Accountability

Quite the buzz word these days, accountability seems to show up on everyone’s management check list.

Merriam-Webster defines it as an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

We all have an awareness about being accountable at work. If I say I will do something, I do it. If I do not, people lose trust in me, and eventually I will be left behind or fired.

Being accountable to our self is a different story. We can give up on our commitments to our self if we want to. No one is watching inside our minds. We won’t get fired. But we will get left behind.

The foundation of our fulfillment in life comes from the practice of following through on our internal commitments to our self.  When meeting our internal commitments is not a regular practice, we undermine the satisfaction we feel from everything else.

Let me explain.

In my own mind, I am the judge. I can say I am accountable to my commitments. This is the slippery part.

I make the commitments to myself. So, I can change them.

Say I commit to writing a blog post every week for the sake of practice and getting my voice in the world, but I tell no one else.

For the first few weeks, I meet my commitment. Then, a kid gets sick, or work gets busy, and I miss a week. Then, because I missed a week, and already blew my commitment, I miss another. Then a month goes by and I still have not written anything.

I am letting myself down. But no one else knows. Yet, they do. They feel something is up. It affects my days, nights, and general satisfaction with life. I let myself down.

We have all done this. Blamed an unfulfilled or unsatisfied outcome of our life or circumstances on others. When it really rests with us.

By our actions for our self, we set the tone for what’s possible. If we continually decline our accountability to a commitment made to our self, we are eroding our foundation of self-trust. When we lose trust in our self, we leave part of us behind. It is too painful to examine that part that we denied.

You are not alone. We have all left parts of us behind. Now is the time to reclaim them. Have a do over with yourself. Invite all those parts you left behind back into your house of belonging and have a party.

When we consciously choose to be accountable to our self, we can leave behind the blame and feel satisfied and fulfilled with our life. And that is a commitment worth keeping.

Need help? Damn right! Invite perspective. Being accountable to ourselves is like discovering a super power!

Love After Love by Derek Walcott