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Conquer Your Fear

Eric Weinstein
Nov 28, 2016

About this time of the year, the mortgage industry is abuzz with talk of upcoming continuing education (CE) requirements. My theme has always been the real life things a CE class does not teach you but should. I usually bore you with an episode of something that happened to me which I did wrong and how it cost me a commission. I like to call that “paying tuition.” But, not this time …

A crucial aspect of being a loan officer is the ability to speak in front of a group of real estate agents to sell yourself. I was amazed to find out that many successful loan officers have a fear of speaking to large groups. I will admit (usually only when I am very tipsy), I have the same fear. I am okay one-on-one, but put me at a podium with a roomful of people and my legs begin to wobble.

So I joined Toastmasters to conquer my fear. This is the speech I just gave to a room full of Toastmasters the other night, rubbery knees and all:

And the Lord said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

In the Jewish religion, this phrase is taken quite literally.

It is said the universe was created with the Lord’s spoken word.

I don’t think people realize the power they have with the spoken word.

Many religions believe the actual laws of physics can be changed with the spoken word.

One example is the religion of Wiccan.

If you don’t know, Wiccan, also known as Pagan Witchcraft, is a recognized Earth religion with hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide.

I am sure you have heard of the concept of casting spells with witchcraft if you are a Harry Potter fan … but this is the real deal.

In this religion, basically, you verbalize what you want using certain rituals and it will happen. Enough people believe in this that IRS considers it valid religion.

Sounds crazy huh? Well, you can see the same notion in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is called prayer. It is said, if you pray hard enough for something, no matter how unlikely, it could happen. How many times have you heard of someone’s prayers coming true, no matter how miraculous.

Okay, let’s say you are not religious, let’s take religion out of the equation.

I think everyone has heard of “Positive Affirmations.” It is the same concept. If you say it out loud, your brain concentrates on it and it comes true. This is the same idea as prayer. The spoken word is a powerful tool.

Why is that?

It all starts with speaking with confidence and conviction.

I have noticed, if you are deathly afraid to speak in front of a stadium of 50,000 people, you are kind of afraid to speak in front of 100 people and a bit nervous to speak to just one person. This fear all stems from a lack of confidence. The only way to overcome a fear is to face that fear. Once you face it, you will have more confidence for the next time.

Growing up, I was always afraid of heights, so as soon a turned 18, I took lessons and went skydiving. I grew up in South Florida and once found a snake in my room. Ever since then, I was afraid of snakes. So in college, I bought a python as a pet. It forced me to learn how to care and handle it.

You see, fear is the enemy of confidence. As fear goes up, confidence goes down, and vice-versa. So what is fear and how do we conquer it? 

Fear is worrying in anticipation of the future. Nine times out of 10, the fear is only in your mind and once you do it, you see it wasn’t so bad. To get over the fear, you just have to gird yourself and just force yourself to do it.

Like the commercial says, “Just do it.”

So how do you “Just do it?” In the back of your mind is a voice saying, “No don’t do that, it’s scary. Then, there is another voice saying. “Go on, it will be okay.” Push the negative voice to the back of your head and concentrate on the positive voice.

Once you have confidence, the universe opens up for you. In turn your life opens up financially, socially and relationship-wise. You do better at work, you gain more friends and you do better with the opposite sex. Good things start to happen to you. People like a winner. The universe likes a winner. Confidence is what makes you a winner.

I don’t care if you had some traumatic experience growing up like me, that is all in the past. Your life starts today. You can change your life for the better starting right now. The longest journey begins with the first step. Don’t think about it, don’t agonize about it, Just do it! Put fear aside. Don’t listen to it.

John Lewis said: “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

I change that to: “If not now, then when? If not you, then who?”

If you don’t do it now, you will never do it. Now is the time to change your life for the better. Take the first step, this week, today, now!

Am I supposed to change your life? Your mother? Your neighbor? No, only you can change your life for the better. Take responsibility.

Building confidence is the only thing holding you back from improving your life … start the process now.

Now, admittedly, this was written for one group of people with one specific fear, but the concept is still valid. Whether you own a small mortgage company, are a top producer or manage a large bank, everyone has a fear.

The only way to overcome your fear is to roll up your sleeves and face it. You can take baby steps. If you are afraid of lack of business, work up a new marketing campaign right now. If you are afraid of the new software your company just bought, start learning it now. If you don’t understand the TRID process, immediately jump into it and ask for help. Education is what truly conquers fear … just do it. Do it now.

Conquer your fear.

Eric Weinstein worked in banking, on the commercial real estate side until 1991, when he fell in love with residential lending. In 1995, he started a small mortgage company in his basement called Carteret Mortgage Corporation, which in 2003, grew to one of the largest mortgage broker companies in the United States. Eric is semi-retired, doing mortgages by referral only. He may be reached by phone at (703) 505-8692 or e-mail [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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