Personal Development

The Power of Belief: How to Overcome Your Fear of Risk-Taking, Day by Day

Expertise: Business Management, Commercial Real Estate, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics
126 Articles Written

Wouldn’t real estate investing be so much easier if we could just get the reward without all the risk? Wouldn’t it be great if we could achieve our full potential without ever leaving our comfort zone?

Yet for some reason, life isn’t that easy.

I recently re-read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, thanks to Paul Hutchings, who I interviewed on a recent podcast. Paul is an online marketer by trade, but heads up a mastermind group surrounding the power of the mind. For 5 years he was living in a mobile home and barely getting by. After practicing what Hill teaches in the book for 6 months, his situation changed and his income began to increase dramatically.

He is now convinced that belief precedes reality. In other words, whatever we believe becomes reality.

It reminds me of a quote by Henry Ford who said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Apparently Ford, too, believed that belief preceded reality.

It’s our choice to believe or not believe.

The Importance of Taking Risks

The bad news about belief is that it requires us to go outside our comfort zone and to take risks.

Risk is the action we take in response to the level of belief we have. The more we believe (in ourselves, a higher power, or whatever), the more likely we are to take risk.

Related: Hustle: The Single Most Important Factor to Finding Real Estate Deals

There’s a quote I really like by Leo Buscaglia, who was a professor at the University of Southern California, as well as best-selling author and international motivational speaker.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.

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The only way to live life to the fullest is to take some kind of risk.

We know this as real estate investors: generally speaking, the riskier a deal, the higher the reward. Sure, we can play it safe and never get started. But what have we gained? Nothing.

Or we could take some risk. Worst case, we fail. But the lessons learned can be so priceless that in the rearview mirror, they appear as a necessary launching pad into a higher orbit.

Best case, we succeed. We build on our success, expand our business and are able to achieve our financial goals so that we can do what we want to do.

Either way, we win. Either way, we’re at least trying to live life to the fullest.

But we can’t get started without BELIEF.

Strengthening Your Belief

So the lesson for me and you is: work on strengthening that belief muscle. Just like going to the gym, developing your belief is a daily, intentional act. But how?

Why not start by re-reading Think and Grow Rich? Napoleon Hill not only makes a great point about why developing belief is so critical in achieving success, but he also shows you how.

One of the techniques he talks about is daily affirmations. You probably already know how these work, but in case you don’t, here it is in a nut shell: Write down your goals and dreams on a piece of paper. State them as a matter of fact, in the present tense and with a specific timeframe. For example, you might say, “By May 2015, I am earning $3,000 per month from my real estate investments.”

Related: How to Overcome Fear & Ask for What You Want (or the Time I Made $30K in 6 Weeks)

Write down an affirmation for each area of your life, and then you repeat it out loud at least once per day.

I used to do this a couple of years ago and got sloppy with this practice. After re-reading the book, I’m back at it again. Even after a couple weeks of doing the daily affirmations, I have developed a certain confidence in what I’m saying. I may not believe it entirely yet, but I can see that in a few more weeks I will be absolutely convinced that these things will become reality as I have stated them.

Belief always precedes reality.

Talk to me. Share what daily habit helps you to develop your BELIEF and mindset.

Leave a comment with your best tricks and tips below!

Michael Blank is a leading authority on apartment building investing in the United States. He’s passionate about helping others become financially free in 3-5 years by investing in apartment building deals with a special focus on raising money. Through his investment company, he controls over $30MM in performing multifamily assets all over the United States and has raised over $8MM. In addition to his own investing activities, he’s helped students purchase over 2,000 units valued at over $87MM. He’s the author of the best-selling book Financial Freedom With Real Estate Investing and the host of the popular Apartment Building Investing podcast Apartment Building Investing podcast.
    Dan Shaker from Warren, Ohio
    Replied about 6 years ago
    If you believe that you will succeed then you truly will be successful. If you will succumb on all of the negative things that will pop in your head once you started doing a business then those things are sure bound to happen. It’s true that whatever it is you believe in will always be a reflection of what you do in life. It will never be easy to take risks but then again what will you gain if you will not take the risk especially in business. You venture out you needed to think outside the box and most of all you have to let go of your comfort zone so that you will learn more and know more about that business. Thanks a lot for this very nice article, Michael!
    Michael Blank Rental Property Investor from Northern Virginia, VA
    Replied about 6 years ago
    There will be many naysayers and unfortunately many of them will be dear friends and family. In addition to developing belief we also need to surround ourselves with people who believe in us!
    Brad Boone Real Estate Agent from Otsego, Michigan
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Sounds like a good to me from me Christmas gift. Enjoy reading your posts.
    Michael Blank Rental Property Investor from Northern Virginia, VA
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks for reading Brad …!
    Chantelle W. Investor from boston, Massachusetts
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Awesome post! Without risks, there are no rewards!
    Michael Blank Rental Property Investor from Northern Virginia, VA
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Chantelle …
    Karen Rittenhouse Flipper/Rehabber from Greensboro, NC
    Replied about 6 years ago
    The only way to overcome your fear of risk-taking is to simply do it. We all have the fears, just some of us refuse to get stopped by them. And, remember, you’re the only thing standing in your way (if you allow it). Thanks for the post.
    Michael Woodward Real Estate Investor from Greenback, Tennessee
    Replied about 6 years ago
    You’re exactly right Michael! I don’t remember where (or from whom) I first heard about “Think and Grow Rich” but it was a critical turning point for me too. I think that most people that really listen to the concept and put it into practice see dramatic results. I know I have! Thanks for the affirmations reminder!
    Jeff Arndt Investor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article! I much prefer the introverted articles that motivate us all to succeed over the technical “how to” stuff. Thanks for my daily affirmation!
    Michael Blank Rental Property Investor from Northern Virginia, VA
    Replied about 6 years ago
    My pleasure, thanks for reading!
    Andre Jefferson from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article Michael. Dreaming + Believing = Achieving or something like that.
    Shaun Reilly Landlord and Rehabber from Newton, Massachusetts
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Very good article Mike. It is pretty easy to get out of some of these habits. I was doing a lot of affirmations and also got sloppy with it. I think that is a good New Year’s resolution to get back into! The positive mindset thing is SO critical for success!
    Michael Blank Rental Property Investor from Northern Virginia, VA
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Shaun – better than waiting til the New Year is to start TODAY -;)
    Lumi Ispas Real Estate Coach from Chicago, IL
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great article. I love “Think and Grow Rich”. I keep reading it multiple times a year and everytime I get something else out of it. Great post and wonderful remind us about the power of affirmations. Wouldn’t be wonderful if more people will understand the power of our mindset?