Are You a Risk Taker?
What makes it easy for one agent to make a cold call and terrifying for another? Why do some people hyperventilate at the notion of speaking to strangers while, for others, it's as simple as breathing?
We all know that people who take risks also reap the rewards. We also know that those who never take risks tend to play small and remain in a small pond where their careers are concerned.
Certainly that applies to real estate professionals – we've seen it over and over again. Those who are willing to stretch and take a risk are those who stand a chance of making top performer status. When we analyze the data, we learn that top performers have a tendency to do things that the rest of us have a really difficult time mustering up.
But what is it that enables them to take these kinds of risks? What is it that truly differentiates risk-takers and everyone else? Guts? Chutzpah? No, not really. Skill? Not at all. Confidence? Not even. Then what?
For you to really see the difference between risk-takers and those who are more cautious, it's important to understand what prevents people from taking risks in the first place. Risk aversion comes from the focus on one simple thought: "What if something goes wrong?"
People who are reluctant to take risks literally run a movie in their head where the risk they are contemplating turns out horribly. They play the scene out with a negative outcome and set themselves up to expect a negative result. That negative result is too much to bear, so typically they don’t take any action.
Here's what risk-takers do. They play out three scenes in their mind:
- The scene of a win and a successful outcome after the risk is taken.
- The scene of a horrible loss if something goes wrong.
- The scene of bouncing back from failure.
The third scene is crucial and really provides the framework for understanding what differentiates top performers from everyone else.
Top performers have a fundamental strength that others do not; they have a high degree of emotional resilience. They are practiced at the art of bouncing back from adversity with great speed and agility. That is the key skill that allows them to take risks without too much deliberation.
Now here is another question: how does one learn to build the mind muscle of emotional resilience? There are lots of ways, but here is the one that I have found to be the most powerful and effective: journaling.
Journaling allows you to write down what's on your mind and examine what makes this risk so scary. It allows you to explore the possibility of something going wrong and how that might affect you.
Journaling invites you to explore the rational and not-so-rational fears you have that are associated with the risk. Also, journaling allows you to explore the concept of recovery from a failure. What might you do if things don't go according to plan? You explore your options and how will you handle the potential embarrassment. Is this a risk you can bounce back from? What’s really at risk anyways? Your ego or something more difficult to piece back together?
Journaling allows you to envision success and create the expectation of a positive outcome. Just like creating a vision board, journaling is the place to write out the vision of success and to describe what it looks like, what it feels like and who you will become once you take that risk and win.
Kim Ades, MBA, is president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine Software and an expert on performance through thought management. For more information or a free online journal, visit www.frameofmindcoaching.com.
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