Accountability might be a big word for some of us but if you are familiar with the word responsibility then you would surely be familiar with what accountability is because both words belong to a synonymous box.
Going on a bit further, being accountable in the simplest of terms is being responsible for your actions, decisions and behavior.
However, Accountability comes in two folds; being held accountable by yourself and being held accountable by others. The latter is as important as the former because too many times, on our own, this skillset could be compromised.
We could tell ourselves that we would do something but then, not live up to it because of the lack of serious consequences or external pressures. That is why it is highly important for everyone to have a support system to hold them accountable in addition to personal accountability.
This life that we live is one made up of different layers and as such, the number of accountability partners that you might potentially have ought to be directly proportional to the number of different layers you possess.
When I talk about layers, I am referring to the different aspects of your life such as your relationships, education, crafts, walk with God, talents, future career and so on. So, if you ever asked yourself how many accountability partners you should have, the answer is several.
Being Accountable for Yourself
1. It Takes Being Intentional
Nobody wakes up one day and starts being accountable just like that. It’s not a trait that falls magically unto one’s laps. It requires mindfulness and intentionality.
It’s the process of constantly keeping yourself in check with regards to your goals and commitments. It is telling yourself to be responsible even when absolutely no one is watching.
2. It is Letting Go of the Blame Game
I’m quite sad to make this announcement but one big sign of immaturity is allowing one’s self to be held bound by excusitis-the failure disease. If you find yourself constantly blaming prevailing circumstances, society and people for your failures. You still have a long way to go with regards to being accountable.
Take cheer though the journey isn’t too long. We all get tempted at some point, to lay down the burden of our inaction or failure to live up to expectations, on something or someone else. All you’ve got to do is to, first of all, come to the self-realization of this weakness and then correct it.
Accountability is all about taking ownership of your successes and failures and getting rid of excuses.
85 percent of the result of your actions depends on you and not your environment. As such, make good use of the opportunity. I once came across a quote which went like this:
You can blame people for placing you behind a door but blame yourself for staying behind the door.
This, so far, has served as a faithful reminder in my accountability journey. I hope it helps you too.
Being Accountable to Others
1. It Requires Some Amount of Openness
It all starts with being willing to share your goals or intended pursuits with another individual such as a trusted friend or mentor. If you are the introvertic and reserved kind of person, being accountable to others might take a little longer. But everything takes time, right? So, if you are that type of person, you would eventually come around sooner or later.
2. Have a Clear Goal
Being accountable to others automatically means that another person is being brought on board. With that in mind, you need to be careful and make sure that your plans and goals are clarified and specific because you wouldn’t want to drag another person into your state of indecisiveness, doubt or fear.
It’s okay to not be 100 percent sure of everything. But at least, be 65 percent sure of where you are now and how far you intend to go.
I hope this has been helpful to you in one way or another. Do remember that no one is born being accountable. It is an acquired skill which requires patience and practice.
How would you define being accountable? If you’ve been doing this, how has it been helpful? If not, what’s holding you back?
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