5 mindfulness myths debunked — so you can enhance your edge

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Mindfulness is often misunderstood and dismissed by professionals who see it as a “soft” skill, a time-consuming practice or something that could diminish their competitive edge. These misconceptions can prevent us from experiencing the profound benefits that mindfulness can bring to both personal and professional lives.


When I talk to real estate pros and their teams about the power and potency of mindfulness in increasing their performance, I often get back the same misconceptions, so let’s take them apart one by one.

Myth 1: Mindfulness is a ‘soft’ skill

The misconception

Many people believe that mindfulness is a fluffy, intangible concept that lacks practical application in the real world. They see it as a woo-woo, new-age trend rather than a skill with concrete benefits.

The reality

Mindfulness is far from being a mere “soft” skill. 

It is a scientifically backed practice that can significantly improve cognitive functions, emotional regulation and overall well-being. 

Research from institutions such as Harvard and Oxford Universities has shown that mindfulness can enhance attention, memory, and executive function. 

These improvements are not just theoretical; they translate into better decision-making, increased productivity, and more effective leadership.

For example, a study published in the journal “Psychological Science” found that mindfulness training can improve working memory and reduce mind-wandering. This means that individuals who practice mindfulness are better equipped to stay focused on tasks and make well-informed decisions, which are critical skills in our game of helping people with the most important purchase or sale of their life.

Myth 2: Mindfulness takes too much time

The misconception

In our fast-paced world, many believe that there is no time to fit mindfulness into their busy schedules. They think it requires long meditation sessions and extensive practice. 

We are already too busy, and adding one more thing is simply out of the question.

The reality

Mindfulness does not have to be a time-consuming practice. 

In fact, even short periods of mindfulness can have a significant impact. Multiple studies have shown that, when practiced for just 10 minutes per day, mindfulness can lead to improvements in attention span and stress reduction. 

These small, consistent efforts can easily be integrated into a daily routine without disrupting productivity.

Moreover, mindfulness can be practiced in various forms, not just through sitting meditation. Mindful breathing, mindful walking and even mindful eating are practices that can be incorporated into everyday activities. 

For instance, taking a few minutes to focus on your breath before a meeting or while commuting can help center your mind and reduce stress, leading to better performance and decision-making throughout the day.

Imagine taking a few minutes before that next listing appointment to re-center yourself and give up any attachments you might have to the outcome. Do you think you might be able to hear what the prospect is really asking for? Might you be able to respond better (rather than simply react)?

Myth 3: Mindfulness will make me lose my edge

The misconception

Some individuals fear that practicing mindfulness will make them too relaxed and cause them to lose their competitive edge. They worry that they will become complacent.

I mean, if you are already satisfied with the current situation, won’t you lose your drive?

The reality

Mindfulness does not diminish drive or competitiveness; instead, it enhances focus, clarity and resilience. 

By reducing stress and improving emotional regulation, mindfulness helps individuals maintain a clear and focused mind, even in high-pressure situations. This leads to more effective problem-solving and decision-making (and more sales).

High-performing athletes and successful business leaders often use mindfulness to maintain their edge. 

For example, Phil Jackson, the legendary NBA coach, used mindfulness techniques to help his players stay focused and perform under pressure. Similarly, many Silicon Valley executives incorporate mindfulness into their routines to enhance creativity and maintain peak performance.

In his book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World Class Performers, Tim Ferris found mindfulness to be the number one most common practice, with virtually 80 percent of interviewees saying they had some sort of mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness also fosters a growth mindset, encouraging individuals to embrace challenges and learn from setbacks. This resilience is a key factor in maintaining a competitive edge over the long term.

Anybody trying to survive in today’s changing market certainly must be aware of the difference this kind of peaceful resilience will make.

Myth 4: Mindfulness is only for stress relief

The misconception

While mindfulness is often associated with stress reduction, some people believe it is solely a tool for relaxation and not applicable to enhancing professional performance.

The reality

While reducing stress is a significant benefit of mindfulness, it is far from its only advantage. 

Mindfulness can improve various aspects of cognitive function and emotional intelligence, which are crucial for our professional success. 

For instance, mindfulness can enhance creativity, improve communication skills, and boost emotional intelligence. These benefits lead to better collaboration, innovation, and leadership.

A study published in the journal “Frontiers in Psychology” found that mindfulness training can increase divergent thinking, a key component of creativity. 

This means that individuals who practice mindfulness are more likely to generate innovative ideas and solutions, giving them a competitive advantage in problem-solving and strategic planning.

Myth 5: Mindfulness is a one-size-fits-all solution

The misconception

Some people think that mindfulness is a rigid practice that must be done in a specific way, and if it doesn’t work for them, it’s not effective. This is blatantly untrue.

The reality

Mindfulness is a flexible practice that can be tailored to fit individual needs and preferences. 

There are many different techniques and approaches, from formal meditation sessions to informal mindfulness practices, that can be integrated into daily life. 

This adaptability makes it accessible and beneficial for everyone, regardless of their lifestyle or schedule.

For example, someone who finds it difficult to sit still for meditation might benefit from mindful movement practices such as yoga or tai chi. Others might prefer incorporating mindfulness into routine activities, like mindful listening during conversations or mindful observation during a nature walk.

There are as many different ways to practice mindfulness as there are people who practice.

How mindfulness enhances your performance

In the world of real estate, maintaining an edge is crucial. Here’s how mindfulness can significantly boost our effectiveness and performance:

Improved focus and attention

Mindfulness enhances the ability to stay focused on the present moment. 

For real estate pros, this means being fully present during client interactions, leading to a better understanding of client needs and more effective communication. This heightened focus can result in more meaningful connections and higher conversion rates.

Enhanced emotional intelligence

Our business often involves dealing with rejection and maintaining a positive attitude despite setbacks. 

Mindfulness helps in developing emotional resilience and better emotional regulation. This means real estate pros can handle rejection gracefully, maintain their motivation, and bounce back quickly, which is crucial for long-term success.

There is not a team leader on the planet that doesn’t wish this for their teams.

Better stress management

The pressure to meet our goals can be intense — especially in a market that has 40 percent fewer deals than last year.

Mindfulness practices help reduce stress levels, allowing real estate professionals to approach their tasks with a clear and calm mind. This not only improves overall well-being but also enhances performance by reducing burnout and increasing sustained productivity.

Increased empathy

Mindfulness fosters empathy by encouraging individuals to be fully present and attentive to others. 

This can enhance our ability to connect with clients on a deeper level, understand their concerns, and provide tailored solutions. Empathy builds trust, which is a key component of successful relationships.

Greater adaptability and problem-solving

Mindfulness encourages a non-judgmental awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings, which can enhance cognitive flexibility. 

This allows real estate pros to adapt to changing situations more effectively and come up with creative solutions to challenges. Being adaptable is particularly valuable in today’s market.

Mindfulness is a powerful and practical skill that can enhance your edge, efficiency, and performance in both personal and professional realms. 

By debunking these common myths, I hope to encourage you to explore the benefits of mindfulness and integrate it into your daily lives. 

Remember, mindfulness is not about becoming complacent or spending hours meditating; it’s about cultivating awareness and presence in the moment, leading to a more focused, resilient and effective approach to life. 

Aaron Hendon is a managing broker, speaker, trainer and coach. Connect with Aaron on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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