Feeling overwhelmed at work is completely normal, regardless of the industry you’re in. Last year has been a difficult one as businesses have navigated COVID-19. In the real estate industry in particular, low interest rates and remote work have exponentially increased demand, having some agents busier than ever, and, consequently, more stressed. “We’re seeing more burnout in the last 14 months or so. It’s been where people are seeking to control things that are out of their control,” KW MAPS Coach John Vander Gheynst says. In those moments of stress and burnout, there is good news. There are plenty of techniques you can use to ground yourself, shifting your mindset and refocusing on positivity to reach your full potential.
Burnout can happen for a number of reasons, says Vander Gheynst, who has years of experience working with high-performing agents. One reason is when agents forget to consistently implement the 80/20 Principle, where 20% of what you do produces 80% of results. Burnout can also happen if you’ve lost touch with your “big why,” or purpose for doing the work you do. Self-judgment can contribute too.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a good time to check in with yourself and commit to bringing in habits that can improve your mental health, including these tips and tricks from Vander Gheynst to re-center your mindset.
The Long Game
To avoid long-term burnout, it’s important to have in your toolkit several strategies that will keep you positive and on track toward your goals.
1) Accept things as they are. One of the simplest steps to take when re-centering one’s mindset is to accept exactly where you are, he says. “Stop judging, stop wishing things were different, accept perfectly what is.” Then, think about what it looks like to move forward. Taking steps in the right direction tends to make burnout fade away, giving people a renewed sense of empowerment.
2) Focus on what you can control. During the height of the pandemic, agents who focused on what they could control at the time – lead generation – found they had a massive pipeline when their communities opened up. Always focus your energy on what you can control, he says. Adopt Gary Keller’s SHIFT tactic action mindset of “Get real, get right.”
3) Level up your skill set. It’s empowering for agents to commit to figuring out how to best serve clients and build better relationships with buyers. Becoming more skillful in your ability to help clients can help tamper burnout. “It begins with the mindset that, if it can be done, it’s going to be us to do it,” Vander Gheynst says.
4) Shift your perspective. Perspectives are the ways in which we see the outside world. Think about the perspectives you’ve adopted. Are they helping or hurting you? For example, an agent might dislike lead generation. But it’s a reality of the industry. Shifting one’s perspective on lead gen to seeing it as a necessary part of the business can help energize agents, leading to high performance. Vander Gheynst says that when you have an aha moment about one of your perspectives, write it down and remind yourself of it often. Remember your mindset is key to what you can accomplish, and, according to Gary Keller, high achievers tend to share the same foundational six perspectives.
The Quick Shifts
Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in tense situations where you need an immediate reset. These techniques can help.
5) Do an emotional reset through breath work. Breath work is powerful because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, calming down the body and mind. “Our physical body has a direct impact on the way that we think,” Vander Gheynst says. If you’re in a crisis moment and need a quick reset, the number one action step you can take is to do two minutes of breathing, he says. Take 10 deep breaths in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.
6) Ask yourself four key questions. If you’re in the midst of a tense and stressful moment, take a step back after breathing and ask yourself four key questions that can help you to reset in the moment.
- what can I control?
- what can’t I control?
- what am I seeking to control that I can’t?
- what could I be controlling that I’m not?
“If we’re honest with ourselves about the answers to those questions, then those four questions can provide a very, very fast energy reset,” Vander Gheynst says.
7) Practice positive affirmations. Affirmations are powerful because the way in which we interact with the world is based on how we see ourselves in the world. An affirmation is an “I am” statement. For example, “I am present,” “I choose to be present,” “I am a creator” or “I choose to be a creator.” When affirmations are repeated over time, our brain adapts and affirmative thinking becomes the default. Vander Gheynst says the most powerful affirmations are the ones people create for themselves rather than affirmations created by someone else. Affirmations can be used for a quick reset.
Related reading: 10 Affirmations to Help You Crush Your Limiting Beliefs
8) Practice gratitude. The most powerful type of gratitude is when we look for gratitude in a difficult situation, learn from the situation, then make a positive change. Practicing gratitude can also be used as a quick mindset reset as well. For example, if a team member leaves, take a minute to process what happened and use gratitude as a way to get through the rest of your day. Remind yourself of what you’re grateful for about your remaining team members, then consider how you may want to change the team’s unique value proposition or leadership style to better connect with agents.
When stressful situations arise, remember that you have plenty of tools at your disposal. You have the power to change your mindset. “You’re in control of what happens between your ears,” Vander Gheynst says, “and therefore your experience of life.”