The path to success is always lined with obstacles. You learn that much all too quickly in the real estate world, where unexpected setbacks and ever-growing competition add unnecessary complications to every move. Even when you get the deal of the year, you’re left wondering whether you’re doing enough, buying enough, to stand out against those top-earners on your social media feed.
More than most, there’s one obstacle which will get in the way time and time again if you let it. I am, of course, referring to yourself. We are our own worst enemies, and boy, can we set ourselves back? If we don’t check the behavior, the comparisons, and the constant doubts, then what chance do we have of going far?
Erin Pheil works ceaselessly to help high achievers overcome themselves every day. With success rates of an astounding 95.6%, her success-based, self-doubt organization tackles this problem at its root.
Unlike many positive affirmation practices, Erin uses her experiences and those of the professionals she’s worked with to understand how we get in our own way, and what we can do about it.
After leaving a digital agency she started fresh out of school, Erin ran into unexpected health problems. ‘Suddenly, I had chronic pain out of nowhere,’ she says. ‘I spent the next two years of my life running around to every doctor, therapist, practitioner, specialists in the state, spending close to six figures trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Why was I in pain?’ Despite the search for answers, though, tests revealed nothing.
In fact, life for Erin didn’t change until she began seeing a therapist.‘There was a therapist who said, you know, things aren’t quite as bad as you think. It’s actually just the lens through which you see your life. If you could change that, you could change everything about your life and probably your pain.’
It was this suggestion that skyrocketed Erin to the realization at the heart of her organization: that she was not her achievements. ‘She told me, you literally connect your worth as a human being to what you achieve. And right now you can’t achieve anything. So your sense of worth as a human is dropping.’ Erin states. ‘I realized I needed to change.’ That change has transformed Erin’s life, and that of her countless clients.
The simple fact is that we as professionals place too much on our achievements, and the pressure can’t hold. Your achievements do, of course, matter, but as Erin learned, placing the weight of your self-worth on them will never work. Your achievements will simply never seem enough that way!
What good will it do me if I place my worth on my latest real estate investment alone? I’ll lose sight of other achievements, as well as failing to find future success. It’s an inevitable path to dissatisfaction, and it’s one we all need to overcome before finding the success we seek.
Stop pushing beyond your boundaries
Boundaries always trip me up. I think this is something a lot of professionals do. There’s this constant need to be the best, especially with social media’s constant comparisons. If our competitors do it, we want to one-up them.
‘I would find that I couldn’t go out and ride my bike without competing and trying to beat everyone,’ Erin says. ‘If I took a step back and if someone said, hey, could you just take it easy for a bit, I would go, oh my God, that makes me uncomfortable. If you surround yourself with people who are going to push you and help you be better, your self-worth is actually going to drop because you’re like, I’m not achieving, I’m not better than them.’
This leads to the self-esteem fluctuation that we’re trying to overcome, as well as the burnout that now impacts around 44% of us. Erin warns that this cycle can start to detract from the quality of output you provide.
Part of overcoming this problem is to sit with our successes instead of comparing. Focus on what you know you’re good at, rather than what you wish you were doing instead. Then, your self-esteem will be rooted on reliable ground, and you may find your investments soaring.
Rid yourself of negative thoughts
Negative thoughts are the four-car pile-up in the middle of your business highway. Success and, more importantly, satisfaction, will never be yours until you clear them away.
Rather than recommending the affirmations and positive thoughts that many business coaching courses focus on, Erin helps clients do this by focusing on the importance of ripping off the bandaid. ‘You go into the subconscious mind, and you pull out the brute, the belief you pull out the, I’m not valuable. You pull out the, I’m not important. You pull out what makes me important is achieving or being better, making money. When that is gone, it completely breaks the tie between self-worth and something outside of you.’
Trust me; I’ve tried every trick under the sun. I’ve said all the positive affirmations and focused on drowning out the negative self-talk, and you know what? It doesn’t work! I still wake up some nights feeling like a loser. I could make the best investment in the world, and still tell myself I haven’t got what it takes. Why? Because all those techniques can only drown out the negative self-talk for so long!
Erin instead creates lists of cluster beliefs with her clients about the real causes of their doubts,then goes in to dissolve those emotions and pull them out at the roots.
This provides a groundwork on which success has a better chance to flourish. Don’t make the mistake of letting comparisons and self-doubts manifest as chronic pain you can’t escape. Instead, realize where your doubt lies and get rid of it the only way you can; by going through. Just like Erin, you may well find that your life, and your career, change for the better as a result!