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May 1, 2007

Monitor That Voice In Your Head for Better Real Estate Sales

It's very difficult to make prospecting calls that sound natural and relaxed if you are listening to a voice in your head that tells you that these people don't want to be interrupted by you and that you are being a nuisance. I mean, why even bother?. You, like me, probably have a voice in your head that whispers messages like this to you constantly. As I work with my coaching clients, I find the awareness of these internal messages and the ability to shift from reactionary to being "of choice" is often the most impactful work we do.
 
This voice tells me what I can and can't do, about what I should and shouldn't do, about how smart and capable I am (usually not as much as I need to be), and about how smart and capable others are, or aren't.
 
I call it a gremlin voice and it pops in with its opinion without being asked at the slightest provocation. Sometimes, it isn't a whisper but a shout. And this gremlin is insistent that it is telling me the TRUTH! Her chatter doesn't even seem to be connected to the reality of a situation at all times, but it is distracting, nonetheless. Do you know the voice I am talking about? What messages does your gremlin give you?
 
You can gain some real power when you closely monitor your internal chatter and label it as just that: chatter, not the truth. You, then, have the ability to choose whether the chatter is useful and will help you avoid being hurt in some way or you can choose to "thank it for sharing" and realize it doesn't apply in this situation.
 
Now, I am not saying this voice needs always to be ignored. Think of it as your friend who is trying to save you from putting yourself in a situation similar to one that it remembers did not turn out well in the past. Just like a little computer, your gremlin has stored information about every time you were in danger or hurt. When it sees a situation that has some characteristics of the former time, it will begin its rant. Trouble is, it may be telling you to be afraid of something that was appropriate when you were six but doesn't apply now that you have grown up.
 
I remember vividly the first time I challenged myself physically by enrolling in an outdoor course that involved jumping off a 350 -foot-high cliff on a "zip line."  While I was never particularly afraid of heights, standing on a small plank with just a little bar to hold onto and knowing I had to lean forward and jump, triggered some VERY LOUD objections from my gremlin voice!
 
I had a vision of myself as capable of taking on things that scared me. I knew the zip line experience could help me get beyond the fear, but for a minute or so, I did contemplate how I could change my mind at jumping! A few people actually did. But, I knew, if I wanted to be powerful for the rest of my life, this was a time to discover what I could do in the face of fear, and I jumped. As I did, I the gremlin continued to complain but became quieter and quieter. From that day, I knew we could coexist and I was now in charge, instead of being at her mercy.
 
This gremlin is not bad, she just doesn't know how to discriminate (it reminds me a little of my computer when I don't enter an address or phone number perfectly and it doesn't know what I meant, instead of what I entered!). She chimes in automatically without thoughts of anything except the past.
 
Your gremlin voice doesn't discriminate between positive or negative and often gives you "good" messages if they are part of the computer's memory. My mom always told me I could do anything I really wanted, she encouraged me to take risks, asked me, "What have you got to lose?" and told me not to be like anyone else. Those messages, when the gremlin reminds me of them, have taken me to some pretty wonderful places. They've also gotten me in trouble when my instinctive reaction is to "not be like everyone else" in a situation when my audacity is not appropriate.
 
The key is to be aware of this internal chatter and choose if it is appropriate or not. I used to let my gremlin prevent me from taking action, instead of taking me to good places because it was easy to believe the voice that tried to convince me I really don't fit in (and why would I? My mother told me not to be like everyone else!.) I would hesitate to join a group or speak my mind for fear of being ridiculed or not accepted.
 
So, these days, I do notice that this voice exists but realize she is not necessarily feeding me accurate messages about today's reality. She is just a reminder of my past experiences and the culture I've grown up in and all the rules I have heard along the way. I allow her to warn me when I am in a situation that might be painful or get me in trouble. Then, I can do a reality check to see if this is a grounded fear of my current situation or something that would be appropriate to be scared of as a six-year-old. If it's the latter, I just thank my gremlin for sharing it, instead of allowing the message to paralyze me from taking action.
 
You too can choose whether to listen or not.
 
Start monitoring the messages you are getting. Instead of reacting to the fear or caution messages, take a look at them and then consciously decide it if these messages empower you in what you want to accomplish today or are they just reflective of the past. The gremlin starts to get quieter when you grant its existence and then take action that will take you where you really want to go! The good news is that you don't have to jump off of a 350-foot cliff to prove to yourself you have what it takes!

(Joeann Fossland, Certified e-PRO Trainer, GRI, PMN, is a Master Certified Coach and Founder of the Web Women Giving Circle. Joeann is the Creator of The Real Estate Game®, the most effective group coaching available. You can reach her by e-mail.)

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