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A good measure to regularly check in with yourself is to ask two vital questions:
1. What am I tolerating?
The first is, “What am I tolerating?” Consider: “What am I tolerating from myself?” and “What am I tolerating from my team, partner, family, relationships, etc.?” As Tony Robbins said, “You get what you tolerate.” Tolerance is a sneaky one; it can creep up on you. It can start off just as an annoyance or mild irritation and grow into a full-blown issue that festers if unattended and left unresolved.
Having a clear understanding of what you’re currently tolerating can help you to navigate your goals with better boundaries. When we set a boundary, we protect ourselves from being hurt. Tolerance of mistreatment, bad behavior, etc. is a breach of a boundary and puts us at risk of resentment down the line.
For example, when I asked myself this question recently, I found that I had been tolerating a lot of repeated lateness from one of my team members. If I didn’t address this swiftly, it could lead to other members of the team thinking poor attendance is acceptable and might damage the respect and relationships I have built on our team. Tolerance of regular lateness can also slide into absenteeism and the feeling of being taken advantage of or not taken seriously.
Tolerance also hurts our relationships with ourselves. It feels really good when you can trust yourself to do the things you say you’re going to do, whether that’s getting enough sleep, going to the gym regularly or showing up for friends and family. The same value holds true in personal relationships: When we tolerate a partner behaving badly toward us, it lowers our self-esteem and can put us in dangerous situations if the behavior escalates. It’s imperative to put down strong boundaries early and regularly check in with ourselves.
2. What am I avoiding?
The second self-accountability question to consider is, “What am I avoiding?” You can follow this with, “What am I dreading?” or “What am I afraid of doing that I need to do?” In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss says that the things we dread doing the most are the things that need the most doing. Those are the items that typically need to be resolved that we should tackle first.
We often spend more time worrying over doing something than actually doing it. A good habit to get into is deciding and following through with nothing short of “massive action.” Massive action means taking huge, brave moves toward doing something you need to do. Bravery is not about being fearless; it’s about being terrified and doing something anyway.
As business owners, we tend to do a lot of the activities that we excel at and less of the things that we perceive we aren’t as good at. We might avoid doing something because we are bored by it, scared of it or just need more support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when asking yourself, “What am I avoiding?”
How can you put these self-accountability exercises into practice?
Here are some steps to take toward self-accountability: Write down a list of the things you’re avoiding, and delegate as much of that list as you can to others who are more able to handle them. This fosters a “build on your strengths, hire for your weaknesses” mindset. For issues that you need to tackle on your own, get inspired by journaling, reading new books, listening to podcasts and talking to friends and family. Remind yourself of your own resilience and resourcefulness.
Reach out for help using an accountability partner to keep you on track. Join a professional entrepreneurship organization with a local chapter. For even more support and accountability, consider hiring a professional business coach and seeking out a mentor. Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable, who care about your success and who are supportive of you.
May 16, 2019 at 09:02AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs