JF1132: 5 Steps To An Unstoppable Mindset #SkillSetSunday with Tina Greenbaum

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As it pertains to real estate investing, Tina gives us a little insight into how we can gain an unstoppable mindset. We have to be able to manage many parts of our bodies and mind to be truly unstoppable according to Tina. Listen to this episode for more in-depth insight on how you can be the best version of yourself in the middle of a tough negotiation, (or any other high-stress situation). If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

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Tina Greenbaum Background:
-CEO at Mastery Under Pressure, Peak Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, an Optimal Performance Specialist, and a dynamic workshop leader
-Works with business leaders, athletes, artists, speakers with over 30 years experience
-Based in San Francisco, California
-Say hi to her at www.tinagreenbaum.com/


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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of fluff. Because it is Sunday, first off, I hope you’re having a best ever weekend, and because it’s Sunday, we’ve got a special segment called Skillset Sunday where we talk about a specific skill that you can then go apply towards your real estate endeavors.

Today we’re gonna be talking about getting mastery under pressure, and being able to be at your peak performance so that you achieve an unstoppable mindset. And holy cow, guess what?! That’s the name of our best ever guest’s book, “Mastery Under Pressure: How To Achieve An Unstoppable Mindset.” How are you doing, Tina Greenbaum?

Tina Greenbaum: Well, how are you today, Joe?

Joe Fairless: I’m doing very well, and I’m looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Tina – she is the CEO at Mastery Under Pressure, peak performance coaching. She’s an executive coach, she’s a licensed clinical social worker, an optimal performance specialist and a dynamic workshop leader. She works with business leaders, athletes, real estate investors, speakers for the last 30 years, and she’s based in San Francisco, California.

She just released her book, Mastery Under Pressure: How To Achieve An Unstoppable Mindset – you can go check that out on Amazon.

Today, that’s our focus of the conversation – it’s gonna be on how to be a master under pressure and achieve an unstoppable mindset. With that being said, Tina, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Tina Greenbaum: Sure. I am a clinical social worker by training; I’ve lived in six different places, and mostly on the East Coast. I started over my business six times, so I know a lot about entrepreneurship, I know a lot about taking risks, and I am here in the Bay Area now, working with business professionals, real estate investors, salespeople… Anybody who is in business and wants to improve their performance. So it’s not like you’re just kind of weak and not doing so great; you’re actually doing okay, you just wanna do better.

The way that I look at this is every great performer would never go out and perform without knowing these mental skills. Many of us kind of studied our subject matter, but we don’t really look at what’s between the ears, which actually rules everything.

Joe Fairless: I completely agree. I read a quote last night on some fitness Facebook page and it said “Your mind will quit much sooner than your body.” It’s applied not only in fitness, but in everything else. How should we frame our conversation, knowing that we want to improve our performance and know the mental skills for doing so?

Tina Greenbaum: Okay, so you and I talked a little bit about the kind of mindset that you need to have to be a real estate investor, let’s just kind of start with that. Any kind of business that you’re going to invest money in, you take a risk. And in order to take a risk, we’re now in the unknown. We take what we call calculated risks, we kind of do our homework and put our money where we think that it’s going to make money for us, but the truth is we don’t know what’s actually gonna happen tomorrow, none of us do.

So when we get caught up in trying to control the future, we get into trouble. I have five pieces to my curriculum. Focus – what do I focus on? We kind of lose focus, we bring it back, we get distracted, we bring it back, so the question is really “What do we focus on and what happens to us when we lose focus and how do we even know if we’re not paying attention?”

Relaxation – I’m a mind/body person, and this is something that people maybe think is a little woo-woo, we don’t talk about it a lot, but the truth is thank goodness that the neuroscience now is starting to validate a lot of the things that seem to have been very mystical. What I mean by that is that there is a mind and a body connection. In traditional talk therapy they would start with the head, the mental part, and then go down into the body. Now they’re talking about it from the bottom up. What does that mean? It means that in order to manage our stress, we have to be able to manage our nervous system. And in order to manage the nervous system, we have to know how to do that.

Relaxation techniques – we talk about yoga and we talk about all these things, but we’re gonna bring it down to a very practical thing to think about, that if you can calm your nervous system down in an instant when you get nervous, if you have practiced how to do that. We’re going to use the breath – there’s a thing called the relaxation response, and it takes practice and repetition, practice and repetition, just like any new skill, but it will be your best friend.

Joe Fairless: Can you elaborate on it? Because that is a skill that would be very helpful to acquire, being able to calm our nervous system in an instant, knowing that the nervous system is directly related to the stress.

Tina Greenbaum: That’s right. And we know if our system is on overload, we can’t think clearly. So if you’re in a negotiation and you wanna have your best foot forward, you wanna be very grounded and you wanna know exactly what you’re taking in, and be conscious of what’s happening internally.

