Real Estate Investing- Four Ways to Eliminate Fear

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OK, let’s face facts. It’s a big, scary, confusing world out there, and you can lose your shirt if you’re not careful. I’ve talked to investors who have been ripped off in every way you can imagine. Lied to, cheated, swindled, tricked, hoodwinked, bamboozled, and… well, you get the idea. There’s no shortage of ways to lose money.

One guy rented out his house and the tenants trashed it and disappeared into the night. A woman in the mid-west bought a house with an undisclosed gas leak, and it blew up the day she closed on it (thankfully no one was there at the time). A friend tried to flip a property and wound up losing several thousand dollars when the market tanked mid-flip.

I sold a mobile home to a couple who made two payments and decided that was enough. I lost a few thousand before I managed to get the home back- trashed of course.

There are problems with houses nobody could foresee, market ups and downs no one can predict, and sudden disasters few can imagine.

I know an investor in New Orleans that lost about half his entire portfolio to Hurricane Katrina.

Encouraged? You should be, and I’ll tell you why. Every one of the investors I just mentioned is STILL ACTIVELY INVESTING!

What Do They Know That You Don’t?

How is that possible, you ask? Simple. They know four things you don’t yet know.

For instance, the guy who had his house trashed has been investing just over 7 years. In that time he has purchased and rented out 17 single family homes and duplexes. He’s only lost money on one of them- the one I mentioned above- and even that is now re-rented to stable tenants. At the pace he’s investing, his portfolio will be worth $10,000,000 by 2010.

The Denver woman whose furnace exploded sued the person she bought the home from. After several months she settled out of court, collected the insurance money, walked away and purchased a small apartment building.

My friend the flipper has bought and sold between 30 and 40 houses since 1998. In that time, his annual income has shot from about 40k to over $300,000! Think he’s dwelling on the 2 or 3 houses he’s lost money on? I Doubt it.

And the New Orleans investor? He’s rehabbing many of the houses that were damaged by Katrina, still actively buying houses, and still collecting rents on the remainder of his portfolio.

So let’s talk about you. You may be saying, “That’s all well and good. They all have resources I don’t. I can’t afford to lose. What if something goes wrong on my first deal?” Or, maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t know enough. Those people are all experienced investors. I’m not- I’ll get killed by stuff I can’t see coming.” Or perhaps, “If just one more thing goes wrong it’ll put me right over the edge. I can’t afford any more failures.”

Those are all important and thoughtful arguments. They all have one thing in common.

They’re crap.

There are four main reasons for this. These four reasons also happen to be the four things that- if applied diligently and persistently in ANYONE’S life- will completely eliminate fear. Destroy it. Wipe it out. Obliterate it. Render it powerless. Get the idea? In short, WORK ON THESE and THESE WILL WORK!

Four Simple Ways

One- Clear thinking. Fear is a product of our thoughts, nothing more and nothing less. How we perceive a thing leads us to welcome it or fear it, or anything in between.

Experiment- Try this at home. Try to clearly remember the thing that scared you most as a child, something that really rattled your wits. Now think about when and why it scared you. Did it ALWAYS scare you, or was there a particular point in time that it STARTED to scare you? Why? What happened at that point in time to CAUSE you to become scared? Did the THING change, or did YOU?

Most people, when they think about it, find that their fear of something began at a specific point in time. Something happened that changed the way they perceived the object of their fear. Prior to the occurrence, they didn’t experience the same fear. After the occurrence-WHAMO! Fear, baby!

The thing that scared me most as a child were barking dogs. I couldn’t get near a barking dog without turning into a quivering bowl of jelly. It wasn’t always that way. When I was small I had a dog, and loved it. Then I was bitten on the stomach by a vicious dog, and my love turned to terror. What changed? Not dogs.

Dogs have always been the same- most are friendly, some are not. Some bite, most do not. Dogs didn’t change, I changed. Rather, my perception of dogs changed, based on one bad experience. Fear is like that- it’s icy grip is not based on logic, but on our “experience perception”.

Experience perception is nothing more than the way our minds choose to think about and shape our memories. You can change your experience perception of almost anything by carefully crafting and choosing WHICH experiences to dwell on, and how to think about them. Choose to think about past failures and problems, and those will shape your experience perception. Choose instead to think about and clearly remember successes and victories and your experience perception will be increasingly shaped in strengthening ways.

