Illustration by: Ashley Fairbourne
You may have noticed a popular theme these days trending on social media or the newspaper—people are avoiding or refusing personal accountability for their actions. To avoid falling into a similar trap, it’s crucial to take personal accountability.
Most of us learned at an early age about the consequences that come from decisions or actions we take: if we missed curfew, we were grounded; if we teased a sibling, we lost our phone privileges; if we were late with a homework assignment, we received a dreaded zero.
On the flipside of these consequences we also learned if we took accountability for our actions and decisions, the punishments were often reduced in harshness and longevity.
Ezine online featured an article written by Audrey Marlene titled, “Taking Responsibility for Your Actions.” In it Marlene writes, “When you fail to accept personal responsibility for your actions there are a series of events that follow over time. The consequences do not necessarily promote goal achievement and success in life. The signals you send to the subconscious can come back to sabotage your progress.”
It’s easy to excuse ourselves or blame others when we make mistakes. We can blame our parents, our friends, our peers and our professors. We can blame the whole world for our negative attitudes, our poor decisions and our obnoxious behaviors, but it won’t make life better.
One thing to think about—sometimes the difference between jail time and a fine is whether or not personal accountability is taken.
Marlene also shares how the inability to accept responsibility for what we do can affect our self-esteem as well as make us “irresponsible, unhappy, hopeless, angry, irrational and defiant. These qualities are not success enhancers. They can eat away at your ability to achieve your best”.
The following steps, outlined by Marlene, guide us toward becoming more accountable for the things we do and say. Marlene says:
- Realize that you cannot place blame on others for the choices you make. Be fair in your dealings.
- Understand that it’s ok to make mistakes. No one will think less of you. On the contrary you will earn the respect of others for admitting your errors.
- Learn ways to let go of fear. Fear can create insecurities.
- Acceptance of who you are. Learn to love yourself unconditionally and accept who you are.
- Learn how to see things objectively without bias and prejudice.
- Let go of feelings of victimization. Learn to see yourself as a victor and not a victim.
One of the hardest parts of this self-discovery is looking inward and recognizing personal weaknesses.
Marlene states, “Accepting responsibility is a measure of one’s self-worth, their level of security, and the true sign of strength and courage.”
Learning to be responsible for our choices and actions can be terrifying. Wishing the problem away doesn’t work, no matter how hard we try. Owning up to mistakes takes courage. The courage of accountability, will not only bring success in life, it will bring you happiness and peace.