“I’m Not Good At Math”

In almost every real estate class I teach, there is at least one person who will come up to me before class and say, “I’m not good at math.”  I know why they say this – it’s a defense mechanism.  They are afraid they will be made to feel stupid, so they are setting up their defense early.

But here’s the thing – by saying, “I’m not good at math,” they are not only setting up their defense, they are setting themselves up to fail.  Why is that?

You are who you define yourself to be.  One of brain’s deepest needs is to be consistent with how we define ourselves.  Our brain does not deal well with incongruency, so sometimes we force congruency — even to our own detriment.  In other words, if you define yourself as someone who is not good at math, you will unconsciously do what is necessary to make that true.

The math on the Florida real estate exam is not difficult. All you have to do is add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

Imagine you have a someone who smokes and he proudly tell people, “I’m a smoker.”  Then he doesn’t have any problem walking outside to smoke a cigarette.  He decides to quit, so now he starts telling people, “I’m trying to quit.”  That means he shouldn’t smoke, but it also gives him permission to have the occasional cigarette.  But what if instead of “I’m trying to quit,” he immediately started saying, “I’m a former smoker.”  How would that change things?

We are who we define ourselves to be.  If you walk into real estate class and say, “I’m pretty good at math,” you will have a much different experience that the person who walk in and says, “I’m not good at math.”  You are who you define yourself to be.

By the way, this isn’t just true of math.  In every class, there are a few people who tell me, “I’m not good at taking tests.”  What if those same people started off the class by saying, “I usually do well on tests that I’m prepared for.”  You are who you define yourself to be.

Maybe you are thinking, “That applies to other people, but not me.  I can say one thing, but I won’t let it define me.”

Why don’t you try something, just for kicks?  Just try it my way for length of your real estate class.  Tell yourself you are good at math and tell yourself you are good at taking tests.  Say it with enough conviction that you believe it.  Even if you do think this is psychobabble, it won’t hurt any.  And maybe, just maybe, it will help.

And then do one more thing, just for fun, when you start your real estate career, try the same thing.  Instead of moping around the office saying, “I’m not good at cold calls,” try saying, “I love talking to new people.”


Please note that I, Karen Climer, have no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold that school in 2014.  Since that time, I have had no affiliation with that school.  If you are looking for me, you will find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.