In a world where people are increasingly looking to up their game, do you find you have no problems in meeting the expectations of others, but where your own desires are concerned… erm 😳 (insert flushed face emoji), it just seems to not happen?
If this rings true, what if I told you that the reason you repeatedly fail to execute your own plans may be because you have a personal tendency that is hard-wired to need external accountability?
In the past, you might have felt uncomfortable or even embarrassed at the number of failed attempts to follow through on your goals.
You worry it appears to others that you just CANNOT get it together for yourself. Truth is you CAN, but you just need a different approach.
Fascinated by human behaviour, I take every opportunity to expand my insight into the many possible ways clients experience and interact with the world. Recently whilst out hill-climbing, I listened to a podcast where the guest, Gretchen Rubin, outlined four personality profiles she believes we all fall into, based on how we respond to inner and outer expectations.
Without getting into too much detail, (you can listen to it for yourself), the types are Obligers, Upholders, Questioners, and Rebels.
Obligers: meet others’ expectations but struggle to meet their own.
Upholders: will meet the expectations of others and themselves.
Questioners: will execute for both providing it makes sense to them and they’ve answered all their queries about it first, and Rebels…well as you may expect, they’ll execute if-and-when they feel like it, leaning towards resisting both internal and external expectations.
Could You Be An Obliger?
For obligers who want to follow through on their own expectations in life but fail, the easiest way is to enlist external help as part of the commitment.
You want to have more energy by getting fit? Join a class, meet up with a friend, get a trainer. You want to explore your passion for drawing, music or learn more about cooking? Commit to a course or make plans to do it with someone.
The worst thing obligers can do is nothing thinking they will do it… because they don’t. They need that external accountability. How long have you been telling yourself this will be the year you launch your big idea or make time for yourself? It’s time to make it happen!
Why Mentoring Is Especially Great For Obligers
Going back to that podcast, the takeaway for me was the light it immediately shone on what I think is possibly a bit of a British stumbling block of how we perceive asking for help.
Obligers particularly may want to get help, but feel too proud to if their subliminal thinking says that asking for help implies the person we are asking knows more than, and is therefore better than us. This message assumes the mentor has the upper role, which is of course, not true.
Obligers who are committed to growing a great life are well-suited to mentoring. They are encouraged to not only arrive at their own conclusions about making headway in life but have accountability amidst the process. Far from it being a teacher/taught scenario, it is highly empowering!