The breath – there’s a bunch of different ways that you can practice it; there’s things online, I actually have a relaxation tape that I’m creating… But it’s basically using the breath – if we think about the yoga breath, they call it the three-part breath. If you put your hands down on your belly, way down on your abdomen, and you breathe in through your nose and you just allow the belly to fill up, just like it was a [unintelligible [00:07:09].27] and it’s actually counterintuitive, because many of us breathe from way up in the upper chest, and when we do that — our mind is very spinny, so we wanna bring the breath… Just put your hands down on your belly, let the belly expand, and then let all the breath out before you take the next breath in.

Joe Fairless: Let it out through your nose or your mouth?

Tina Greenbaum: Through your nose. In and out through your nose. Because when you breathe through your nostrils, you get a much finer connection to the brain, and over time you will balance out both sides of the brain. So it’s actually a three-part breath – it starts in the belly, and then once you get that, then it’s the belly and the rib cage, and then once you get that, it’s the belly, the rib cage and then the upper chest. And when you let it go, you let the belly go first, and then the rib cage, and then the upper chest. All the breath out before you take the next breath in.

Joe Fairless: Where are your hands in this?

Tina Greenbaum: Okay, so we use our hands just so that you can feel that you’re actually opening up this part of the body. So we start out with putting your hands on your belly first, then your belly and then your rib cage, and then you take the bottom hand that’s on your belly and put it into your upper chest.

And I have to indicate that it’s not natural for us. Babies breathe like this, and if you actually have to lay on your belly, you’re gonna have to breathe like this. But we have all kinds of emotions that are in the body, and sometimes we get stuck and sometimes it’s harder to open up one part, then another part… It just takes patience and practice.

So you could be sitting in a meeting and nobody would ever know; if you’re starting to feel anxious and you’re not sure which way to go and what you wanna say, you just take a moment, nobody will see it; you don’t have to put your hands on your body, just take a nice deep breath, let it go, and all of a sudden now your mind is back.

Another little tip is to be aware of your feet. If you do that, you’re gonna be more grounded. There’s a wonderful little saying that says “Your mind is where your breath is.” If your breath is short and shallow, your mind is gonna be very spinny. Your energy is gonna leave your body and you’re not gonna be able to find yourself.

Joe Fairless: What should your feet be doing?

Tina Greenbaum: Just be aware of your feet on the floor… Which leads us into the next piece – it’s really about mindfulness. Again, mindfulness is being thrown around a lot today; it’s like “Oh my god, everything is mindfulness, mindfulness.” I’ve been doing this for over 30 years because you can’t change anything until you’re mindful of what you’re doing.

You would notice when you make a real estate deal without doing your homework. It’s the same thing – we operate, automatic, but there’s so much going on; there’s so much under the surface that if you become a student of really being curious about your own unconscious material, your own self, what’s driving you, what’s calling you, what are you scared of? How do I react in a certain situation? What kind of negotiator am I? What is my tolerance for risk? What happens when I feel I am over the line, I’m risking too much?

All these things – you get these amazing indicators once you become connected. A lot of times when I feel stressed and when I feel like somebody’s trying to control, there’s a situation I’m not happy with, it’ll go right to my shoulders and my neck. So if I’m feeling that tightness in my shoulders and my neck, I start to look around “Okay, where am I feeling out of control? Who’s pushing my buttons?” It’s like a shortcut. This stuff is so unbelievably powerful, and we don’t teach it.

Joe Fairless: So the first thing is focus (what we focus on), the second is relaxation of the mind,  being aware of the mind and the body connection, and you gave a very practical exercise for us to implement. What’s the third?

Tina Greenbaum: The third one was mindfulness.

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Tina Greenbaum: So becoming mindful. Let’s just say, again, somebody’s presenting something to you, they’re presenting a deal to you, and you’re interested, but you’re noticing that you’re really, really anxious, because you’re aware of what anxiety looks like for you. Not everybody experiences it the same way. When I do workshops and I go around and ask people to think of something that’s challenging, some people will say it’s in their belly, some people will say it’s in their chest, some people will say it’s in their neck. So it’s important for you to become aware of how your body speaks to you, and the only way we can do that is if we sit sometimes quietly, we just notice… “I notice this makes me really wanna jump out of my skin.” Or “This feels really good, I’m really excited.”

Again, it’s a practice. There’s mindfulness meditations where you just pay attention to everything that kind of comes into your awareness: the sounds from the outside, my breath… And then there’s just mindfulness of just like “I notice how I feel. I’m noticing the sensations that my body gives me”, because the body speaks in sensations. And then once I learn to identify what those sensations mean to me, then I’ve got now a new language. So mindfulness is really important. Does that make sense to you, Joe?

