How to build confidence in property investing

Psychologist Paul Martin says data and trust are unique but key factors to help you overcome fear of failure and build confidence as a property investor, and in life.

The journey to long-term sustainable success is far from smooth, and investors will be hit with many challenges and pitfalls along the way. But for psychologist and property investor Paul Martin, the key is to flip the narrative and turn all failures into valuable lessons.

On Property Hub’s Get Invested podcast, Paul talked about how investors can maintain their confidence and overcome the overwhelming feelings of failure, doubt and not being good enough.

Overcoming the fear of failure

Paul said it’s often the fear of failure that will stop investors from taking up an opportunity or risk.

“There are so many times I thought I’m not good enough to make this business work or I’m not good enough to do this or that … but then I did it anyway,” he said.

“I could feel the fear and anxiety because I didn’t want to do it, but then I would actually think, what are my values? Will this help make a difference in other people’s lives or not? Okay, well, I will get my energy to do this thing that I don’t feel I can do, and I’m just going to do it anyway. What’s the worst thing that could happen? And so I think shame and often the fear of failure are the things that stop people from doing stuff.”

Using data to make the next move

For Paul, self-doubt can be effectively minimised by using reliable and valid data as a guide towards your next step.

“I’ve been to hundreds of seminars, made more mistakes than most. To me, it’s about not looking at people’s opinions, and instead backing it up with data. Not just any data, but data that you can replicate, which means reliable data that is valid. Is this real?” Paul said.

“And even after I failed so many times. It’s just a matter of looking at what is the data saying? I don’t feel that I can do it, well that’s ok, what suburb shall I select? And that was my whole way through the course, when I was selecting properties, I don’t believe it’s going to happen because it’s has happened two times, ok, well what real estate agent are we talking to next? What’s happening in Perth? So you just need to keep doing it and note mindfully that, ok, I’ve got these fears and I don’t feel good about myself in certain ways, so what do I need to do next?”

Bushy added: “Thoughts lead to actions, and actions also lead to thoughts. That’s a two way street. So if you keep doing the do, that by volition is really reprogramming what you’re thinking at the same time.”

Validating your trust in people

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and validate the trust you have with someone to ensure they’re giving you the right information and not taking advantage of you.

“Because I’m such a passionate person and love people, it overrode my questioning mind, especially with a good mate when I should have asked oh why this? why that? Should I do this?” Paul said.

“And so there’s nothing wrong with questioning people, because if they’ve got anything to hide, well then what’s that about? And there are people I think who can do stuff that I would never think of doing. And I’ve seen spruikers out there that know that these places aren’t worth much, and they know they can open this massive release of land a year after you buy yours, and yet they’re selling you something that doesn’t make sense.” 

Bushy elaborated: “I think unfortunately with those sort of spruikers, there’s a lot of truth in what they say, but it doesn’t apply to what they’re selling you. Yes. This is the anathema for people who don’t have the experience or the knowledge, and they’re relying on the trust exercise, well they can be sold a dummy and not find out for years later.”

Avoiding emotional responses

Staying emotionally detached will ensure you don’t become negatively influenced by those who are pushing properties and products.

“They know how to tweak your emotions. When the emotional part of the brain powers up, it powers down the prefrontal cortex, which is the place where you need to make your choices,” Paul said.

“And that’s what I’ve realised on my property journey now – if there’s any emotion in it, I don’t know about it. I just want to know about the data. So if I even start to get emotional about something, it’s a bit of a warning sign for me,” Paul explained

Listen to the full interview here.

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