I believe that all professionals can improve a lot in terms of achievement and success when they focus their energy on being accountable for their actions.
Focusing on accountability has had a profound impact on my daily life, not only have I felt more mindful of my place in my own world, but I have gained a more balanced way of being, finding clearer direction and greater motivation.
Being accountable is, in my opinion, one of the most empowering things we can do for our careers, our relationships and our lives.
Accountability gives us the control we need to make change. If life happens to us rather the other way around, we have little to no opportunity to improve it.
But, if we are accountable for our lives, both the good and bad things, then we have made a mental shift and given ourselves the power to influence it.
I find it to be an incredible idea—I can change my life if I become accountable for it.
To be successful at this, in all moments, it’s our job to be mindful of our interaction with our world and daily events—what could I have done better? What did I do well? What would I change? What role did I play in this outcome?
I have been focused on being accountable for myself, my actions and my effects on the world around me for the last few months and the results have been drastic.
I am certainly no expert, but with a few tricks that have worked for me, I believe most people could be happier and more effective in their day to day lives, I certainly have been and I am still improving.
So, how do you position your mind to be more accountable and analyze opportunities for improvement?
Here is what has worked for me:
Step 1: Give yourself a 3 or 4 day trial period and take accountability for anything and everything around you,
by the second day you will likely already see yourself becoming more naturally accustomed to the process and the benefits.
I believe that most people operate in a natural state of anti-accountability. The average person, like myself, truly believes (whether by accident or on purpose) that things aren’t their fault—that there is a different, better, easier, more likely reason for the origin of any outcome, good or bad.
So, make this exercise real, don’t give that concept lip service, but actually commit. Take every experience that you come across and actually take ownership of your part in its existence. Very quickly you will start to expand your mind and see how certain things you felt like a victim of could have more to do with your actions than you think.
For example: You are frustrated, a client that you had done everything you could for–you beat the price, gave faster service, answered all their questions…etc, decided to go elsewhere. It is really easy to feel like a victim in this situation—to feel that the client must be the problem, because you did all that you could.
But, the important question is: did you? Did you do all that you could have? It is possible, that you did and they still went elsewhere. But it is more likely that somewhere in the sales cycle, you were responsible for the deviation that led to no sale. Until you ask the question you will never know and you won’t have the option to improve your actions for next time.
In these situations, you won’t always be responsible, but you can always be accountable. And the advantage of accountability is when your accountable, you are constantly measuring your role in things–sometimes it will be varying degrees of your fault/responsibility and sometimes it will have nothing to do with you, the point is you were mindful enough to do the internal examination and find out. If you don’t do that you don’t give yourself room for improvement.
Step 2: Test the power you have over your world.
If you can train yourself to recognize the role you play in your life, you will be empowered to take control of yourself and the world around you. But, it is only once you have come to terms with that fact that you have a real role to play in these events that you can proactively determine your power over them.
This could be an interaction with a spouse, boss, or cashier at the grocery store, faster commute to work–it doesn’t really matter, just try and find something that may feel normally out of your control, but keep it as something that is directly connected to you.
This is not meant to be the law of attraction or “The Secret”—that if you visualize green lights and a perfect parking spot you will attract them. It is far less abstract. If you want less traffic, take accountability, you know when traffic is bad so leave 15 minutes earlier. If you want a good interaction with your spouse, be accountable for the role you play and don’t engage in a negative conversation—walk away rather than argue, give them a genuine compliment…etc.
The idea is simple, it just takes a little discipline and mindfulness to begin to positively impact your life through better decision making about the things within your control. Be accountable for your actions and you can have awesome interactions.
Step 3: Be accountable for your accountability process.
By that I mean, be accountable for improving your accountability. It won’t happen over night, like any habit it will take time to improve. And, there will be emotional events that are very hard to force yourself to examine in the way I have discussed so far.
But, if you hold yourself accountable for the growth you want to experience, in a very short time you will find yourself more aware of the power you have to control yourself and the events around you.
I think that accountability is a profound empowering event. It gives us control and the ability to grow and improve. I have seen it benefit my state of mind and my effectiveness day to day.
Best of luck in your journey to develop.