Joe Fairless: That makes sense, yes. You know, I just read 10% Happier, by Dan Harris. Have you read that?

Tina Greenbaum: No, I haven’t, but there’s a lot of books on happiness these days, so yeah…

Joe Fairless: 10% Happier, something like that… He talks about his journey towards getting 10% happier, and it’s what you’re describing – being aware of your surroundings and being present in the moment. You’re being very practical, which I am very appreciative of, because we’re gonna be able to implement some of this stuff right after this interview.

So number three is mindfulness…

Tina Greenbaum: Then I look at belief systems and how we talk to ourselves. Negative self-talk. Let’s just say that the mind, by its nature, is always protective. We’re always looking for danger, that’s how we’re wired. So what happens a lot of times, we just react; somebody says something, we get annoyed and we respond back. The anger just sits underneath the surface and we have this tone of voice… So there’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s going on, and sometimes we get really annoyed with ourselves. “Ugh, I can’t believe I did that”, or “That was really stupid.” Or “I don’t really have anything to say here.” There’s a million different ways that we undo ourselves. So again, if we don’t even know how we’re talking to ourselves, then the mind just does what it does – you’ve heard the term “monkey mind”, it jumps all over the place. It’s not managed, it’s not controlled.

This is an energy thing – whatever we focus on, expands. That’s a really important concept. So if we’re kind of going down this road and sort of undoing ourselves, and self-sabotaging, not even being aware that we’re doing it, that’s what our experience of life is gonna be. So if I were to venture – I didn’t read that book on happiness, but it’s where we focus, where we put our attention.
It’s very important, number one, to put attention to how we’re thinking. Just kind of tune in during the day. As the day goes on, or you’re with your family, or you’re in a business meeting – just notice, “How am I talking to myself?”, because you’ve gotta be your own best friend. We’re working sort of against nature in how to do that.

I call it taking a negative statement, and then rather than saying “I put it into a positive statement”, I like to say “Do my thoughts produce something useful for me?”

I’ll give you an example – let’s just say I wanna take something to the post office. It’s a Saturday morning, I wrap my package, I go to the post office, and I get there and the post office is closed. I get pissy, I get annoyed with myself. Well, it could actually ruin your day. “I can’t believe that they closed. I had this thing, it was really important”, and so on. And then you’ll go down that downward spiral. Or you could say to yourself – and this is another important piece – that “I take responsibility for my own experience. I am in charge of what happens to me. I’m in charge of what I create.”

The truth is I didn’t look and see what time the post office was closed. Now I know, it’s 10 after 12 and they close at 12. Now I know something that I didn’t know before. Okay, so next time I’ll just get there earlier, and then we’re done. It’s a simple example, but if you think about it over and over again, how many times we get annoyed with situations or people, but if we just kind of flip it around – I’m responsible for my own behavior… How did I create this conversation that went South? What was my part? It’s just a masterful piece of self-acknowledgement that will change your life if you change — because people get into trouble because they’re very good at blaming other people. “If only he would do this” and “If only she would do that.” “I can’t believe they’re doing this”, “I can’t believe they’re late.” Where’s my part? Because that’s where your power is. If I can find my own part, I may not be happy with what I’ve done, but I’m the only one that can change it.

So do your thoughts produce something useful for you?

Joe Fairless: Yes, that’s a powerful one. Even as simple as when you ask someone “How are you doing?” and they say “Not too bad” – that drives me crazy, because it’s like “Well, you’re doing bad, but you’re just not doing too bad. Please elaborate, what’s going on in your life?” They say it and they don’t think about it, but in reality if they are doing well, then they should be saying “I’m doing well”, or “Hey, I’m having a great day”, or whatever. It’s just small things like that that might seem insignificant, but they pile on day after day, and they lead to other things. As you said, it could influence the rest of your day.

Tina Greenbaum: That’s right. And the rest of your life. Honestly, Joe, if people do not choose to do this work, they’ll go out this way. It’s work, it’s consciousness, it’s awareness, it’s taking the time, it’s being willing to change. Again, I’ve heard so many saying… “Expect something different while you keep doing the same thing – that’s really insanity”, and yet, we do. We just keep doing the same thing and get mad that it’s not working. Or “This deal didn’t work for me”, or “Somebody else didn’t tell me something”, and on and on and on…

This is the stuff that can change your life, your business, your relationships, the way you raise your children, how your children take on the next generation, and so on. That’s how important I think this stuff is.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, I agree. Number five?

