The Real Estate Investor's Guide to Overcoming Fear

Welcoming failure is part of the learning process. Here are some ideas to overcome your fear of making mistakes so you can grow and take action.

The Real Estate Investor’s Guide to Overcoming Fear

It’s easy for investors to get stuck in analysis paralysis or a general fear of moving forward, especially during uncertain times.

Naturalist John Burroughs famously said “Leap and the net will appear.” If you have faith in yourself, and believe you can do it, the necessary resources will be made available to help you succeed. The caveat is that no successful person achieves success in isolation. Resources provided through the support of others form your safety net.

The growth mindset also demands that you adopt a new attitude toward making mistakes. We have to welcome failure because it’s a key part of the learning process. In fact, you learn more from messing up than from doing things right.

However, this attitude is not second nature for most of us. Here are some ideas on how to overcome your fear of making mistakes so that you can grow and take action.

Who Says You Shouldn’t Make Mistakes?

What keeps many of us from getting over this fear of making mistakes is perceived pressure from outside. You may have presented the idea to family and friends about investing in real estate. Maybe you yourself don’t think it’s such a big deal, but you worry that others will ridicule and judge you.

It could be pressure you feel when you receive less than enthusiastic responses. If so, it might help to realize that no one is judging you. Sometimes peoples’ responses are more about their own fear of taking risks. In fact, those around you will more likely be impressed to see you taking risks, even if you don’t succeed.

It may be helpful to realize that you are definitely going to make mistakes, then welcome them. Mistakes are an essential part of growing and learning. People who seem brave don’t have any more courage than the rest of us. They are afraid and take action anyway.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Many people find it helpful to think about the worst that could happen if they try something and fail. This helps to dispel the fear because you realize the worst-case scenario is not so bad after all. Will you wreck your business? How much money will you lose? Will there be permanent damage that can’t be undone?

Once you consider the worst that could happen, visualize the best that could happen. Often by comparing these two, we can see that the potential reward far outweighs the risk.

Boost Your Confidence Through Knowledge

Absolutely, real estate investing can be a rewarding venture, but it carries risks. If you’ve asked yourself the worst-case scenario questions, and find you’re too unsure of the answers, consider a couple steps to boost your confidence and make well-informed decisions:

  • Do Thorough Background Work

Start by conducting comprehensive research on the property and the market it’s in, and your type of investment strategy. Understand the neighborhood, local property values, historical trends, plans for future development, and any potential challenges or opportunities specific to the area. Plan ahead for your backup strategy. For instance, if you were planning to do a flip and the property doesn’t sell for the price you want, will you hold and rent or take another path?

  • Don't Forget Due Diligence

It’s tempting to rush into deals. Take the time to perform due diligence on the property itself. This includes inspections, title searches, financial analysis, and a thorough understanding of any potential legal or zoning issues. If you can track down a recent rehab or rental property purchased in the area by another investor, see if you can connect with them to learn from their experience.

Get Peer and Mentorship Support

  • Colleague Support 

Seek brainstorming, feedback and support from colleagues. Discussing your research and investment plans with others can provide valuable insight and perspectives you may not have considered. Being part of an accountability team such as a mastermind group can serve as a sounding board, reality check, resources and support for your ideas.

  • Form Your team         

Build your team of professionals including realtors, contractors, property managers, title companies and lenders. Don’t be afraid to ask for references, then make the calls to learn about other’s experiences before adding them to your team.

  • Mentorship and Coaching

Find a mentor or advisor who has a successful track record in investing themselves as well as coaching others. Learning from someone with experience can significantly boost your confidence and help you avoid common pitfalls.

Keep on Learning

The real estate market and investment approaches are ever-evolving. Stay committed to continuous learning and stay updated on industry trends, new regulations and emerging technologies that can impact your investments.

Continually monitor the broader real estate market to stay updated on trends, interest rates and economic factors that can impact property values. This will help you anticipate market fluctuations and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Knowledge is your most powerful tool in mitigating risks and maximizing the potential for success. The great thing is, it’s readily available!

Shut Down Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic is the voice inside your head that shoots you down before you even get started. When setting goals, we all want to be realistic. Your inner critic goes far beyond “realistic” and simply prevents you from taking action. When you’re about to take a risk or try something new, this voice stops you by focusing on mistakes you could make.

You can dispel your inner critic by identifying it and calling it out. Learn to recognize when you’re not being realistic but self-defeating. Once you know this is happening, you can remember that succeed or fail, you’ll learn something valuable, and ignore it.

Reframe with Positive Self-talk

The language you use, both internally and externally, is very important in forming how you think about what you do. Learn to frame things using positive phrases rather than negative, and it will change your attitude as well.

For example, you just completed a flip that didn’t bring much of a profit for all the work involved. Instead of saying you didn’t do it right, reframe it to say, “I need to put more time into my scope of work next time.” You’re focused on how you can improve rather than how you failed.

Take the Next Step to Move Forward Without Fear

Want to take steps to conquer fears and move forward with your goals? Check out the Investors Network Community (INC) Mastermind Program with groups starting soon!

INC’s community of support will support you in making sound decisions, build confidence in your investment choices, hold you accountable so you stay on track, and have your back as you achieve your goals.

Questions?  Drop an email to Katy Fleming, INC Director at  

Categories: Goal attainment, Overcome fear, Team support