How many times have you been stressed out because:
- Your to-do list is never ending and you can’t get everything done
- You don’t have time to call everyone back
- Your emails keep piling up
- Banks aren’t approving your sales
- Closings are being delayed
- Cash flow is an issue
- You can’t seem to lose weight or find the time to exercise
All of these issues can be very frustrating. If however, you manage your expectations more efficiently, you will also successfully manage the stress in your life. Stress occurs when expectations aren’t met. This happens quite often for most agents because of unrealistic expectations.
This is where the principal of baby steps comes into play. Our generation has been referred to as the “me” (it’s all about me) generation. We demand instant gratification and constant stimulus. We don’t like to wait for things and we get frustrated or stressed when they don’t happen right now.
The problem with instant gratification is that things rarely happen exactly when you want them to. Actually, it’s not even healthy when things do happen right away because the instant success can rarely be duplicated. Success comes over time. Instead of demanding immediate success and causing a great deal of stress, constantly ask yourself,
“Am I closer to my goal now than I was before?”
If you are making progress but it takes a little longer than you think, who cares? You’re still going to end up getting what you want. This is the concept of baby steps. If you’re always taking baby steps, you’re constantly growing and achieving. As you track your success, the rewards are continuous and endless. The alternative is to demand too much and be constantly disappointed and exhausted.
Baby steps also apply to your client strategies. On listing appointments, some agents expect and even demand that the seller list at a fair price immediately. These agents refuse to allow their seller prospects time to get used to their tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost profit. By refusing to give the seller time to adjust, an agent is employing hard-closing, high-pressure, time-share style tactics. It’s much more reasonable to give the seller time to adjust to the perceived loss by giving a “baby steps” approach. If the listing is taken high and the agent is moving the seller closer to the realistic price during each communication, the goal will be achieved.
Baby steps should also be part of every personal strategy. If you want to start exercising regularly, a strategy that starts by requiring you to go to the gym for an hour every day is destined to fail because it is too big of a step. We all know people that have joined a gym and never go. It usually makes a lot more sense to take a baby step like taking a walk every day or exercising for just 10 minutes every day. To expect more, when your habit for years has been to ignore exercise, will do no more than create unnecessary stress.
In order to change the bad habit you had of insisting on instant gratification, you must constantly remind yourself to take baby steps. So the next time you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, ask yourself, “Am I moving closer to my goal?” If the answer is yes, it is rewarding to know that your goal will be achieved. If the answer is no, revise you strategy or expectations and take smaller steps.