In today’s day and age, accountability is more important than ever. But why? Why has being accountable become one of the cornerstones of society, the key ingredient that holds people and communities together?
Well, for one thing, when a person is accountable, he or she accepts responsibility for his or her actions and those results that come with them. Good or bad, actions always have consequences, and taking ownership for one’s part in the process is vital to mastering control over your own life. Sure, no one expects you to be perfect and to err to be human. But if you find that you are making a habit of shirking responsibilities or making excuses for your mistakes, then maybe something has to change.
Think about it—if you don’t own up to your actions, then who will? No one else should be responsible for the things you need to do, nor for the consequences if you don’t do them. Accountability beings with ownership, and only then can you put yourself on the path to success as your self-confidence grows.
It is well established that being accountable can lead to many benefits, and promoting responsibility and ownership is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, accountability can also reduce conflict by removing blame from the equation, which in group settings can improve performance and efficiency. Once a person holds themselves accountable for their own actions, they can also start seeing the results of their efforts, making it easier to set goals and measure progress. And of course, if you want to be a leader, being personally accountable is one of the most admirable traits you can have because it inspires confidence and trust in those who might look up to you.
Understandably, it can be scary to think about being held accountable, especially when a lot rides on your decisions. Life can be unpredictable, and you can never know for sure how things will turn out. Knowing what you can control and accepting what you cannot is the first step to letting go this fear. Being accountable isn’t about perfection. It’s about recognizing that not everything will always go your way, and how you respond to such situations. Is it your first instinct to point the finger at others and lay the fault at their feet? Or do you instead ask yourself what part you might have played in the problem and what you could have done to make things better?
It can be tough to make changes in your life, and harder still when those changes might involve self-reflection and taking a good hard look at your personal goals and expectations. That’s because holding yourself accountable requires a whole new way of thinking, but with diligence and commitment, it’s possible to get there. Accountability begins when you acknowledge your responsibilities and become aware of your situation, and so positive action and ownership of your life can begin.