Tina Greenbaum: There’s another little piece to the thinking — we have belief systems underneath our conscious mind, and they rule us. If you look at what’s going on in our country in terms of the polarity, in terms of the values that people are holding, if they don’t get examined, then we’re just robots; we just rinse and repeat. I have a whole thing about belief systems and values and “Whose are they? Are they mine? Are they my parents’?”

I use this silly example a lot of times about ketchup. My mother thought that Heinz ketchup was the best Ketchup in the world. I don’t really know if it is, but when I go to the store I just buy Heinz ketchup. So if I don’t examine it and really kind of look, then we’re just on automatic.

Again, if you’re not happy with other people, this is the part of being empathic with yourself and with somebody else. It’s like “Where do you come from? How do you think the way that you’re thinking?” If you can start to practice and really kind of get into people’s values and what they think is really important and what you think is important, we can make dramatic shifts. So that’s another part of my bully pulpit, so to speak.

And the last one is creating powerful visualizations. Let’s just imagine, again, that you have this dream about owning property and getting involved — I think you’re pretty big in multifamily investments and homes and so on… So let’s just imagine that I’m sitting here and this is my vision; I create a vision for myself about the way I want my life to be, where I wanna go. Now, I haven’t got a clue at this moment, let’s just say, of how to get there, but I have a vision. So I start to kind of move my life in that way, and ask myself “Is what I’m doing gonna take me to that end result? Even though I don’t know how to get there step by step by step”, and I start to visualize what my day looks like. “Am I moving in that direction, or am I way off? Am I just kind of getting lost in making agreements and decisions about things that don’t take me where I want.”

So we start with this powerful visualization of — people do vision boards and all kinds of things, but if you sit and you work and imagine what you wanna create, and then you walk towards that way, your life begins to start to take on some really interesting connections and things.

People talk about the law of attraction, and “Does that stuff really work?” Well, if our whole body and our minds are in alignment and we’re looking at what we wanna create, again, everything that we focus on expands, and we use the power of visualization, you can create a visualization and even if it hasn’t happened yet, your brain already has had that experience. So again, when we come back to athletes, and I live out in the Bay Area and the Golden State Warriors are so cool, and Steph Curry is a three-point shooter… And just kind of watching him, I just know what he has done in terms of his mind and his mental state and how he visualizes… People do fast shots, they have routines. “This one will bounce it two times, or this one will bend their knees”, and they do it over and over and over again, and that creates that neural pathway. So when they’re under pressure, they’re not thinking; their body is just taking over, they’re allowing the body to do what it does. They know how to focus, they know what their hand does… It’s a whole thing about the neuroscience and which side of the brain is operating, and how you quiet down one side and open the other.. But this is how visualization works – we create the vision, and then we walk into it

Every time I do a workshop, or I’m getting ready to do a talk, or a lecture, I sit down in the morning and I visualize, “What do I wanna create? What’s the environment that I wanna create? What do I wanna have happen?”, and I walk through it step by step. And then when I’m actually doing it, it’s like…

Joe Fairless: You’ve been there.

Tina Greenbaum: I’ve been there.

Joe Fairless: Yup.

Tina Greenbaum: So when we talk about preparing for a big meeting, or a sales negotiation, taking the time and really doing the preparation will have you just walk into something that you never even thought was possible before.

Joe Fairless: Tina, I have taken lots of notes, and I’m gonna summarize them here in a second, but first, before we do that, where can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?

Tina Greenbaum: I have a website, it’s called TinaGreenbaum.com.

Joe Fairless: How did you come up with that name? [laughs] Tina, this lesson – I’m titling it Five Practical Steps To An Unstoppable Mindset. You really over-delivered on this one, because we talked about how to manage stress and improve performance, but you went much deeper than that, and it’s not just about improving performance, it is really having an unstoppable mindset.

The first step is focus. Tony Robbins talks about “Where focus goes, energy flows.” You’re talking about what are we focusing on – being self-aware of that. That’s number one.

Number two – relaxation, the body and mind connection. You gave us the practical breathing exercise.

Number three – mindfulness. Be aware of the moment, be aware of how we’re feeling in that moment, and being aware of how our body speaks to us.

Number four is the belief systems – how we talk to ourselves. As you said, whatever we focus on, it expands. And I love the question that we should ask ourselves – “Do you thoughts produce something useful for me?” And take responsibility for our experiences, that’s a key thing, especially in these times.

And then number five – creating powerful visualizations.

Thanks for being on the show… Lots of great lessons in this five-step process.

Tina Greenbaum: If you go to my website, right to my homepage, there are those five things with five exercises.

Joe Fairless: Oh, beautiful. Even better. I will do that myself, and I’m sure a lot of Best Ever listeners will, as well. Have a best ever weekend, Tina, and we’ll talk to you soon!

Tina Greenbaum: Alright, Joe. Take care now. Bye-bye!

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