If you tuned in to the Creative Introvert podcast last week, you’ll have heard me give my top tips and tools for goal accomplishment, with a focus on the inner work: the stuff that bubbles up in our minds, our hearts our bellies. But there is one more piece to the puzzle, and this is the one that doesn’t come from inside. It comes from outside – the big, scary, extroverted, external world. But don’t worry – this isn’t going to become the Creative Extrovert anytime soon, I just want to give you the piece to the puzzle that made all the difference to me, when I finally let it in, and gave it a go. That is… accountability.
Firstly lets get some terminology right… What IS accountability? Accountability is a term I used to cringe at. For some reason it stunk of the cheesiest end of self-help, as well as co-dependency and ultimately I took a lot of pride in doing everything all by myself. Now, a bit of googling will tell you accountability means ‘the condition of being completely responsible for what you do.” Ooh. Completely responsible? Not sure I like the sound of that either. Sounds like a whole lot of pressure that I am not keen to take on. At least, that’s what the free-spirited rebel in me says. But… what if we were to look at it from another angle? What about all the stuff we wish we could do, we know we should do but just aren’t doing? And it’s not for want of desire or even motivation – we simply aren’t taking responsibility. Of course, reasons that we aren’t acting on the stuff we want to make happen are varied. We can dive into them deeper another day, but for now, some that come to mind are:
We feel like we might fail. So to protect ourselves from the possible failure, we don’t try.
Or may be there’s another conflict. Like if I get this job then I’ll have to work even harder to prove myself – and that means even more pressure I don’t want.
Or I have a perceived image of myself which means I’m not cut out to do this thing, so that’s why it isn’t happening.
I will note that those are typically introverted excuses: we tend to blame ourselves (or the subject) more than we blame the world around us (or the object.) In this episode, I’m going to take you through the OUTER solution to goal gettin’ and hopefully help you find an introvert-friendly approach to accountability.