Do you know The Voice in our head that tells us we’ve messed up, failed, blew it, caused a catastrophe? Nothing is ever good enough for The Voice. It thrives on turning transgressions, oversights, and choices into catastrophe. The more The Voice talks the more persuasive it becomes until we are certain we will be fired, demoted, ridiculed, unlicensed, unworthy. If The Voice was in our living room talking to us instead of in our head, I think each of us would stand up and escort The Voice to the door. So why do we give The Voice aid and comfort in our head?
When things go wrong as they sometimes do, we have a choice to name it a learning experience or a confidence crushing catastrophic event. Seth Godin wrote about the self made catastrophe in his blog today. Everyday is a good day to be reminded that things are never as bad as they seem. (Of course they’re also not as good as they seem…but let’s not go there today.)
One hundred percent of the choices we make are right in the moment the decision is made. They are correct actions made with the information we have at the moment, with the knowledge we have at the moment, with the perspective we have, with the goal as we know it, and the facts as they are. It’s only after other facts, opinions, perspectives, alternative facts, or new information, and alternative history are added to the event that our right choice of the moment becomes questionable. We live in a world of second guessing. The privilege of standing on the sidelines is knowing exactly what should have been done by the person who is in the game, in the moment, under pressure. We are in this business because we are eager to be in the action with all of the risks and rewards; we don’t desire to be second guessers. We don’t require the safety of the sidelines.
We live in a world of continual education. We learn from what we do well and from results we didn’t desire. Real estate contracts are accepted or rejected based on the choices of the drafter, the buyer, the seller, the presenter. Learning to present options, think through choices, anticipate consequences, and be willing to be an unbiased, calming voice in the conversation is one way to a long term career. We are licensees in a Firm excelling in presenting a unique opportunity to consumers of real estate service. We, each of us, are that opportunity. What we are, who we be, is up to us.
Seth Godin’s suggestion of a Catastrophe Journal is a smart tool for becoming who we are capable of becoming. In retrospect I can name many of my own disasters that didn’t result in the worst fears of The Voice coming true. Like you, I can also see many results that met or exceeded expectations, because of a choice I contributed to. Keeping journals of Catastrophes will show that they aren’t at all. The journal of Successes might show us something we need to recognize also. We have a role in results, owning our part of the responsibility, accepting and sharing credit is more productive than listening to The Voice. I’m going to take 3 weeks to quite The Voice of Catastrophe.