You likely heard that it is important and really helpful to have an accountability partner when working on your goals. Maybe you have been looking for an accountability partner for a while, maybe you already have one, or maybe you convinced yourself that you can’t even get started until you find one.
Today, I am about to tell you something that you probably haven’t heard before:
Having an accountability partner might actually do you more harm than good if you approach it from a wrong angle.
I will explain it in just a minute, but first, let me tell you a story.
A couple years ago me and my husband decided to climb Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park. We both like hiking, however we usually don’t get a lot of opportunities to do it (our daughter hates hiking lol). So when we arranged our trip to Palm Springs for Thanksgiving in 2020 and we invited my mother-in-law to come with us, we wanted to jump on this opportunity – we knew she could watch our daughter while we go and do some hiking.
It was a pretty challenging hike. To be honest, we weren’t really prepared for how much colder it would get as soon as we started climbing. I had a hooded jacket, but my husband didn’t have any hood or a hat, and when it got very (and I mean, VERY) windy, I got seriously worried about him. I kept suggesting that we turn around and go back to the parking lot.
Do you think he listened to me? Nope. We kept going, and after about 2 hours of climbing we were at the summit.
The view was amazing, and it was a great feeling of accomplishment. We did it! We felt really proud of ourselves.
And here is why I am telling you this story.
Us doing this hike together is a great example of what accountability partners do for each other – we definitely cheered each other on, it was more fun and less lonely to do it together. However, I in no way was pushing my husband to do the hike – in fact, I kept pushing him for the opposite. And he still didn’t turn around.
Because HE wanted to do it.
It had been HIS dream for a long time to climb this mountain. He wanted to prove to himself that he could do it. And he would’ve done it with or without me.
So, here is what most people don’t understand:
Accountability partner is NOT there to push you forward or to keep you accountable.
Instead, their job is to help YOU find YOUR own reasons to keep yourself accountable – so that YOU can keep moving forward no matter what.
An accountability partner will definitely help to:
- Make your journey more enjoyable and less lonely – by being there for you, by cheering you on, acknowledging you and celebrating your wins together with you.
- Test how much you REALLY want to do it – by challenging you and by testing your commitment to yourself.
- Make it easier for you to stay on track – by noticing when you get distracted and by telling you about it.
However, you should NOT:
- Solely rely on your accountability partner to push you forward.
- Wait until they tell you what to do.
- Make THEM responsible for YOU completing your tasks.
At the end of the day, you are working on this goal because YOU want to do it, because it brings value to YOU. At least this is why you should be doing it. Your main driver should always come from the inside, not from the outside.
So, make sure you are crystal clear about your “why”. And once you have that clarity, you will be able to achieve your goals regardless of whether you have an accountability partner by your side or not.
Remember – it is not what you learn that creates a difference, but how you apply it to your life . So let me ask you – what can you do in next 24 hours to apply what you learned in your life?
As always, let me know in the comments if I can be of any help.
Here’s to realizing your highest potential!