Who’s Your Buddy?

We made it! Happy Friday 🙂 I’m relieved to say that I survived my Research Methods exam on Thursday and am now back in Melbourne for the weekend. Yesterday, I got to have a “guy’s night out” with my dad, which involved one of my favorite foods…sushi. My stomach and heart are now satisfied 🙂 Also, tomorrow is one of my best friend’s weddings! I feel old watching someone I grew up with get married haha. But her wedding serves as the perfect example of what it means to find those special people that play a crucial role in our lives…

Throughout life, we all come across certain friends that just seem to get us. Sometimes they turn out to be our partner, best friend, etc. Regardless, there’s no one else like them. We turn to them in times of sadness and joy. They are there for us when we need them the most, but also when we want to have fun. They’re our best friends, and we’re eternally grateful for them. But I think there’s one aspect of this relationship that goes unnoticed and untapped, and it’s centered on accountability…

Looking back on my life, I can’t begin to count the number of aspirations I’ve had…things I’ve wanted to do, things I wanted to be, and places I’ve wanted to go. While I’ve achieved some of them, most are still sitting on the curb. Why didn’t I pursue them? I’d like to think it was a lack of time, but that’s just an excuse. The real reason is because I didn’t take that extra step to make them happen. I didn’t hold myself accountable to what I said I was going to do…

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest limiting factors in our lives. There are so many things we can do in life. There are so many places we can go and things we can be. Today, the world is at our fingertips. The only thing holding us back is ourselves.

Quickly take 10 seconds to recall the things you didn’t do that you wish you would have…your regrets.

Chances are 10 seconds isn’t enough, and isn’t that sad? There are endless opportunities to thrive in life, but for some reason we choose to sit on the sidelines. So how do we take that leap?

We utilize the accountability aspect of friendship. If there’s one thing that sucks about best friends is that they will call us out when we step out of line and tell us what we don’t want to hear. Most importantly, they will tell us when we fall short of our promises. Yeah, it may be annoying, but it’s actually a good thing.

There’s a term in psychology research called the bias blind spot, which essentially says that while we think others are prone to fall for certain biases, we are not. As humans, we are often blind to our actions and aspects of our lives even though we think we know everything. In the end, this holds us back. This is the real reason why we never do what we dream of. It’s why the top business executives have coaches. It’s why we hire personal trainers. We thrive with accountability.

So get yourself an accountability buddy. They can be a best friend, partner, parent, or even a coach. Call them up and tell them that you want to be the best version of yourself, and you need their help to do so. Tell them specifically what you want to accomplish and have them hold you to it. This can be through a simple text like “Did you work on X today?”, or through an end of the week phone call where you debrief about progress made, setbacks experienced, and next steps.

My mom is my accountability buddy whether she realizes it or not. Most recently, I told her I wanted to start reading before I go to bed to help myself unwind, since stress has been keeping me from falling asleep. So every night, she asks me if I’m going to read. It’s such a simple question, but it makes me feel obligated to read and guilty if I don’t. Aside from that, I talk to her about aspirations and goals, and she asks questions that make me think about them in new ways. Simple prompts like “What are you going to do about it?” are very impactful. Most importantly, she offers her opinion but never lets it cloud my judgment. She’s a great coach, even if she doesn’t realize it.

So here are my 3 qualities to look for in an accountability buddy…

  1. Drive – The buddy should be someone who knows what pushing limits means. Choosing someone who stays stagnant will only keep us at the start line. People with drive are also more likely to be committed to their new role as an accountability buddy.
  2. Trust – We need to trust our buddy enough to tell them personal things. We need to trust them enough to tell them our deepest desires. It’s only by being completely open that they can help us achieve our goals.
  3. Friendship – A buddy should be a friend because we need intimacy to thrive. We need someone who knows us well enough to recognize when we are limiting our potential. If someone like that is absent, hire a coach. Chances are a good coach will spend time getting to know you first.

Chances are also good that someone might need us to be an accountability buddy for them. Here are 3 tips to be an effective one…

  1. Don’t be afraid – Many times we see friends limiting themselves but are too scared to say something. Just do it. Tell them when their actions don’t match their words because they probably don’t realize what they’re doing to themselves.
  2. Listen – Before we go speaking our minds, we need to listen to what our friends want. We need to understand their motivations and hear their side of the story. Having a “no excuses” attitude can leave a sour taste in their mouth.
  3. Be a friend – No matter what, be the person they decided to become friends with. We all have qualities that stand out to our friends, which is why they were drawn to us. We need to use those to our advantage, and not lose sight of what created the relationship in the first place.

Sometimes life can get out of our hands. Sometimes we don’t do what is required to be successful. Sometimes we need a helping hand. That’s where an accountability buddy comes in…they help us achieve our goals. Take some time to reflect on those goals and call to mind someone that can help you reach them. Shoot them a text this week, and tell them what you’re trying to do. They may be all over it or a little confused. Regardless, try it out. Maybe you’ll discover a part of your life you never knew existed.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Don’t forget to like, share, and comment. As always, thank you for reading and talk to you next time 🙂

“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck. If you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.” ~ Dr. Steve Maraboli

 

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