“Life sucks, and then you die.”
“Every challenge is a new opportunity.”
Which school of thought do you subscribe to? How do you handle life’s hardships? Do you gripe and moan and accept your situation...or do you find a way to get back on top?
Life is better as an optimist. When you look on the bright side, you’re not just happier, but also healthier and more successful.
And as a real estate agent, optimism is particularly beneficial. Here’s why:
- Rejection won’t keep you down. If you live with the expectation that there are always going to be more opportunities, the times you miss out on a potential new client or get outbid won’t shake your confidence.
- You won’t hold grudges. You’ll understand that just because a homebuyer passes on you at first doesn’t mean that client is lost forever. You’ll stay in touch with everyone you meet, even if they blow you off at first.
- People will enjoy working with you. Your positive attitude will be contagious, so clients will actually look forward to meeting with you. And because you’ll provide such an enjoyable experience, you’ll make a killing in referrals.
- You’ll be more open to new ideas. Because you won’t fear failure, you’ll be more willing to explore new strategies for improving and growing your business.
- You won’t give up. Your belief in a brighter future will energize and motivate you to keep going.
Does this already sound like you? Great!
If not, keep that head up, and keep reading.
How To Convert From A Pessimist To An Optimist
To become an optimist, you need to adjust your explanatory style—the way in which you explain to yourself why things happen. There are two great articles that discuss this topic—one by Entrepreneur and one by Psychology Today.
The pessimist experiences a setback (for example, closing only 15% of his monthly sales goal) and reacts in one or more of the following ways:
The problem is personal - I am an inadequate person who lacks the ability to be a successful agent.
The problem is permanent - I will never be able to catch up and reach my quarterly goal.
The problem is pervasive - This is going to be a terrible year for my business.
The optimist, on the other hand, reacts more positively:
I don’t blame myself—sometimes deals just take a little longer to close.
This is only a temporary setback—there is plenty of time to get back on track before the end of the year.
This was an isolated incident—just because I had one bad month doesn’t mean the other eleven months will be bad.
As you can see, pessimists believe that they are powerless to change their situation—that they are personally inadequate, that there is nothing they can do to change their situation, and that the problem will continue to present itself over and over again.
By evaluating your experiences in a more optimistic way—I do have inherent ability, I can fix this, and I believe that I will experience positive situations more often than negative situations—you can cut off your pessimistic explanation before it has a chance to affect the way you respond. This will energize you to take action and improve your situation.
If you’ve been using a pessimistic explanatory style your entire life, changing the way you think won’t be an easy task. It will take discipline. So try incorporating a habit of daily reflection into your routine:
- Each day, write down one challenge you experienced.
- Next, write why it happened, using the optimistic explanatory style.
- Finish by writing a quick statement on how you will take action to improve the situation.
Setting aside time each day to reflect will help you be more aware of how you should be explaining and responding to the challenges you experience.
And soon, when you hit a rough patch, you’ll be able to see it for what it really is—an opportunity.