Accountability is foundational for personal transformation, development and growth but what is it?
Accountability is: being willing to account for the choices one has made and is making. Accountability is about being able to keep our committments. Accountability develops our leadership and gains trust of others because they know they can count on our word. Accountability is being willing to be 100 percent responsible for one’s thoughts, words, and actions.
The aspect of accountability that allows us to transform is not only being willing to do what we say we do, but on an even deeper level, is being willing to extract the learning from the actions and choices we’ve taken and will take.
How many people in your life do you know who are continually unwilling to take ownership for their actions and therefore point their fingers at others. Do you trust them? Can you count on them? There is no opportunity for lasting trust in any relationship without accountability.
Accountability must begin with yourself. You can’t make someone else accountable anyway! Yet it seems to be the human condition that we’d rather blame someone or something else for something that we really need to act on ourselves.
In my experience as a life coach, I’ve worked with many families and individuals in shifting their misperception as to what accountability is. When they first hear the word, they perceive it as looking at what they did wrong. They cringe! But it’s so not that! It’s about looking at what choices are working, what choices are not working from a neutral place and to make choices based on the information.
For example: My client makes a commitment to me that she will absolutely work out 5 times during the week (till our next session.) A week later she reports to me that she only worked out once. Instead of making herself wrong and even less motivated to work out, which was her old pattern, she is coached to taking at look at facts: What got in the way of working out? What choices did she make instead of sticking to her work out schedule? How did it feel to not follow through? Collecting the information guides one to understand what drove the behavior, which then allows the client to make a new declaration from a positive and empowering mindset. Accountability is not about being wrong! It’s information that will support your highest desires, but only if you allow it to!
Accountability is critical in relationships. Until one is willing to really take ownership for their thoughts, words and actions, trust will never be established and the blame game will persist, sabotaging the relationship.
So what do you do when you are in a relationship with someone who is not accountable?
You get to look at your level of accountability to see what new actions you might need to take or what boundaries you might need to put in place.
For example: If I’m continually being made wrong or blamed for my thoughts, words or actions, I have the opportunity to:
- See it as information, without engaging in the drama.
- Look at what actions I need to take moving forward for myself and for the relationship that will work. Typically a boundary needs to be put in place to stop the blame cycle.
- Take the action.
Accountability is a process and also a gift because it offers us information at all times; information which creates opportunity to transform into leaders. In fact, you can’t lead without being accountable and willing to own all of what you say and do.
There’s so much more to be said about accountability, so I will leave you with a few accountability tips:
- Whenever you experience being blamed or accused of an action, take a look at your your accountability and see what new actions you need to take. (The one who is blaming you is on some level offering you an amazing opportunity for transformation. Embrace it and use it!)
- In order to be accountable, you must develop a deeper level of self awareness. You can’t make new choices if your choices are unconscious. Meditation works, but that’s another blog.
- Make a daily list of actions you are committed to taking and calendar them into your schedule.
- Be realistic about what your choices are. Unrealistic choices set us up for failure. Pick your commitments with care.
- Get over your fear. New patterns and choices can be scary. Especially if it means creating and maintaining new boundaries with someone. Be willing to experience resistance. However, in the end you will gain more self respect.
- Find an accountability partner. It makes all the difference knowing there’s someone you are willing to report to.
Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions, just respond to this blog.
Enjoy being accountable. Know that the world needs that new, accountable you more than ever!
Go to www.holistichealingsystems.com and read more about how I can teach you to be accountable and change your life!