Editor’s note: This is the last in a five-part series. See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Top performers in virtually all industries share one common trait: a positive mindset. You can have the best systems, and understand how to apply leverage and attraction, but it is your mindset that will ultimately make or break your success.

Maintaining a positive mindset is one of the most important elements in creating real estate sales success. Having strong systems creates a sense of confidence. Leverage makes it easier for you to create and maintain momentum. Potential clients are attracted to those who have a positive mindset and a get-it-done attitude. So what can you do to improve your mindset? Here are five proven strategies:

1. Emotional resilience
Vince Lombardi, who coached the Green Bay Packers football team during the 1960s, once said, "It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up." Real estate is filled with rejection: Sellers list with other agents; your buyers walk in and buy a property at an open house without you; or your closest friend does business with someone else. A positive mindset is what allows you to get up again, even when you are knocked down repeatedly. As one persistent agent once said, "Every ‘no’ brings me closer to my next ‘yes.’"

If events are getting you down, you can pull yourself back up by having a strong support network. This can be a coach, a mentor, a good friend, your manager, or someone else whom you trust to be there in your corner. There’s no need to struggle through a difficult situation alone.

A slightly different approach comes from brain researcher Daniel Amen. Amen recommends that when you have a persistent or "automatic negative thought" (an "ANT"), the way to kill the "ANTs" is to write them down. This process allows you to evaluate the situation more objectively and makes it easier to find a workable solution to the issue.

2. Laughter: still the best medicine
Numerous research studies have shown that when you laugh, the muscular changes in your body trigger the release of beta-endorphin, the feel-good neurotransmitter, which in turn makes you feel happier and more positive. If you are feeling down, watch a funny movie, listen to the comedy network, get a massage, or do whatever makes you feel better. Another way to raise your endorphins is to have some chocolate. Do avoid self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, which will actually make you feel more down when they wear off.

3. Create a supportive environment
Philosopher and architect Buckminster Fuller once said, "Environment is stronger than will." In other words, to maintain a positive mindset, surround yourself with people who are positive.

For example, if your office is filled with negative people, consider working from home. If you must interact with someone who is negative, stop his or her negative comments by saying, "Tell me one thing that went right today." Again, the best strategy is to avoid them all together.

To be even more proactive in upgrading your environment, join a masterminds group or some other group of highly successful people. Motivational speaker Jack Canfield talks about how he didn’t start making lots of money until he changed his peer group. According to Canfield, if you take the average income of your 10 closest friends and/or colleagues, you can pretty accurately predict what your earnings will be. Upgrading your peer group upgrades your mindset, which upgrades your income.

4. Proactive rather than reactive
Consider each of the following statements. Can you spot what they have in common?

  • There’s just no inventory/buyers.
  • I’ve been taking floor time and haven’t had a lead in months!
  • I’ve been holding open houses every Sunday, but I never get any leads.

Each statement illustrates a reactive approach to the real estate business. Being reactive means waiting for the business to come to you rather than going out and proactively generating leads from prospecting, blogging or social networking. It’s hard to feel positive when you are not in control.

A simple way to remedy this situation is to take baby steps. Begin by calling one or two of your past clients every day. If you prefer to use social media, respond to eight to 10 of your friends’ or followers’ posts on social media every day. Staying in contact with your referral database is one of the best ways to maintain a positive mindset and generate business.

5. Be willing to say "no!"
When I interviewed Realtor Ira Serkes for my book, "Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters," he shared the following steps that he uses to maintain a positive mindset in his business. In order to work with Serkes, the clients must be "nice."

As Serkes puts it,

"A bad client is like bad cholesterol — they block your energy and can give you a heart attack. We avoid clients who have unrealistic expectations or who are extremely demanding.

"Also, if we feel that we can’t meet a client’s expectations, we refer them to another agent. There’s no need to insult them. I just simply say ‘no’ by telling them, ‘We simply can’t meet your expectations. I’m not the right agent for you. I’d be happy to introduce you to another agent who could help you.’"

In terms of applying the SLAM model, it makes no difference where you begin. Every step that you take, no matter how large or how small, raises the bar in terms of your performance. These small steps over time will result in big gains for you both personally and professionally.

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