May 8, 2019
It happens every course. We have amazing, intelligent students in our South Jersey real estate school; people who are normally confident, positive-thinking people. Yet when it comes to the chapters on math, or the course review as we prepare for the final exam, they say things like,
“I’m terrible at math”
“I know I’m not going to do well”
“I’ve been out of school too long. I just can’t learn all these new concepts.”
I often say to our instructors, “Our job is to not only to teach our students how to get their real estate license, it is to hold their hands to give them the confidence to know they can do well on the state exam.”
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”
One of my favorite quotes has been attributed to many people, but I believe the original author of it was Henry Ford. It speaks to the power of having a positive mental attitude. I can only imagine that when Tiger Woods tees up the ball on the final round of The Masters, he is probably not thinking, “I bet I’ll hook this thing, and it will likely go into the water and I’m going to lose.” Although he has never told me this personally (!), I would bet that when Usain Bolt assumed the starting position prior to the 100-meter dash in the Olympic Games, he was not thinking, “I’m old . . .I’m tired. . . I will probably never be able to beat these other guys.”
A huge part of our students’ success comes from the attitude they have when they enter the test center. It’s OK to be nervous, but don’t let negative self-talk overtake your psyche.
Just today, I was teaching an Exam Prep class for students who have gone through the pre-licensing course at other real estate schools and who have failed the state exam multiple times. When I went around the room asking them in which areas they had scored poorly, one of the students—a very bright person—said, “Math. I’m so bad at math that I’m not even going to try any math questions. I figure that if I do well on the other questions, I can still reach the 70% passing score.”
It is not the first time I have heard a student say that.
Lessons from Zig.
As I was honing my professional speaking skills years ago, one of my mentors was the great sales trainer and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar. To this day, if I start thinking negative thoughts, I can hear a little Zig Ziglar sitting on my shoulder saying, “David, you need a check-up from the neck-up!”
It was Zig who once said, “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” He also said, “Your altitude is likely to be determined more by your attitude than by your aptitude.” As a pilot, I must defend the flying skills of my fellow aviators by saying, “Wait a minute, Zig. If I’m landing the plane you are riding in through a blizzard in zero-visibility conditions and a 30-mph crosswind, you’d better hope that my aptitude at landing that plane is pretty good too!” But I see his point.
Ten years before the opening quote was attributed to Henry Ford, a trade magazine that served retail stores published a piece which advised its store owners:
What do you want to be? You must have a desire to be something if you are going to amount to anything.
If you think you can’t—you can’t.
If you think you can—you can.”
Advice for your exam; advice for your real estate career.
In a blog posted back in 2016, The Quill Group wrote:
Choosing your attitude – positive or negative?
Your attitude is a form of expression of yourself. You can choose to be happy, positive and optimistic, or you can choose to be pessimistic and critical, with a negative outlook on your workday. A positive attitude helps you cope better under stressful situations at work.
Whether it is the attitude you bring to class, the mindset you have as you take the state licensing exam, or how you deal with your confidence level when you compete for clients as a real estate professional, remember: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re probably right.”
David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 31 years ago. He is School Director of Garden Real Estate Academy, has won numerous awards for real estate sales, is a much-requested public speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents and is the author of 14 books. David can be reached at David@GSREacademy.com