In one of my first deals as a real estate agent, I represented the buyer and the seller’s agent was particularly controlling in ways that were creating obstacles to the deal.
The situation was eating up a lot of my energy. I was incensed at the other agent’s lack of professionalism, and the lawyer in me wanted to fight back.
One of my mentors encouraged me to let it go, and offered this wisdom:
Buyers and sellers come and go, but co-brokers last forever.
Her point: most people move only once every 5 to 7 years on average. In that time, I might run into this other agent multiple times. The fight wasn’t worth it. Cultivating the relationship for the long term was more important.
I swallowed my righteous indignation for the sake of the deal. The other agent eventually apologized over drinks and we developed a nice relationship.
The advice stuck with me and is wisdom I’ve since passed on to many junior agents.
Business and life are about relationships. We are best served by cultivating them, even when it means sometimes swallowing our pride and putting our own egos aside.
It occurred to me recently that this advice can apply more broadly to how we navigate any challenge.
Challenges inevitably arise. We face antagonists and obstacles in our path to getting things done. Something or someone gets in the way.
Sometimes the “perpetrator” is another person, sometimes it’s an invisible force or a circumstance. And sometimes it the person in the mirror.
As much as we might want to obliterate whatever is in the way, the best way to soften the resistance is through acceptance of what is. And it helps tremendously if we can accept and love ourselves through the process.
Beating ourselves up in difficult times does nothing to improve our situation.
Self-criticism and self-judgment cut the fabric of our self-trust and self-love, creating a breeding ground for doubts, insecurities, and second guessing that prevent us from taking action in the future.
To put a spin on my mentor’s advice:
Challenges come and go, but our relationship with ourselves lasts forever.
when challenge arrives
learn to accept where you are
love yourself through it