To Quit, Or Not To Quit?

What competing in triathlons can teach you about staying motivated to sell houses

I crossed the finish line, panting and drenched in sweat. Aching all over, but happy. 

The year was 1998, and I’d just completed my first triathlon. The only season I’ve missed in the 24 years since then was the summer my second daughter was born (and my first daughter was 17 months old!).

It might surprise you to learn that I still struggle sometimes to motivate myself to train for triathlons. My coach has me doing “double bricks” – which basically means you train for one discipline immediately after another one. So going for a 10k run immediately after a long bike ride. Then biking and running again. It’s called that because your legs literally feel like bricks during it. 

Motivation struggles are normal

No-one’s motivated to do a double brick all the time! It’s normal to want to sleep in instead, or quit once you’ve started. I often have thoughts like:

  • Why am I doing this? I’m not going to win the race anyway.
  • I don’t have the energy for all this training.
  • I can’t do this anymore…as a single mom it takes too much time.

So why not allow these sabotaging thoughts to become sabotaging actions? Why not give in to my emotions and just sit on the couch?

It’s my training that helps me recognize these thoughts when they come up. Training to be Thoughtfully Fit, that is. To be clear: no amount of training will eliminate these thoughts from my head completely. So I remind myself that it’s normal to run into a lack of motivation, and then I choose how I want to continue. 

Staying motivated as a realtor

The same applies to any goal you set in life, including selling houses. It’s going to take work. It’s going to require effort. In fact, if you’re perfect on the first try, it might be that your goal isn’t challenging enough for you.

So it’s entirely normal to have thoughts like:

  • I can’t work in this housing market anymore.
  • I have no idea how to sell a condo like this.
  • I don’t want to talk to buyers today.

You can train to recognize these thoughts as they come up, so they don’t sabotage you. Being Thoughtfully Fit is just like being physically fit in that respect. Just as you can train for events like triathlons that require physical exertion, you can also train for events that require mental exertion.

If you’ve been selling houses for a few years, you’ll know there will always be hurdles. Sometimes you’ll come across a great buyer, only for them to flake at the last minute. This isn’t a sign of failure on your part – it happens. So identify your hurdles. And figure out what you can do when (not if) they come up, so that you can clear those hurdles instead of listening to those sabotaging thoughts.

It takes deliberate practice

In the same way you can train your physical core by doing sit-ups, you can also train your mental core. So let me leave you with this core workout:

  • Pause: The next time that selling a particular property is driving you mad, take a time out. 
  • Think: What feels hard about this? What are my choices? How do I want to handle these obstacles?
  • Act: Identify one step that will allow you to move forward…thoughtfully. And then give yourself some credit for taking on such a hard project!

Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting fosters high-performing people and teams by clearing the hurdles that get in the way of achievement. We’ve been in business since 2013, working with more than five hundred organizations across forty-eight industries. Everything is grounded in our signature model, Thoughtfully FitⓇ, which was developed by Darcy Luoma after thousands of hours working with clients. Find out more about our approach at