Sometimes in order to improve, the person you need to get on board with is yourself. Find out how to get real and get it together so that you can move forward personally and professionally.

This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.

Looking for more advice? Check out Inman’s New Agent Essentials.

Do you know that feeling when you’re firing on all cylinders, operating at peak efficiency and killing the game day after day? Everything seems effortless and it just feels like everything is going your way.

Now, what about the opposite feeling — when all of your best-laid plans seem to fall through and you’re lacking in motivation? Maybe you’re paralyzed with indecision because every choice you make feels like the wrong one. Maybe, instead, you’re making random decisions, casting about aimlessly just trying to make something, anything, go right.

This kind of dry spell can do a number on your self-esteem and confidence, making it difficult to get it together and find your footing. What can you do to put yourself back together and back on a productive path? It starts with an honest self-assessment where you take stock of yourself and your situation and put together a plan to move forward. Here’s how.

Start by being honest with yourself and others

When you’re struggling, your first instinct may be to withdraw from others or try to cover up how you’re feeling. You may even have a hard time admitting to yourself that you don’t have everything under control. This can be especially difficult if you’re normally the one who has it all together in your family or in your business.

You need to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling and what’s going on. Take a look at your finances, your calendar, or your personal life and get real about what’s happened. If you need to have a talk with your business partner or significant other, rip off the Band-Aid and have that talk — you’ll both probably feel better for getting things out in the open.

Get the professional help you need

Maybe you need an attorney or accountant to help you dig out from under a tax or financial burden. Maybe you need a performance coach or trainer to help you improve your business and processes. Maybe you need a therapist or support group to deal with a personal or emotional struggle. Instead of trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get the help you need so that you can move forward.

Look at your daily habits

According to the Harvard Business Review, making changes when you’re already burned out can be challenging. Before you try to implement larger changes, start with optimizing your everyday habits of sleep, diet and exercise. Once you’ve integrated good daily habits into your routine, you can start looking at larger, more meaningful changes.

Create a shift in your energy

While you may be thinking crystals and incense, creating a shift in your energy doesn’t require the services of a shaman or a vision quest. Shifting your energy can be as simple as incorporating mindfulness into your day, waking up earlier in the morning, spending some time doing affirmations each day, or reading positive and inspiring motivational stories. 

When you’ve been struggling, it’s especially important to check your self-talk for negative messages that might have crept into your headspace. Replace them with positive language to reframe the narrative and increase your sense of well-being.

Focus on small significant changes first

According to coach Darryl Davis, focusing on the big gap between your current situation and your long-term goal disempowers you and causes you to become overwhelmed. Focusing on little victories, and your big why, keeps you moving forward. “Keep your eyes on the prize, focus on the goals, not the gaps,” said Davis.

Keep track of the victories

Maybe you stuck to your good habits for one more day. Maybe you had a breakthrough in therapy. Maybe you landed a new listing or earned a new certification. Keep your motivation going by keeping track of your victories.

Add color-coded items to your calendar, keep a diary or keep a list of positive moments in the notes app on your phone. However you do it, by celebrating and recording your victories you’ll have something positive to look back on when you feel your momentum slipping.

Add leverage where needed

Maybe you need to outsource some of your administrative or marketing tasks so you can spend more time on revenue-producing activities. Maybe you need to add leverage at home, like a housekeeper or meal-delivery service. Maybe you simply need to hire a Task Rabbit to take a few items off your to-do list this weekend so that you can feel a little more caught up. Adding leverage will help you build on your momentum so that you can continue to improve your performance.

Create a plan for continuous improvement

Now that you’ve gotten a handle on some of your short-term struggles, begin to plan ahead for longer-term victories as well. What are some of the bigger goals you want to work toward? What are some of the major challenges you still need to tackle? Extend your plans for improvement into the future so that you can continue to check off wins and stay inspired for the long haul.

Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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