The Correct Type of Accountability Partner
March 19th, 2023
Accountabliity Partners must know and understand you properly. They must be able to hit the truth about WHY you want to change.
I always see posts on Reddit asking for an accountability partner. Someone who you tell what you want to do so they can keep you accountable and on track with that goal. There’s even paid accountability groups, where everyone keeps each other accountable to whatever task they wanted to do. This all sounds great in theory. But, in practice it’s a lot more nuanced then just telling a random stranger on the internet what you want to do and magically expecting that you’d do that.
The theory of accountability partners is that you, a social animal, care about the consequences of not going through with your word. However, people lie. Others don’t care about people in general. Words are the wind, just because you say something doesn’t mean you give a damn about going through with it. In the end, running away from those people, those groups, is always an option.
Online Universities (Unis) have an abysmal completion rate. Everyone starts the course then completely forgets about it. Physical Unis have layers of accountability, but they have real external punishments as well. In a course, friends would ask about how you went with the latest assignment. Nobody wants to be the person so constantly says they haven’t done it. Or in classes, the tutor would ask about your progress on the coursework. Again, do you really want to look like a dud?
Normally, this is good enough to compel people to move forward. There’s a social shame and stigma attached to someone who does nothing. Except, for me, I just ran away. I ran away from the friends I made so I’d never need to talk about coursework. I stopped attending classes so the tutors could never ask me about assignments. I ran away, then failed that course.
Just having someone to ask about your progress isn’t enough. Ben, on the the Charisma on Command podcast, talked about when he was hesitant to approach a girl in a bar. His friend tried multiple ways of convincing him but nothing worked. Until he touched upon who Ben saw himself as. A charismatic guy who runs the Charisma on Command Youtube channel. Could he really call himself someone charisma and teach others if he didn’t approach this girl? That was what compelled him forward. Not his friend being by his side, holding him accountable just by listening and watching him. It was holding him accountable to who he sees both his current and his future self to be.
The correct type accountability partner must know who you see your current and future self as. Then and only then could they hold you accountable. There will always be times you falter and slack, after all, if it was easy, did you really need someone to constantly hold you to your word? Your partner’s true moment to shine is during those lulls, to re-invigorate yourself by holding you to who you wish to become. To align your current actions with your identity.
Take myself as an example. After reading experiences at Nazi concentration camps, the Communist Revolution and the resulting mass incarnation or massacres from the Gulag Archipelago in Russia and The Great Leap Forward in China. I wondered, take everything away from a man, what does he have left? Let’s say we were in that same position. We lost everything. Our homes and possessions, family, friends, community and are locked up in hard labour. What do we have left? To me, the only thing I had left was my word. Hence, I define myself as a man of my word and will go to great lengths to keep it like that.
However, yesterday, I said I’d fix my sleeping schedule. I’d wake up early in the mornings to take steps to will this world to my image. Yet, I failed. Instead, waking up midday and, yet again, nothing could be accomplished. My hypothetical accountability partner hold me against that. How I said I was a man of my word, yet what do my actions tell the world? They would provoke me into action to be who I define myself as. That is to get up and get ready early in the mornings, to will my world into existence, instead of sleeping half of it away. So, it isn’t perfect, but better than nothing.