How much does “should-ing” yourself wear you down? I mean, “I should be more organized,” or “I need to get a database,” or “I really should spend more time on …. “
How many areas of your business are you exhausted talking about needing to get to or should get done? It wears you out, and worst of all, it impacts your self-esteem and self talk.
I was talking to a client this week, who for weeks has been talking about getting organized. She wanted to file the poles of paper on her desk and kitchen table and wanted to reorganize her filing cabinets.
I asked her why it was so important to get organized now. And she said she had been feeling really disorganized. There were papers piled everywhere and she needed to find her mortgage statement so she could apply to refinance her home. I asked how important it was to file the other papers and she complained about the piles everywhere.
Ever notice when you ask someone a question they don’t have a good answer for they will answer a different question?
“Honey, what’s for dinner?”
“I had a such a long day.”
That’s an answer to a different question. Psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman talks about the brain not wanting to do the hard work to answer hard questions – ““When faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution,” he says.
MY suggestion to my client was to go through the piles, get the mortgage statement and and any thing else of importance, then put everything else in a box, label it 2021 and put it in the garage until you need it.
And she laughed and she said, “I guess I could do that.”
And I mentioned that she’s been talking about getting organized for so long, but she functions at a very high level – without being organized. She handles her priorities and responsibilities well.
But in the background, she constantly berating herself for not being organized. Somewhere along the way she learned it was important to be organized and since she doesn’t see herself as that, she must be bad or she must berate herself regularly to make up for her flaw of being disorganized.
Why do we think we need to do certain things for our business? We might, and we function just fine without ever having getting our should handled.
One of the common themes I hear from Realtors®️ all the time is, “I really need to get a database!” In most training for new agents we’re taught the importance of a database. You need to stay in touch with people so a database is vital. I’ve been in real estate for over 20 years and I have never used a database. I have mailing lists, in an excel spreadsheet, but I don’t use a database.
Last year I was talking to a client who was just so upset that she’d been in business for so long without a database. I asked her why she was so down on herself that she didn’t have one and she asked “well, aren’t you supposed to have one for business?”
Here’s a successful agent remaining the fact that she didn’t have a database despite her eight year success without one – just because “they” say it’s a necessity. I asked her “why now? Why is that taking up so much of your thoughts and energy?” She said she wanted to send birthday cards to her clients.
I replied that she needed a birthday list, not a database. “What would it take to get a list of all your clients and put their birthdays on it,” I asked. She said that was an easy task she could have done in a few days. And she did. She came back the next week looking relaxed and said, “I have a database now, don’t I?”
At times we spend so much energy, making ourselves wrong for not doing what we “should” be doing. Or worrying about what we “need” to do that we’ve never gotten to – just because the rules say it must be so. But look at the results you already produce having failed to follow the rules! Getting organized, or creating a database, or whatever you’ve been stressing over might help you do better. But, look at what you are you actually trying to accomplish? The task at hand is probably easier than you think.
I invite you to ask yourself a different question. How do I accomplish more in a week? How do I manage my priorities differently? And then look for solutions to specific problems. Ask and answer a different question.
And please stop “should-ing” on yourself.
Stop stressing that you’re not doing what you need to do. Suffering is optional.
Shift your thinking, see a new opportunity… and Draw A Door™️.