When someone else holds you accountable for something (as in "holding your feet to the fire") it is extrinsically imposed motivation. Most of us get our taxes done by April 15 because there are consequences for failing to do so, not because we have a burning desire to pay our taxes.
But when you hold yourself accountable, the motivation is intrinsic. You don't need someone else holding your feet to the fire when you yourself have made the commitment to walk across the hot coals. That's what Tuesday's Promise of The Self-Empowerment Pledge is all about - promising yourself to not rationalize and make excuses, but rather to commit yourself to doing that which must be done:
Tuesday's Promise: Accountability
I will not allow low self-esteem, self-limiting beliefs, or the negativity of others to prevent me from achieving my authentic goals and from becoming the person I am meant to be.
This morning, everyone at the Values Coach office made this promise as a group, something that is happening every day at a growing number of organizations across the country. It's something we do every day - it only takes a few minutes but it's an incredibly powerful and affirming ritual.
Full Disclosure: I have not been keeping this promise
But making the promise is just the first step. Then you have to keep it. And I confess to having been putting off doing something that is very important for all of the reasons specified in that promise, including my own self-limiting beliefs and the (at least perceived) negativity of others.
Public Commitment: Today I AM going to keep it
Everyone in our office knows what it is that I've been putting off, and today I've promised not just myself but all of them that I will get it done - before I leave for home. And now I've publicly made that promise to more than 12,000 Spark Plug readers.
Sometimes the best way of holding yourself accountable is to publicly make the promise and ask others to help you be accountable to yourself. That combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is often what it takes for you to break through the logjam of what author Steven Pressfield calls Resistance (more on Steve and his essential trilogy on this subject next week).