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3 Ways to Build an Unshakable Character

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Webster’s Dictionary defines character as “the traits and features that form an individual.” It’s more than who you are; it’s what you do when no one is watching. I’ve always said a person’s character always works its way to the surface.

Character is cultivated one choice at a time. Every day, we have the opportunity to make choices that build our character. Early in my career, I began calling clients who didn’t choose me to list their homes. I’d thank them for meeting with me and ask why they didn’t choose me. I saw it as an opportunity to improve my skills and overall presentation. Many agents who miss out on a listing may wallow in self-pity or curse the seller instead of seeking out an opportunity to improve as a professional and build character.

There are three character qualities that are endangered today: discipline, endurance and courage. Cultivate these and you’ll build an unshakeable character.

Discipline: Discipline is the essence of delayed gratification. Many of us want the rewards of our work now, but if you want the pay off right now, you’ll pay a steep price later. Discipline involves planning your decisions in advance. Plan your week in advance so you know what to expect and enlist a partner to hold you accountable.

Endurance: Endurance allows you break through your quitting points. You fuel endurance by setting meaningful goals. When you have goals with meaning, achieving them becomes part of your DNA. Then, when you reach the point when you have to decide whether to quit or persevere, you’ll choose the latter. Every time you break through a quitting point, you have building block for your character.

Courage: Courage is facing your fears head-on. There’s a popular misconception you’re either born with courage or not. Courageous people are everyday people who’ve decided, intentionally, at some point in their lives, to drive the stake in the ground and face their fears as opposed to run from them. Even facing small fears helps you become more courageous. If you’re not attacking the little fears, you’re not growing in the character quality of courage. When you face your fear, you diffuse it. If you avoid your fear, it just continues to grow and fester. Get inspired to face your fears by seeking out courageous influences, whether it’s a national hero or a loved one who embodies the courage you want to cultivate.

Remember, every day you have the opportunity to cultivate character, including discipline, endurance and courage. Character is like a muscle—you have to exercise it regularly in order to enjoy lasting results. Make the choices each day that will help you strengthen your ‘muscles’ and build your character.


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