Clear thinking about dogs has helped me overcome my fear. I remind myself of the pleasurable experiences I have had with MOST dogs. Soon, the ONE bad experience I had becomes insignificant. I no longer fear dogs. I like dogs.

Similarly, focus on your victories, think CLEARLY about your failures (were they REALLY failures?) and you will no longer fear failure- you will anticipate success. Make clear thinking a part of your mental training starting TODAY!

Two- Truthful self talk. Have you ever listened to the things you tell yourself? I did, and it wasn’t pretty, so I changed it. I caught myself saying all manner of ridiculous things that just weren’t true. One thing I told myself pretty consistently was, “You don’t DESERVE success.” Maybe you can relate to that, or maybe you’ve got your own brand of self-deception. Whatever it is, you can change it.

We all talk to ourselves virtually non-stop. Pause and think- weren’t you just telling yourself something? Either you were agreeing with what I just said, or you were disagreeing, but you were saying SOMETHING to yourself. Learn to monitor carefully the things you tell yourself. I think you’ll be surprised by what you hear.

First, consciously force yourself to listen to your self talk. Then, when you are aware of it, write it down and dissect it. Think it through- is it really true? If not, why do you believe it? More important, why do you keep telling it to yourself? Focus on CHANGING your self talk, and start replacing all the lies with the truth. I mentioned one of those lies above. Remember, “It’ll put me right over the edge?” That’s a lie for sure.

After all, what exactly does that mean? Where is the “edge”, anyway? Here’s another lie we tell ourselves- “I can’t take any more.” Unless you’re dead, it’s just not true. Humans are nothing if not resilient. God created us that way. Somewhere somebody had gone through much more than you and rebounded from it. You can, too.

Replace the lies you tell yourself with truth. Where do you find these truths? The Bible is a great place to start. Articles like this one. Great books, websites, motivational tapes and CD’S. Start today.

Number Three- Education. Knowledge and skill breed confidence. As you increase your knowledge, you can feel your power grow and your fear diminish. For proof, consider an area you need to perform well in, but know very little about- like buying a car for instance. Many people dread buying a car. Why? Because of all the mystery involved. Funny thing, though. The more you learn about the product and the process of car shopping, the more confidence you have, and the less you will fear it.

Applied to real estate investing, the more books and courses you read and study, the less your fear will control you. Darkness gives way to light, and fear is always banished by the light. In fact, isn’t darkness often used as a metaphor for fear? There’s a very good reason for that. Things we can clearly see and understand lose their power over us- at least their power to cause fear.

There is a wealth of excellent material available on every conceivable real estate investing topic. You don’t need to go it alone. Somebody has already successfully done what you want to do, systematized it, and written it down. Buy books and courses. Read the free articles available here and on other websites. Start learning and never stop- you will see your fear diminish and your confidence soar.

Number Four- Faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews chapter 11, verse 1) When everything around you appears dark, and you can’t see the path in front of your feet- HAVE FAITH. When you know you’re supposed to be doing something, but you’re just too scared to do it- HAVE FAITH. When everybody says you can’t, but you know deep inside you can- HAVE FAITH. When you are all alone, even in a crowd- HAVE FAITH. When you don’t understand, and the world is a very confusing place- HAVE FAITH. When you are frustrated because you know you are right, but you are feeling so wrong- HAVE FAITH.

When you have blown it, and let everybody down- HAVE FAITH. When somebody else has blown it, and let you down- HAVE FAITH. When you are sick and need to be taken care of- HAVE FAITH. When you are well and taking care of everybody else- HAVE FAITH. When you are so tied up in knots, you feel like screaming- HAVE FAITH. When absolutely nothing is working- HAVE FAITH.

“Have faith in what?” you ask. Not what, but who- God. After all, He made you and He knows you better than you know yourself. He made you incredibly resilient, awesomely creative, wondrously imaginative, and highly intelligent. He has given you everything you need to be successful, and put everything into your hands you could possibly need. You only need to BELIEVE IT and start acting on it! That’s what faith is all about. HAVE FAITH!

These four ways to eliminate fear don’t just happen. You must actively cultivate each one. Anything worthwhile takes effort, but with the right kind of effort- applied in the right ways- you can overcome your fear! Remember- clear thinking, truthful self talk, education, and faith.

Now, go make more offers!

write by Ahmed Alatari

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