Having the right mindset is the most powerful way to guarantee a long and successful real estate career. Now's the time to get control of your negative thought patterns.
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Take a moment to consider this: What have you created or completed without thinking about it in your mind first?
Every creation and action starts with a thought. If a healthy mind is where fruitful ideas and attitudes sprout, a negative mindset is a pesticide to your potential. In an industry as evolving and unpredictable as real estate, managing your negative thought patterns is crucial to having a stable and long-lasting career.
What is Negative Thinking?
Negative thinking is more than just a bad thought. Negative thoughts are solemn alone and are usually followed by a pattern of sequential thoughts that limit our ability to move forward in a positive direction.
Picture this: you are selecting properties that your new clients may be interested in, but can’t quite settle on a few that are right. With every listing, you doubt your ability to find the right home more and more. You imagine your clients’ disappointed faces as they walk into the properties you’ve carefully selected for them.
This is how negative thoughts develop and grow into real-life experiences. What starts as a stunt in confidence, matures into a developed fear and negative experience. It doesn’t end there – past negative experiences reinforce current negative thoughts and the cycle becomes even more difficult to escape.
What is a Negative Thought Pattern?
The main types of negative thought patterns look like this:
If even one thing is out of line, you see the entire project as a disappointment. On the other end of the spectrum, if one thing goes well, you blindly assume that the other steps in the process will be equally as easy.
2. Emotional Reasoning
Emotional reasoning says that if ‘I feel it, it must be true’. Emotions are fickle and changing, if you base your perception of events on how you feel at any given time, it’s nearly impossible to find stability and focus on the end goal.
3. Disqualifying the Positive
Positive experiences are considered somehow less valuable or concrete than negative experiences. Negative experiences hold more weight, allowing you to maintain negative beliefs and patterns of thinking.
4. Mental Filter
You focus on a single detail (regardless of how insignificant it may be in relation to a larger objective) until it darkens your perspective on the situation entirely,
5. Labelling and Mislabelling
This is an intensified form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing an error as a single incident, you attach a negative label to yourself as a person. For example, if one client ends their relationship with you in search of another agent, a negative thought pattern of labelling would convince you that you are a bad realtor all around.
You see yourself as the root of every issue, even if it isn’t directly your fault.
7. All or Nothing Thinking
You see things as either or: either everything works in your favor, exactly how you’d like or it’s an epic failure.
8. Jumping to Conclusions
You assume something without the necessary facts to make an informed conclusion. In relationships, this is often referred to as ‘mind reading’: assuming that the other person thinks the worst about you or your relationship with them. In objective situations, ‘fortune telling’ refers to the tendency to assume that a situation will turn out badly and convince yourself as such without logical proof.
9. Magnification or Minimization
Positive and negative experiences appear more or less significant than they truly are, depending on your mental state. For example, a negative mind state may convince you that traffic is an issue large enough to ruin your day, but winning an award for relator of the year isn’t worth a moment of consideration. This is also commonly called the ‘binocular trick’.
When Do Real Estate Agents Encounter a Negative Mindset?
Lack of Steady Income
Income volatility is hard to budget around. Real estate agent earnings can vary depending on everything from market changes to work ability, relationship quality, the season, trends, and more. It’s a challenge for anyone to maintain an abundant mindset when a consistent income isn’t always a guarantee.
It’s up to the agent to maintain a high level of confidence in their skills and the belief that they are deserving of ongoing success.
Dealing with Unrealistic Expectations
Even though you’re hired to be the expert, many clients aren’t ready to step out of the driver’s seat. Maybe they’ve been following the news, have a neighbour whose house sold for double, or the worst: a real estate friend who’s given them different advice.
An agent has to take the time to learn about a client’s expectations and try to keep them satisfied within those parameters. Even then, many clients maintain an expectation of a mansion for bachelor pad prices. If you find yourself constantly going back and forth with customers and routinely bringing their expectations back to earth, it can become a heavy task.
Disappointed Real Estate Clients
It’s up to real estate agents to advise their clients through informed decision. When what you think is the best decision really isn’t, guilt kicks in hard. The last thing a considerate agent wants is to be the reason that their client misses out on a dream property.
Working Around the Clock
As an agent, you don’t enjoy the barriers that a structured, typical workday allows. Clients are often only available outside of typical work hours and expect you to cater to their needs around the clock.
