9 Ways to Beat Negativity

The economy is hurting. Home sales in many markets remain sluggish. Uncertainty abounds. In this kind of environment, it's easy to get discouraged.

April 1, 2009

But there’s no reason you have to stay that way, says Jon Gordon, author of The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal With Negativity at Work (Wiley, 2008). Here’s Gordon’s advice on how to come out ahead in this tough market.

  1. Tell yourself a positive story. Life is a story. The story we tell ourselves and the role we play in that story determines the quality and direction of our life. The best real estate professionals are able to overcome adversity by telling themselves a more positive story than the rest. Instead of a drama or a horror movie, they define their life as an inspirational tale. Instead of being the victim, they see themselves as a fighter and overcomer. You may not be able to control market conditions, but you can influence the outcome of your story.
  2. Model yourself after success. Are there real estate practitioners succeeding today? Of course there are. Seek out those people in your market and ask to meet with them. Learn from their advice and model their attitudes and actions. If they can succeed, so can you.
  3. Focus on the important stuff. Tune out the negative voices and start making positive choices. What are you doing on a daily basis to grow yourself, your team, and your business? Don’t focus on the negative things other salespeople and the media are saying. Instead, focus on marketing your business, taking care of clients, and building loyal relationships. Every morning ask yourself this question: "What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?" Then take action on those items.
  4. Replace "have to" with "get to." This simple word swap can change your mind-set and your approach to work and life. It turns a complaining voice to an appreciative voice, and acknowledges that life is a gift—not an obligation. So often we grudgingly say things like "I have to go to this meeting," "I have to meet with this client," or "I have to sell houses in this market." In reality, it’s not about what we have to do. It’s about what we get to do. Research shows that when we practice gratitude, we get a measurable boost in happiness that energizes us and enhances our health. It’s also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time.
  5. Refuse to participate in the recession. Professionals who’ve thrived during past recessions continued to go about business as usual regardless of market conditions. They worked hard and focused on taking actions to grow their business. As others are paralyzed by fear, take the opportunity to charge forward.
  6. Boost your marketing and advertising. It may seem counterintuitive to spend more money on advertising and marketing right now. But with so many of your competitors cutting back in these areas, this is a great opportunity to build your brand and gain market share. People are still buying and selling, and they will buy from those whom they trust and see in the marketplace.
  7. Create a positive vision. Instead of being disappointed about where you are, make the decision to be optimistic about where you are going. Create a positive vision for your future and the future of your team. Vision helps you see the road ahead and it gives you something meaningful and valuable to strive towards.
  8. Invite others on your bus. Invite colleagues and customers to board your bus for a positive ride. Send them an e-bus ticket at www.TheEnergyBus.com. Share your vision with team members and ask them to join you in making this vision a reality. Be a positive influence.
  9. No more complaining. Abide by the "no complaining" rule. When you realize you’re about to complain, replace your thoughts and words with positive actions. Let your complaints help you identify what you don’t want so that you can focus on what you do want. The key is to turn complaints into solutions.

Source: Jon Gordon is a speaker, consultant, and author of The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy (Wiley, 2007), and The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work (Wiley, 2008). Gordon’s next book, Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else, is scheduled to be released next month.