your prospecting calls are a waste of time, they’ll be just that. Not because we’re doing anything consciously to sabotage ourselves, but because our subconscious is causing us to talk and act in ways that are consistent with our expectations.

To be a more effective salesperson, you need to truly believe in yourself, your product, your company and the value you bring to customers. And you need to be absolutely honest with yourself about your beliefs and expectations. Any doubts you’re harboring will manifest themselves in lost sales.

So if it seems like your sales are stuck in a swamp, the first step in pulling them out is believing you can.