Real Estate Investing’s Inner Game


Every once in a while I get an internal reminder that I am a work in progress.  In this instance it was not one of those “hit you over the head with an 8 pound sledge hammer” reminders that you get when you have been particularly blind to your own faults.  It was more of a little “A Ha!” that had larger implications if uncorrected.  And by being aware of this quiet reminder, I hope to avoid the previously referenced sledge hammer in the near future!

The subject of my internal wake up call was driving a beautiful new black Mercedes 550S Class sedan and was waiting to make a left hand turn across my lane.  The driver was female, looked like she had just gotten back from the salon, and was politely waiting for me to pass.  She did nothing wrong, sat there calmly waiting for me to drive by, with her flasher on.  As I drove by I thought to myself something like:  “Oh boy, there goes another rich twit in her paid for …”


The guardian of my mind popped into my head waving his mechanical arms like the Robot in an episode of that 1960’s television series “Lost in Space.”

“Warning!”  “Warning!”  “Danger, Craig Higdon!!!”

For those of you too young to know the reference, I’m sure that you can find an old episode somewhere on cable TV.  You won’t have to wait too long before ol’ Mr. Robot shows up to give you a demonstration.

Anyway, do you realize what my “guardian” did for me?  He trounced all over a “limiting belief” and gave me a chance to correct it.

Choosing Our Beliefs

For those of you not familiar with the term “limiting belief,” I first came across it while investigating Neurolinguistic Programming, or “NLP” some years back.  NLP is a study of internal and external communication processes and its effect on human behavior.

One of the things that you learn in the course of studying NLP is that in large part our behavior is governed by our beliefs … and that our beliefs are what we make them!  Think about that for a moment … we chose all of our beliefs!  Everything that you believe about everything was a choice that you made.  You will have to take my word for it for the moment because I could fill volumes on just this aspect of NLP.

Just for fun, you might want to examine a belief or two that you have.  Start with something simple like:  “I believe that peanut butter is good for me.”  Now ask yourself a few questions:

When did I start to believe that?  What evidence do I have that makes that true?  What evidence do I have that makes that not true?  What do I get out of believing that?  What would happen if I did not believe that?

There are more questions to ask that would help you to change a belief, but hopefully in the course of asking yourself the questions above you came to the realization that you decided to adopt that belief at sometime in the past based upon some rules, some evidence, or an experience that you had.  This has some interesting implications, doesn’t it?

And what does this have to do with commercial real estate investing, commercial loans, and construction projects?  Quite a bit, actually.

One of the questions that I get frequently is:  “How do I get started or go to the next level in commercial real estate?”  The overly simple answer to that is:  “Well, first you have to believe that you can!”

Limit Those Limiting Beliefs

Let me illustrate this.  I have had people who owned multiple 1 to 4 unit properties, maybe 20 to 30 units in all, ask me how to buy their first apartment building or other piece of commercial real estate.  When I get that question I have to chuckle … because they already have an apartment building!  It is simply broken up into smaller chunks.  Granted, the mechanics of multifamily real estate are slightly different than for multiunit residential, but in this case the questioner is already a commercial real estate or “income producing real estate” investor.  He just hasn’t realized it.

He doesn’t “believe” that he’s is a commercial real estate investor and has thus artificially “limited” his options for investing.  He does not yet “believe” that he can invest in other types of real estate.

So let me get back to my story and my little mental guardian.  I passed the nice lady in the Mercedes, saw her make her turn in the rearview mirror, and we both went our merry ways.  As I drove away, I changed my thoughts about her to:  “She has done well and I wish her to continue to do well.”

Because I have had a little training in NLP I was able to catch myself looping into an old belief about wealth and wealthy people and make the “change” at the time in my thinking.  The experience did serve to remind me that I need to be vigilant in my “belief monitoring” and that I might want to make a personal inventory of my beliefs concerning wealth in the near future.

And if you don’t think that you have some buried beliefs about wealth and being wealthy that are working against you in your real estate investments, my friend, you are simply kidding yourself.  They are all there in the daily newspapers, T.V. shows, magazines, etc.  You probably can’t go 10 minutes without hearing or seeing something “bad” about making money or being “rich.”   Have you ever heard the phrase “filthy rich?”  Uh huh.  And I’ll bet that you know a bunch of others, too.

So you need to place a guardian in your mind to sift out those limiting beliefs.  This will help you with any self-sabotage you may have encountered in your life.  It is not easy without the right tricks, but it is very rewarding.  So as you develop your commercial real estate investment techniquesArticle Search, remember to focus on your inner game to manifest your outer goals.