Specificity Creates Accountability
Have you ever set an intention, had strong reasons to do something, but when it came down to doing it you found a way to talk yourself out of it? Maybe it was a new exercise or diet plan you committed to, a tough conversation you needed to have with someone, or a big decision you thought you made that you backed out on.
The reason that happens is because your brain can make sense of just about anything. No matter what you throw at it, it will find a way to find meaning in it. But unfortunately, if your brain detects something as new then it flags it as a threat. This creates a problem where your brain actively resists changes you’re bringing into your life, and it is incredibly gifted at telling you a convincing story that is biased and meant to protect you.
It's called self-sabotage, and one of the main forms of it is called rationalization. This is literally your subconscious mind biasing your conscious thinking to draw certain conclusions about what you should do or want to do.
So if you want to pursue your growth you’re going to need to have a system that double checks your own thoughts so that you can be accountable to your original intentions, and not the convenient story you mind is producing to protect you. That’s why I want to introduce this idea that specificity creates accountability.
When something is specific it has extra details considered. It gives you a more objective criteria to determine if something happened as you wanted it to or not. This is important because when that rationalizing thought in your head comes up, trying to convince you of something you don’t want to believe, now you have extra reference points to make that comparison conscious and more reliable.
Let’s say you want to read more. Your intention is probably to read more to acquire specific knowledge, but setting a goal to read more is too ambiguous and non-specific to really do anything for you. Maybe you read an article on social media or somewhere else that your brain could classify as “reading more”.
But if you add specificity, by committing to reading a physical book and a certain amount of it, you give your brain way less wiggle room to interpret things incorrectly. You cannot hide and the end result - You remain more accountable to your intention because you have better criteria to ensure you’re delivering on it.
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