How The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin Helped Me

How The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin Helped Me

I’ve been putting off writing a blog post since the weekend.

No idea why, other than I’ve just not really felt like it.

I’ve never been good with setting myself targets – I almost always sabotage myself. In fact, even though blogging is my longest standing “hobby” with me still going after ten years, I’ve never been able to stick to any kind of structure for long.

It’s one of those things that I *know* I do, but still can’t seem to stop myself from getting in my own way. In fact, it wasn’t until a friend of mine on Instagram (Gemma… you totally nailed it) mentioned something similar in her feed – the excitement of a new project almost always gets in the way of what I’m meant to be doing.

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

So when I don’t have a deadline on my back, I will always find ways to busy myself without getting anything done.

I’m not entirely sure how to get myself to focus. If you’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies, you’ll know what I mean when I say I’m a rebel through and through.

For those who haven’t, the basic idea is that every person fits into one of four… you guessed it… tendencies, and they’re based on how we deal with inner and outer expectations. Inner expectations would be things like New Year’s resolutions or creating a new habit for ourselves, and outer expectations are those that are put on us, like a work deadline or  the kids needing help with homework.

An Upholder meets both outer and inner expectations.

A Questioner meets inner expectations but not outer expectations.

An Obliger meets outer expectations but not inner expectations.

A Rebel doesn’t meet any expectations.

My parents can definitely attest to me being a full on Rebel.

They said black, I said white. Any advice was (and sometimes still is *cough*) met with a “you can’t tell me what to do” digging in of heels, even at times when I knew they were right.

So how the hell am I supposed to get anything done when I’m constantly sabotaging myself?

Well, there are some tricks I’ve figured out over the years…

If it’s something that feels like it’s my own idea, I’m more likely to follow it But as soon as anyone else starts cheering me on or telling me it’s a great idea – guess what… I stop doing it.

With that in mind one of the first things that helps is to keep schtum and not tell anyone (or only a very small handful) what I’m up to.

I also need to make sure I don’t feel boxed in or tied down by whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish (I adore to do lists, but can get overwhelmed easily!)… so I try to ensure plenty of down time so I feel like I still have space to do my thing, without putting pressure on myself.

This is a really important point for dealing with my fibromyalgia. I have to be sure I don’t overdo it or I’ll end up in pain and then I won’t want to do whatever it was again.

As I’ve got older I’ve definitely found it easier to handle my rebel tendencies – as you can imagine a rebel teenager is rarely an easy ride, bless my parents.

I’m trying to embrace my tendency to want to forge my own path more these days.

At the end of the day I want to be authentic, standing in my power, and doing my own thing. I figure one of the best ways I can incorporate that is through being creative and through this blog.

I’ll probably never be one to have a weekly schedule, but I am trying to make sure I post once a week, and that’s ok. In this online world I adore it’s almost mandatory to be yourself. The more authentic you are (though god hasn’t that become an annoyingly hipster word?!) the more likely you’ll connect with others who have a similar outlook in life, and that can only be a good thing!

As Steve Jobs said, here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the thought makers.

Who wants to be like everyone else anyway?

You can find The Four Tendencies here on Amazon.*

(*full disclosure, this is an affiliate link)

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys        Lucy At Home
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  1. February 26, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    Sounds like an interesting book. Not sure which tendency I’d fit into but from what you’ve described there’s definitely a bit of rebel in there!

    • Marylin
      February 27, 2018 / 9:34 am

      Three out of the four have Rebel tendencies *grins* 😉 x

  2. March 2, 2018 / 3:11 am

    This is so interesting, although I think I’m between tendencies? Maybe I’m a ditherer… I do love a new project! Food for thought.


    • Marylin
      March 2, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      It’s definitely worth a read! 🙂 Really changed my way of dealing with my self sabotage! <3 x

    • Marylin
      March 4, 2018 / 11:55 am

      Haha aww thanks lovely, it meant a lot tbh, don’t stop! <3 xx

  3. March 4, 2018 / 10:49 pm

    This sounds a really interesting book, I am such s self sabotager and an occasional rebel!
    The Steve Jobs quote and your last sentence ring very true here x #TheMMLinky

    • Marylin
      March 5, 2018 / 10:48 am

      It’s been a bit of an eye opener this one! Really good read, and not heavy going at all. 🙂 x

    • Marylin
      April 15, 2018 / 12:17 pm

      It’s been a game changer! Let me know if you like it! <3

  4. May 28, 2018 / 6:51 am

    This is really interesting… I have this book on my Kindle, bought it ages ago and completely forgot about it, so thank you for the reminder!

    I have a horrible feeling I’m an obliger (but with rebel aspects). Guess I need to read the book to find out for sure, though!

    • Marylin
      May 28, 2018 / 9:41 am

      Being an obliger isn’t a bad thing by any means – you just need to make sure you remember to put yourself first too! (which is actually what my latest post is about, ha!) xx

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