I'll Show You!
Implementing a few new strategies this year can set you up for success!
The people close to me know that the best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t. Sometimes this has worked to my advantage, but other times, not so much. When you read the following account of an experience I had a few months ago, you will see just how ridiculous I can get!
It was a Monday morning and my time was tight, so I knew I needed to hustle on my walk. It had stormed the night before and so the lake was rough and choppy. As I hurried down the stairs to the beach, I looked down the very thin shoreline. There were areas where it seemed like the water was coming up to the cliff, and I couldn’t really see around the corner, so I wasn’t sure if there was any beach there at all. Debris had washed up on the beach, and huge logs and rocks stacked high in places. It was a mess.
As I was contemplating hiking back up the stairs, two people came into view and walked by me. It looked like they had tried to make it down the beach but reconsidered and were heading back. As they passed me, the man laughed and said, “Good luck!”, implying that I wouldn’t be able to make it down the beach. That’s the moment when I released all good judgment and marched down the beach, all the while indignantly muttering, “I’ll show you!”
While this isn’t as riveting of a survival story as a person getting lost at sea or anything to that effect, it did turn into quite a dramatic morning for this middle-aged mama! I’m chuckling as I’m writing this, remembering myself climbing over large piles of debris, balancing on wiggly logs, and landing in the water for a few refreshing moments! I also remember asking myself, “Why in the world are you doing this?” and “Don’t you have things to do today?” and “What if you get hurt and have to explain to people what you were up to?” – and then having to practice positive thinking so I don’t manifest just that!
So, bringing this enthralling adventure tale to completion here, I finally did make it to the other end of the long stretch of shoreline, two hours later, unscathed and kind of giddy with pride. Pride about what, I’m not sure, other than I did something that someone else (um, a stranger) implied that I couldn’t. This made me giggle for the rest of the day!
Like you, I am a work in progress, and it has been helpful for me to understand that I am best motivated when challenged and rarely respond well to being told what to do. Even though I’ve always known this about myself, I was still a little surprised to be defined as a “Rebel” when I took a quiz developed by author Gretchen Rubin called the Four Tendencies Quiz.
Gretchen Rubin is an amazing writer who developed this quiz to help people better understand how they respond to external expectations (such as meeting work deadlines) and internal expectations (such as sticking with a New Year’s resolution). Our response to expectations determines our “Tendency” – which Rubin defines in four categories: Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel. This insight can be extremely helpful when setting new goals and habits in the new year.
For instance, Upholders respond well to internal and external expectations, so they just need clarity about what needs to be done and they are on their way. Upholders love to check things off their list!
Questioners, on the other hand, must be convinced of the value of an external expectation before they will consider it. They need justification to move forward with a goal. Once a Questioner is a believer though, the external expectation becomes an internal one and they are on it like a monkey on a cupcake!
Then, there are Obligers. Obligers respond well to external expectations but at the cost of their internal ones. For this reason, they need accountability when developing new habits or their internal expectations will always take a back seat to the needs of others. Obligers thrive when working with an accountability partner such as a personal trainer or a life coach.
Finally, as illustrated above, Rebels don’t respond well to internal or external expectations. They need the freedom to do things their own way in order to be successful. I should note that I have coached many successful Rebels over the years. The key for Rebels is they must truly want the goals they establish, then there is no stopping them!
If you are considering developing some new goals or habits in the new year, you can search for Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz online. It’s free and will only take you about ten minutes. The insights you gain from learning about your tendency can help set you up for success!
I also encourage you to check out Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before, for practical tips on how to develop good habits and avoid the common pitfalls that will take you off course. Implementing a few new strategies this year can help you make lasting changes that stick!