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Like the African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together?
The way to increase the probability of completing what’s most important in your life is to engage and lock in with an accountability partner.
Let’s first look at the challenges of improvement/change. We don’t have to look any further than our own brains. The amygdala part of the brain is behind this mystery.
The definition of amygdala is the region of the brain primarily associated with emotional processes. The name amygdala is derived from the Greek word amygdale, meaning “almond,” owing to the structure’s almond-like shape. It is located in the medial temporal lobe, just anterior to (in front of) the hippocampus.
In short, the amygdala is a small part of the brain that is responsible for our fight, flight, and freeze reactions. When it is triggered the brain stops thinking and goes into fight, flight or freeze mode. The problem here is the triggering can be caused by something harmless, for instance, change can or a large goal you have can come across as dangerous and your mind can react as if being attacked by a wild tiger. Sometimes the bigger the goal the more it triggers the Amygdala.
“The problem is the bigger the goal the more it turns on the amygdala, the fear response and fear tends to overwhelm us, at the very least it limits our creativity, at worst it shuts us down. Most of us will do anything to avoid fear”. -Dr. Robert Maurer, director of behavioral sciences at the Santa Monica, UCLA medical center.
The solution is the companionship of an accountability partner, which helps bypass the amygdala response. The responsibility we feel when having the right accountability partner helps us get out of our own way and raises the probability of us accomplishing our goals.
When people are aware that they are being held accountable by others for what they do, they will work harder. Research published by The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) shows that when someone publicly shares their goals, they have around a 65% chance of success. However, when you have a specific accountability partner it increases that chance up to an astounding 95%.
An effective accountability partner is like your future self running alongside you to ensure you’re the best version of yourself right now. I will share some words from Dave Chappelle’s Poet Laureate that oftentimes pushes me closer to the 95% side of accomplishing my goals, hopefully, it will do the same for you.
“You will be someone’s ancestor. Act accordingly,” -Amir Sulaiman
Words by Kaba Abdul Fattaah.