Thought Leadership

Stress, Anxiety, Pain, and Tears

This industry is designed to make or break you quickly. Either you have it, or you don't.

You have to wake up the earliest, stay the latest, make the most calls, and set the most meetings…just to get one deal.

Once you get the deal, you have to navigate the mental gymnastics that are needed to get a deal over the finish line.

This business is equally as lucrative as it is mentally challenging.

It changes you. You become a deal junkie. Relentlessly looking for the next larger deal. You keep trying to increase the frequency and commas of your paychecks.

Why? Because the next new guy will do it to make a name. The next broker will get the deal.

But that mindset costs you.

This business will steal your youth and personal relationships if left unchecked.

How do you get less attached to any one specific deal? Find another and another. So, the pattern is never-ending.

Some people may only want to connect with someone that looks like them in the business. I typically don’t have that luxury. Very few people look like me in the world of commercial real estate.

The good news? I have the amazing love and support of my wife, who, as a clinical psychologist, helps me ensure I don’t set a habit of suppressing my emotions.

Dr. Anjali Ferguson a clinical psychologist, says:

“Given the capitalistic nature of our society, it is easy to become hyper-focused on work/career and output. The pandemic significantly increased these pressures when it illustrated how easily someone’s livelihood could be impacted or changed. These pressures remain a consistent source of stress that can have long-term mental and physical health impacts. We know through science that stress is one of the most debilitating factors in someone’s life. The unpredictability, inconsistency, and heightened demand of commercial real estate can possibly leave someone in a constant state of fight/flight. With poor coping and stress management skills, if left unchecked, these symptoms can significantly impact all aspects of someone's life ranging from physical functioning in a day to relationships, parent-child dynamics, and overall mood/well-being. “

I know the value of a mental health day, but I also know the value of making sure I prospect daily. The two can co-exist together.

In my first year in the business, I used to write positive affirmations on my bathroom mirror daily. “You are a great agent”

“You will make it in this business”

“What you focus on expands”

I don’t think I really knew the value of these phrases because I was the only person saying it.

Hearing “NO” all day + micro-aggressions did take its toll on me. Having to drive for Uber to make ends meet after a full day of work was exhausting.

Driving 3 hours per day to get an opportunity was a lot of time in the car by myself to foster self-doubt.

Dr. Anjali Ferguson, a clinical psychologist, says:

  1. Start with boundary setting. It’s important you maintain a work/life balance. Don’t let work consume all aspects of your life. Set boundaries on the amount of time you spend in the office, on phone calls, on meetings, etc.
  2. Become aware of your emotional state. You have to be able to recognize and label negative emotions in yourself. That starts with admitting you feel things like stress and anger, and sadness. Once you label them, you can learn your triggers for these emotions, which will help better manage them when they occur.
  3. Prioritize rest and joy. This sounds simple, but it’s often the most easily overlooked. It’s important you take care of yourself, it helps buffer against difficult emotions. An easy place to start is by making sure you build up moments of joy for yourself (this means something different for everyone). Create a list of things that bring you joy and schedule them into your daily and weekly schedule.
  4. Be present. When you’re not working, be mindful, intentional, and present with your relationships. This may mean prioritizing certain times of the day with your loved ones, making sure you are dedicating all your attention to those interactions, avoiding work conversations, and putting your phone/computer aside.
  5. Build yourself up! Affirmations go a long way. It’s human nature for us to focus on the negative aspects of ourselves, but this can have significant impacts on self-esteem and ultimately impact our productivity and performance. Write or read daily affirmations as a way to remind yourself of your positive qualities. This can help you stay motivated and positive-minded.

So, if you are reading this in Commercial Real Estate, just make sure every day counts equally as much for your bank account and your own mental health. The better the both of them work together, the better YOU will be. The better YOU will be for your clients. The better YOU will be for your family and friends.

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