5 tips for navigating times of frustration and uncertainty

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Whether it’s commission lawsuit settlements or life in general that’s causing your stress, broker-owner Pam Blair offers insight to help you come out stronger on the other side.

At Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30-Aug. 1, 2024, the noise and misinformation will be banished, all your big questions will be answered, and new business opportunities will be revealed. Join us.

In early March, I stepped off a plane and back into my world after a 91-mile backpacking trek in the wilderness of Patagonia. Despite being an avid hiker, I had begun this great adventure terrified. I had no idea what to expect and the uncertainty felt paralyzing.

By the time I returned home, I had been so completely extracted from my comfort zone that I was in a state of full surrender. 

The practice of surrendering what you cannot control is the conscious decision not to paddle upstream. It’s a zen habit that encourages you to embrace and feel what you cannot control instead of creating more stress while trying to fight against it. 


When the bombshell news of the National Association of Realtors’ lawsuit settlement hit about a week later, the Stress-O-Meter of my nervous system didn’t budge.

I took note. I have asked myself, “How do I carry this zen forward in such uncertain times?” Here are five ways to navigate uncertainty and lean into surrendering to what we cannot control. 

Time block ‘mini-trips’

As we are bombarded with news headlines, questions and classes about the settlement and how it will change real estate, it is critical to give our minds regular breaks. Another trip to Patagonia isn’t in my near future, so I have been planning and time-blocking for “mini-trips” throughout my days.

A “mini-trip” is anything that allows us to get out of our heads and into the moment. It can be as simple as playing with the dog, listening to a friend or spending time with a loved one.

Attend a concert or basketball game. Take a run. Spend time on the yoga mat, practice breath work or do a walking meditation.

Keep these mini-trips simple, consistent and achievable, ideally time-blocking for three a day, and build from there.

Write it down

Getting things out of our heads and onto paper can be potent medicine. How many of us wake up in the middle of the night ruminating about things that are stressing us? Experts say that when we take time to write things down it helps us organize our thoughts, calm our mind and let things go.

Journaling before bed can be a great way to set yourself up for a better night’s sleep and a more productive day.

Let yourself imagine the worst

Years ago, a wise teacher suggested to me that, when I am afraid of something, to let myself imagine the very worst possible outcome. This sounds counter-intuitive to the popular “positive thinking” theories but I have found it to be potently effective.

It’s like being a child terrified of the imagined monster under the bed. The monster remains real until the child bravely looks under the bed and realizes that they are going to be OK after all.

Increase self-care

Increasing self-care practice when we feel stressed can be challenging, but it is also one way to feel more in control. Experts say that quality self-care is linked to improved mental health, with benefits like enhanced self-esteem and self-worth, increased optimism, a positive outlook on life, and lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Self-care looks and feels different for everyone. By making healthy choices regarding our basic needs of nutrition, exercise, sleep and positive relationships, we feel more balanced, in control and able to negotiate new experiences with confidence. 

Get educated

As Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” Now is the time to become a student of real estate in a refreshed way. Dive into the endless classes that are being offered on how to navigate the upcoming changes. Fine-tune your expertise with new designations like NAR’s ABR designation, currently being offered at no cost. Become an expert so that you can move forward with confidence.

Real estate is ever-evolving, and we are in the midst of a significant transformation. Transformation is always uncomfortable but, when successfully negotiated, leads to greater freedom and abundance. The goal is to ride the wave of uncertainty with grace and come out better on the other side.

Pam Blair is the broker-owner of YogaBug Real Estate in Portland, Oregon. Connect with her on Instagram or LinkedIn.

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