There’s something compelling about understanding the power of personal accountability and understanding the effect it can have on your life. Like the one time when I was under so much pressure to make my relationship work. That was because my partner and I looked like a picture-perfect couple from the outside, but a damaging one on the inside. I ignored my feelings and followed the advice given by the people around me: “Don’t give up on your relationship,” “You have to fight for what you love!” “Nobody is perfect. Give him another chance!”
I allowed this pattern to go on for years and it resulted in me wasting several years of my life. I encountered physical, emotional, and financial abuse. I could choose to blame my misfortune on the people who gave me the misleading advice, or my abusive partner. However, when I replay my relationship in my head, I realize that the blame was on me. That is I had all the signs that pointed to my relationship being unhealthy. I even told myself on several occasions that I deserved better and that this not the way a relationship should be. I made an effort to collect information and had enough bad experience with my partner to make a choice based on my knowledge – but I made my choice to stay. I thought that the relationship could not possibly end in a bad situation for me!
I made my choice, and I have to own it. I am not saying that my choice excuses my partner’s actions, but it does make me accountable for my actions, decisions and the role I played in the misfortune that I encountered in the relationship. It wasn’t easy to be responsible for my choices, but it was something that I had to do.
If you find yourself making excuses or blaming people for things that go wrong for you or are not going your way, here are three steps that can help you switch your view of the situation. The following helpful measures will help you choose personal accountability and eliminate blame and excuses:
Step 1 – Responsibility
Responsibility is an obligation to perform or complete a task successfully. However, responsibility is not just acting; it is also a way of thinking and being. So go ahead and deal with the circumstances and don’t second-guess your thoughts by thinking of what should have or could have been. Instead, think of the present situation or ‘what is?’ In other words, think about what the situation is, and the main point of what is happening and the possible areas of improvement.
Step 2 – Self-Empowerment
Self-empowerment implies taking control of your own life, and permitting yourself to take action, encounter risks and to get what you want in life eventually. How can you be self-empowered? You can achieve self-empowerment by managing your expectations, and what is expected of you. To be able to deal with your own and others’ expectations, you will need to as question to yourself and others as well. The purpose of questioning is to give yourself clarity on what you need to do for yourself as well as what you need to do for others. You can also write down your thoughts to help reassure yourself that everything is in order
Step 3 – Personal Accountability
Personal accountability differs from responsibility and self-empowerment. Responsibility is the ‘before’ process or the thought process before owning your thoughts and actions. Self-empowerment refers to the ‘during’ or the actual process of change. Unlike responsibility and self-empowerment, personal accountability is the process that occurs after everything is done. It is the willingness to answer for the outcomes of your choices, actions, and behaviors. You must look at yourself first, before you look outside, and ask yourself these questions:
- What am I doing or what am I not doing to contribute to the situation I am in?
- What should I do differently to help solve the problems I am facing?
- How can I be accountable for the results of my actions or behavior?
These questions can help you identify where you are going wrong and how to fix or what you are doing or have done.
These are the three steps that I used when I first started to take accountability for my actions, choices, and behaviors. The three steps should help get you started on the road to personal accountability. But I need a favor from all the awesome readers. I understand, and I hope you also realize that not everybody learns the same way and that we all process information differently. So I’m reaching out to you – my community – for help because I want all of us to grow together. So if you have any advice that you believe can help someone or have useful information to add, please do let us know in the comments section because each one of us is a teacher and an educator!