I'm a big believer that one of the biggest roadblocks holding many people back can be their own attitude. There are some very destructive ways of thinking that can keep people from moving forward. Replacing these destructive thoughts with a more productive attitude is often the first step towards improvement. Changing the way you think can influence the way you act, and changing the way you act can produce real results on your way to your goals.
Shifting your mindset in an intentional way can have a big impact on your life. This can help you not only be a better real estate entrepreneur but also a better employee, businessperson, friend, parent, etc. Other benefits include reduced stress and overall increased happiness, well-being and perspective on life.
Before I get into the list, I wanted to mention that there is a PREREQUISITE mindset shift - and that is that you need to first acknowledge that the way you think is a choice. Many people (myself included, until a few years ago) go through life not realizing that your attitude and way of thinking are a choice. Not realizing this sets you up to be influenced by negative people and events, and can lead to drastic swings up and down depending on what is happening to you and who you're around. I say - why allow yourself to be drug down by the gloomy, cynical thoughts of others? Why allow your attitude for the day to be determined by whether you had to sit in traffic on the way to work, whether someone took your favorite parking spot, you missed your flight, your boss was rude to you...you get the picture.
Below are THREE key mindset shifts that have had an impact on my life, and hopefully you can find value from them as well.
1. Adopt a mindset of ABUNDANCE
“God will overflow your cup, so grab the biggest one you can find.”
― Rob Liano
Most people have a mindset of scarcity, not abundance. You hear scarcity-fueled phrases all the time, many times about money:
- "Money doesn't grow on trees"
- "I can't afford it"
- "Play it safe"
- "Live before your means"
A scarce mindset is a scared mindset. If you go through life believing that everything is scarce, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think money is scarce and there is never enough, guess what? At the end of the month you'll be scraping pennies together to make your rent or credit card payment.
We live in a world of limitless opportunities. There is an abundance of money flowing back and forth every single day. All you have to do is figure out a way to get some of it to flow in your direction.
A scarce mind shuts down. An abundant mind is opened to new and creative opportunities (see #5).
2. Win-win situations are possible and should be pursued
“The Law of Win/Win says, 'Let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way'”
- Greg Anderson
Many conduct their lives as if win-win situations are not possible. This is known as a "zero sum game" or zero sum attitude. They think if one person wins in an interaction, another must lose. If one party benefits, then another one must suffer. These are the kind of people who think a business owner is taking advantage of his employees just because he is profitable. They think every good deal is "too good to be true" and the selling party MUST be taking advantage of the buyer SOMEHOW!!! They call the profitable real estate investor a "slumlord" because he MUST be doing something shady to be making all that money!
Not only is this flawed logic, this is a depressing way to look at the world. I will acknowledge that there are many win-lose and even lose-lose situations in life, but I would argue that it wouldn't happen as often if people came to the realization that it doesn't always have to be that way.
Think about a typical real estate transaction and all the people who can WIN:
- A seller gets to liquidate their property and move on.
- A real estate agent earns a commission for finding a buyer at the right price.
- An inspector earns a fee for objectively pointing out all the defects in the property.
- A contractor gets paid to fix the defects and/or upgrade the property.
- A mortgage broker profits by qualifying the buyer and underwriting the loan.
- An appraiser earns a fee to (hopefully) provide an objective valuation for the property.
- A title company earns a fee to ensure the title is clear and provide title insurance.
- A buyer gets to acquire a new piece of property.
- A tenant gets a place to live!
That's 9 wins in one transaction! Did I miss any?
Learn to look for win-win opportunities and celebrate them when they happen.
3. Empower Yourself - you are not the victim
“Victims declare,“The world is responsible for me,” and never do anything to better their quality of life.”
― Henry Cloud
This is a big one - the victim mentality is insanely widespread today. So many people unknowingly hold themselves back in a HUGE way by assuming they are always the victim. By mentally making yourself the victim and placing the blame on someone else, you have completely absolved yourself of all responsibility. Why is this bad? This shuts down your mind and keeps you from figuring out ways to improve your situation.
By instead empowering yourself and asking how YOU could have handled things differently, you now give yourself a roadmap to improvement.
Here are some common situations and how they might be viewed as a victim versus through the lens of personal empowerment.
Victim: My teacher hates me and gave me an F. It was not fair that I missed that one question. I should have scored a 61% instead of a 58%.
Empowered: I need to pay better attention in class and improve my study habits. I am capable of being an A student if I apply myself.
Victim: My boss doesn't like me. I deserve a raise and a promotion, and he is not giving it to me.
Empowered: I'm great at what I do. I'm going to find somewhere else to work that compensates me better, OR I'm going to start my own business.
Victim: The government takes all of my money with taxes.
Empowerment: I am going to learn about taxes so that I can minimize how much I pay (perhaps by investing in real estate!).
Victim: I'm $10,000 in credit card and student debt. The banks are evil and are taking all my money.
Empowerment: I'm $10,000 in credit card and student debt. How can I get out of debt, and how can I avoid this in the future?
Victim: Rich people are lazy and greedy, and are holding me back.
Empowerment: Rich people have obviously figured something out. I'm going to learn some of their strategies for building and preserving wealth.
Learn how to view situations through a lens of empowerment. It can be liberating to know that you are not always the victim!
There you have it: three mindset shifts that can make a big change in your life. Can you think of any others? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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