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By Kim Ades

RISMEDIA, Nov. 12, 2007-For those of you who have never seen “American Idol,” it is the sensationally successful television reality show where singers compete to be crowned the next musical superstar.

First, they have to survive the judging critique where the brutally honest Simon Cowell and his co-judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul dish out devastating dismissals to the starry-eyed hopefuls. Then, nationwide voting occurs to eliminate one contestant at a time. If you are the one to get “voted off” the show, you have to perform a “sing out.”

Yes. You are reeling from the realization that millions and millions of people don’t like you, and you have to pull yourself together in front of the judges, the live audience and the millions of viewers, and sing your heart out before leaving. Wow! Talk about emotional resilience!

The “American Idol” model provides us with a very interesting case study for emotional resilience. Here are 10 very different people, and nine of them are subjected to the same “sing out” experience and they each handle it in extremely different ways.

The same event will produce an array of results. One person will crumble and cry, another’s voice will quiver, one will forget the words, one performer will go into the audience and ham it up for a last hurrah, and another person rises to the occasion and sings his or her heart out. Different people, same event, nine different outcomes. Why?
The answer is simply this: It is not about the event. The reaction is a direct response to the meaning that we attach to the event.

For example, in regards to our “American Idol” hopefuls:

One person considers it an opportunity of a lifetime.
To another, it confirms their belief that they are a horrible singer.
To one, it will be a moment in their lives they will never forget.
Yet another will think of it as the springboard event that launches his or her career.

They all frame it differently. The way we react to the events in our lives is a choice that we have absolute control over.

Today, real estate agents are suffering and spiraling out of control as frightening statistics about a bust marketplace hit the headlines. As real estate professionals, we need to insulate ourselves and find the inner strength to not only cope with these devastating conditions, but to make them work for us. We need to find the wherewithal to succeed despite hard times.

We always knew that the real estate profession was like a roller coaster and we’ve been riding on top for a long time; now we need to catch our fall, fast, before it’s too late.

How do we do this? We need to build emotional resilience. We do this by strengthening our mental muscle so that we are able to catch the fall, and disengage from those thoughts that erode our confidence.

Here are three things you can do each day to build emotional resilience:

1. Journaling

Putting your thoughts and aspirations in writing is a powerful tool. When you write your thoughts each day, you are creating the opportunity for those thoughts to become part of your belief system. This is how it works:

Heightened Awareness will accelerate your personal development by identifying thoughts that do not serve you. These are the thoughts that require dislodging from your mind to allow success to enter your life.

Continuous Practice of thoughts that serve us will lead to a focused frame of mind, and reinforce our dreams and goals.

Focused Action is a critical part of designing the life you desire. Use your journal to create a strategic action plan to drive toward your goals.

2. Infrastructure

Attitude is everything and accounts for a huge component of your success. It also requires building and daily maintenance. Think about the structures in your life that allow you to keep your attitude up and focused on a continual basis.

Surround yourself with likeminded people. Look at the people in your world and see if their frame of mind builds you up or deflates you. Make a conscious choice to surround yourself with people that support your way of thinking. Look for mentors and coaches that support, inspire and ultimately have a positive impact on your success.
Daily discipline. Keeping a focused frame of mind requires consistent attention. Become part of a system that engages this muscle everyday.
Methods for self accountability. Make a promise to yourself every day-no matter how small-and keep it.

3. Commitment to living from the heart

When you truly live from your heart, you are enabling yourself to accomplish all that is within your heart to accomplish. When you make a commitment to yourself and make the decision to own your own life, you are, in fact, allowing yourself to achieve success.

As real estate professionals, we often find ourselves before a panel of judges, and our abilities placed on a ballot for voting in our quest to become “America’s Top Performing Agent.” Even though we don’t always win the crown, our ability to play the stage is what really counts. Is your emotional resilience up for the game?

Kim Ades, MBA, is president of Opening Doors and Frame of Mind Coaching. Visit and download free: “The Seven Secrets to Adjusting your Frame of Mind to Attract More Real Estate Sales Sooner.”