Ah 2020 – a year we certainly won’t forget any time soon. It’s a year that brought us a tremendous number of ups and downs, especially for us in the mortgage industry as we navigated forbearance plans with borrowers, record refi and purchase volumes, and fully remote workplaces to meet shutdown mandates.
With everything 2020 threw at us both professionally and personally, I’m sure you utilized one particular word in your vocabulary more than you ever have – hard. I’ve heard statements like “life is hard” and “getting this file straightened out is incredibly hard” more times than I can count.
As we embark on this new year, I want to posit a vocabulary change to you that will not only help you feel empowered in whatever difficult situation you find yourself in, but also to help you create a new positive mindset for yourself.
“Hard” Takes Away Your Control
When you hear the word “hard,” what do you think of? Something that’s difficult, more of a challenge than you want to take on, exhausting. Those labels can certainly apply to things we have to do in our personal and professional lives like exercising and chasing down various components of a loan file. But we also connotate “hard” with unchangeable characteristics of things like rocks and steel, attributes that feel insurmountable.
When you use “hard” to describe something going on at work, it puts an immediate block on your brain and almost creates a “why even bother trying” mentality, even when you don’t realize it.
The thing is, there are many things we label as “hard” that aren’t truly. Think about what’s “hard” in context – is doing business in this remote or hybrid environment hard or is it just throwing unknowns into the mix that you’ve never experienced before? Is studying for a new certification like the CMB hard or is it challenging because you haven’t had to study since college?
If you say something’s hard, you almost immediately take away your control in the situation or make the task so difficult that you’ll spend the entire time just wanting it to be over.
“Messy” Empowers You
Here’s the word I want you to start using when you reach for the h-word – “messy”. When you say things are messy, that means you can (and should) feel empowered to clean whatever it is up. So, when the appraisal doesn’t come back at the value you thought it would, don’t think “this situation is so hard” – think that it’s just messy and something you can work through.
“Messy” is non-permanent, “hard” is not.
Having the right mindset, including focusing on calling things messy rather than hard, gives you a better positive mindset – one that can help you grow whether it’s in your personal or professional life.
Intend to Have a Positive Mindset
I’d argue you can’t make this one change in isolation – making the shift from “hard” to “messy” happens alongside intending to see more things in a positive light. If you start each day intending to see things as messy, you start to see more opportunities to make those positive mind shifts which can help you accomplish more in your personal and professional life.
Can you imagine how good accomplishing your goals would feel if you felt good about getting them done versus feeling like you had to slog through them?