Accountability is one those of those words that people often don’t like to hear. For many of us, it seems to bring up feelings of fear around being blamed for something.
But the word “accountable” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as being “subject to giving an account: answerable; capable of being accounted for: explainable; held responsible.” This doesn’t read as something negative, does it?
Unfortunately, “being held accountable” has developed a negative connotation, and brings up mental images of students getting in trouble or shady executives getting caught. We have built up a concept of being accountable to other people that summons dread.
But as important as it is to be accountable to others, it is even more so that we be accountable to ourselves. Doing what you say you are going to do builds a sense of achievement and trust, which is critical for our own self-development.
This is where accountability truly starts, because if we cannot trust ourselves to do what we say we will, then how can anyone else? Making promises to ourselves that we will make a change or take an action is part of how we move forward, but too often we break our own word.
This starts to create a sense of unease, because we know we want to achieve something, we want to create change in our lives, but we also know that we won’t do what it takes. This turns into a vicious cycle because we usually perpetuate the very behaviours that we want to change.
Sometimes it may be that we are not truly committed to the actions because they don’t align with our values. So we make a superficial commitment but don’t act on it because we don’t actually believe it’s in our best interests.
Other times we commit to things without thinking about it and only realize afterward (or subconsciously) that we didn’t really mean it.
What is key is that we consider the things we commit to, make sure they are aligned to our values, who we are and who we want to be, and then actually follow through. This is how we will power ourselves to create the life we want.
April 8, 2020 at 3:11 pm
I like the reminder that “accountability” isn’t a bad thing or the same as being caught doing something wrong.