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When Opportunity Doesn’t Knock, Stay Positive

Attitude has a bigger impact on performance than expected

Mary Kay Scully headshot
Insider
Mary Kay Scully
Stay positive

So, this year isn’t turning out to be what you’d thought it would be. The litany of market challenges has you feeling gloomy. Between low inventory, rising rates and affordability issues, I don’t think anyone is having their best year. Dwelling on the negative won’t improve anything; staying positive, however, has actually been proven to make a difference.

No matter what the market’s doing, you have full control over your attitude. Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Maintaining a positive outlook will help you to keep moving forward and making progress on building that door of opportunity.

Power Of Positivity

There are multiple studies that prove the power of a positive attitude. More and more, researchers are finding that your mindset has much to do with not only your mental health, but your success and physical health, as well.

Stanford researchers performed a brain scan study to find out exactly how positivity affects the brain, and found that attitude has a bigger impact on performance than they expected. A review published in the Psychological Bulletin also found that happiness makes you successful. Finally, a positive attitude can reduce anxiety and even boost your immune system, according to multiple scientific studies.

Positivity in the workplace, specifically, leads to increased productivity, improved morale, a willingness to think creatively and expand your horizons, and much more.

Positivity is not just good for you, but for those around you, too. Keeping your head up can inspire others to do the same.

Tips To Stay On Track

Instead of building a door of opportunity like Berle said, you’d probably like to build the whole house to create some inventory for qualified buyers. While you can’t necessarily fix all the challenges in the market, there are factors within your control that can help keep you positive and moving toward your goals.

First, work on changing your mindset. Yes, rates are up. Are they high? No. Historically, rates are still low. Compare rates today to what they were in the 80’s — as high as 19% — and it will change your perspective. Your outlook is critical to maintaining a positive perspective — one that you’ll likely pass on to your borrowers.

Similarly, be careful where you get your information. Some people or outlets may only be feeding you negative information and expectations. There’s a saying in journalism, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Scary stories always get the most attention, so keep that in mind. Limit your interaction with purely negative sources, whether it be a coworker, a news outlet, etc. Even social media can be a negative place, depending on with whom and where you’re interacting. Seek more balanced sources to get the full picture of what’s happening in the market — not just the ugly stuff.

As you limit the negativity that you receive from others, also limit the negativity you put out. The way you speak to and around others affects both them and you. You may not even be saying something negative to someone directly, but they may hear it and it can still affect them and their outlook.

And though it may not always seem so, the way you speak to yourself also matters. Rather than being down on yourself or your job, find what you are thankful for and that motivate you and focus there. The market may be unpredictable, but maybe you have a great team that helps carry each other through the challenges. Focusing on that one ray of light takes your focus off the dark cloud you may be feeling.

Regardless of the situation in the market, you still have a role to play. You can either contribute to the negativity, or you can be a positive and motivating force. Positivity can contribute to your success and help you stay on track with your goals.

Both consumers and your business partners will benefit from your financial expertise and appreciate your optimism.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine September 2022 issue.
Mary Kay Scully headshot
Mary Kay Scully

Mary Kay Scully is the Director of Customer Education at Enact, leading the development of the company’s customer education curriculum. The statements in this article are solely her opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Enact or its management. 

Published on
Aug 31, 2022
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