… even though you really want to do them?
In the past couple of weeks, there’s been a common theme among people enquiring to work with me “I know what I should be doing but I just don’t seem to be able to do it on my own, so I’d love for you to help me. I need someone to check-in with me on how I’m doing and if I’m doing what I said I would.”
My reaction was “Fantastic!” since it’s an essential part of what I do as a coach.
And it instantly made me wonder if they have an Obliger’s tendency (check out Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, if this is the first time you’re seeing me write about it).
Here are some of the classic characteristics of an Obliger. Do you recognise yourself in any of them?
♦ Readily meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations
♦ Putting a high value on meeting commitments to others – “I’ll do anything for a client/patient/family member”
♦ Sometimes having trouble setting limits on others’ demands
♦ Having trouble delegating, because they feel that some expectations attach to them personally
♦ Require deadlines, oversight, monitoring, and other forms of accountability
What’s great about having an Obliger tendency?
It means that you’re reliable and responsible. You’re likely to be a fantastic team player, a good boss and a responsive leader. You’re also likely to be willing to go the extra mile to do something for someone. You tend to be highly committed. There is a lot going for you!
What are some possible weaknesses of an Obliger tendency and what can you do about them?
1. Because you may struggle to say “no” to others or to impose limits, you may tend to overcommit and this can add a lot of overwhelm, pressure and stress to your daily life.
So, learning to assess when to say “no” will help you to manage your workload and personal commitments more effectively. Not only that but it will reduce the occasions where you may start feeling resentful of what’s being asked of you.
Tip: Review what you’re doing on a daily and weekly basis – are you saying “yes” to more than you can handle? What can you stop, reduce or delegate?
2. Getting frustrated with yourself for not being able to do the things you know you want to do and are good for you, your health or your work/business. This comes from not being able to meet inner expectations, so you need external accountability to help you meet those expectations.
Sometimes a simple reminder from your phone or calendar may be enough. In some occasions, you may benefit from a friend or a partner checking in with you to see if you’ve done what you wanted to do for yourself. You may also find it helpful to be in a group of like-minded people who are striving to achieve something similar to what you want, where you can egg each other on and spur each other into action. And of course, you could choose to work with a mentor or a coach to help you progress.
Tip: Try combining a reminder, a group and a more formal approach. In fact, from my experience, this tends to work the best, especially in the long-run.
Now, over to you:
Do you know what your tendency is? Check Gretchen’s free quiz.
What’s one step you can take based on your tendency to help you achieve more of what you want?
Comment below and let me know!
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