Closing deals and fighting for the right property gets complicated. If you want to win in the real estate industry, you may often find yourself pushing your energy to its limits. If you’re unable to answer to an urgent issue, you could miss the deal.
Needing to Rely on Other People
Most steps of the property buying or selling process involve more than just a real estate agent alone. Waiting on someone to pick up the keys, awaiting an appraiser’s review, a mortgage approval from the bank; there are endless opportunities for someone outside of the agent-client relationship to hold up the process.
As someone who is on top of their schedule with a set timeline in place, the negative effect of others’ influence can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, this part of the process is unpredictable and forcing it along can increase tension.
How to Overcome a Negative Mindset in Real Estate?
Contrary to popular belief, a positive mindset isn’t something that only comes naturally or as an effect of positive experiences. For many of us, an optimistic mindset is something that has to be honed and persisted in. Throughout your real estate career, you’ll need reliable tools to maintain positive thinking.
1. Allow Time for Your Negative Thinking
It’s a common tendency when transforming your thinking, to try to cut out bad thoughts cold turkey. However, this can often lead to frustration and giving up. Transforming your thinking is a process that needs to be taken step by step. Start by consciously cutting down on the amount of time you spend ruminating on a thought, instead of chastising yourself for bad thoughts altogether.
For most of us, pessimistic thinking is a well-worn neural practice that takes coaxing to release.
2. Purge Your Thoughts
Writing out the concerns that overwhelm us, is a quick way to get out of ruminating and into a constructive space. When you can see your words on a page, it is easier to make sense of them and take action steps necessary to move forward. For example, go through each point and write a positive contradicting thought against it and a logical justification for why things could go well.
3. Understand What a Spiral is and How it Feels
As we’ve mentioned earlier, negative though patterns start as single thoughts before transforming into a buildup of unwanted thoughts that we refer to as a spiral.
It’s crucial to understand how a spiral feels in order to stop it in its tracks. What are the first emotions or physical feelings that accompany your negative thoughts? Sweaty palms? Anger? Frustration? As soon as this reaction arises, take a moment to recognize the path you are heading towards.
If you catch the first step of a negative spiral, it is significantly easier to redirect thoughts in a positive direction. When you allow yourself to slip into an enticing build-up of negative thoughts, it is exponentially more difficult to dig yourself out and redirect.
4. Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
Learning to control your self-talk is more than just affirming positive phrases. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves questions that are challenging to answer and require us to dig deep. Why do you typically default to negative thinking? When did this begin? Why does it seem unlikely for me to have positive results in my real estate business? Tough questions help us get to the root of bad habits so that we can nip them in the bud. Once you understand why you tend to think a certain way, it becomes easier to manually choose a different thought.
5. Build an Appetite for Growth in Your Real Estate Business
Consistent growth is one of the core values of any successful real estate professional. Growth isn’t limited to real estate seminars and courses. It can also mean a refined set of daily practices and higher awareness.
6. Think in Terms of Developing New Habits
Rather than battling negative thoughts and trying to ‘overcome’ them, imagine that you are simply developing a new skill of thinking positively. Like every new skill, it takes time, patience, and consistency to achieve perfection. From this perspective, positive thoughts are not the antithesis of your negative thoughts, but a new way of constructing thoughts entirely. You are simply following the next steps necessary to strengthen your new skill.
7. Develop a Success Routine
The start of each day is an opportunity to reset and put yesterday’s challenges behind you. It’s imperative that you have a routine that supports the feeling of being refreshed in an abundance mindset.
Think about the actions that make you feel like your best self overall. This could be exercise, reading a great book, calling a family member, etc. These habits are the power moves that push you in the right direction when you transform them into daily habits.
8. Trust Your Systems
Modern real estate relies on powerful tech programs to keep every real estate professional organized and focused on important tasks. If you’ve worked with our AgentFire design team to build a powerful lead-generating website, maintain a well-organized CRM, create sharp branding, and use powerful marketing techniques such as those with Dippidi – you can take a deep breath. The systems you’ve put in place are designed to bring you success with as little intervention as possible. Trust the process and do your part tracking results and making incremental adjustments as needed along the way.
Successful real estate agents don’t only take ‘big action’, they start with powerful thoughts. Every action is preceded by thought, as is every experience. The best way to guarantee success in your real estate business is to start with the mindset of success.
Although it’s not always easy to maintain an optimistic thought pattern, there are several tools available to help you along the way. It starts with educating ourselves about negative thinking and how it works, then implementing techniques that work for our unique challenges.
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