Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Accountability Partners

Accountability partners are essential to your personal development and growth.
Someone I trust asked me a series of questions that left me tense and emotional. Her questions demanded more of me than most. She did not allow me to get away with what others do. My trust in her gave her the freedom to ask more of me and my commitment to personal development led me to fully engage in the conversation rather than retreat. 

One of the greatest benefits of relationships is obtaining accountability partners. In addition to being sources of encouragement, accountability partners guide us through phases of introspection, personal development, and emotional growth. Sadly, we have been told by others, taught by past hurts, or a combination of the two that we should not or cannot be vulnerable enough for an accountability partner. When asked about our dreams we allow insecurity to answer for us. When asked about our hopes we provide shallow explanations. When given the chance to be vulnerable we shut down. When insecurity answers for us, we cannot be truthful. When we only provide shallow explanations, we don't explore the deepest, most authentic parts of ourselves. When we shut down, we don't experience the beauty of trust. We prevent ourselves from the most meaningful aspects of relationships and from discovering the most powerful parts of ourselves.

The conversation I mentioned was uncomfortable. I didn't like how I felt nor did I like feeling that way in front of someone else. Yet I needed to experience it. My undeniable discomfort provided me with an awareness that I would not have discovered on my own. It took someone else—someone that I trust and someone with the strength to hold me accountable—to illustrate an area of my life that requires more of me, more conversation, more attention, and more work. 

Accountability partners are essential to your personal development and emotional growth. If you have been told or taught that you can't be vulnerable, learn a new lesson. If your insecurities speak louder than you do, strengthen your voice. If you have been too afraid to move beyond shallow conversation, push yourself to discover the deep end. If you have always shut down, it's time to open up. Don't miss out on one of the greatest benefits of human connection because of habit, temporary discomfort, and fear.

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