Believing you can motivate other people will only disappoint. The truth of the matter is motivation is internal; you can only tap into people’s motivations. Here are a few other motivation myths agents should be aware of so they don’t spin their wheels endlessly.

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Motivation is a tricky thing. It’s one of those concepts we talk a lot about in business. We have to keep our agents motivated to generate leads. We need to motivate our clients to make a decision. We must motivate our team leader to recruit every day. 

Yes, we can inspire others. But here’s the thing, we can’t actually motivate anyone to do anything. Motivation is purely internal. It’s the reason or reasons someone has for acting or behaving a certain way. 

Yes, we can encourage or coach someone to take action. And yes, we can tap into our team members’ motivations to get them to make a move. However, no one will stick with it or probably even do it in the first place if their internal compass doesn’t already agree with the reason you are giving them. 

For example, someone doesn’t get into your car and buckle up because you told them to or because you “motivated” them to do so. They get in your vehicle and put on their seat belt because they have an internal desire or willingness to do so. The same applies to all areas of real estate, client interactions, business and life. 

How often have you hit the snooze button because you didn’t feel like getting up to workout? Or you didn’t feel like ordering a salad, so you went for the burger and fries? How many times have you put off making sales calls because you didn’t feel like doing it? Or you didn’t feel like working on your business plan, so you watched Netflix instead?

All of these feelings aren’t doing any of us any good. We all rely way too much on motivation and emotions to get us through the day. 

Motivation, much like willpower, or any other feeling, is fleeting. We all sit around waiting to feel like doing what we have said we’re going to do [insert goal here], and while we’re waiting to get motivated, we waste time and get further and further away from our goals. The whole thing seems pretty counterintuitive to me. 

What we need to tap into are inspiration and action. Action precedes motivation and emotion. 

If you have big goals, you will have to have a certain amount of discipline for long enough to create a habit. Then once you form a supportive and productive habit, you’ll be on your way to achieving whatever you want in no time! 

Most of the time, you’re not going to feel like getting up early or eating healthy, or working on a particular project, but you definitely want the feeling that comes from self-mastery and accomplishment. 

Exercise is such a great example of this. We all love the post-workout high, right? Well, the only way we get to feel that is if we take action and work out. But if we sit around waiting to feel that euphoria before hopping on the treadmill, it’s just not going to happen.

What if we turned that upside down? What if all we had to do was take some small action, and we’d get the feeling that we had been waiting for. What if we acted first and let the motivation follow, which keeps the momentum going? 

Author Robert J. Mckain said, “The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true — action precedes motivation. You have to prime the pump and get the juice flowing, which motivates you to work on your goals. Getting momentum going is the most difficult part of the job, and often taking the first step is enough to prompt you to make the best of your day.” 

Exactly. Action first. Emotion second.

I think we’ve put way too much emphasis on constantly feeling good about what we do. If you want to change how you’re feeling and change the results in your life, you’ve got to take action first and have faith that the motivation (the feeling) will come. 

Here’s my challenge to you: For the next 30 days, act first and worry about your feelings later. When your mind says no — go. 

Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies, the author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier, and the host of the podcast, Business Meets Spirituality

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