I imagine that a good proportion of people out there are intimidated by the word: accountability. I know I was! I was terrified of that word. You mean to tell me that I am going to have to take responsibility for the things I do? Can’t we all just put our fingers on our nose and the last one to do so is left holding the bag?
When I was 13 my dad told me, “You’re old enough to understand what I’m saying on a deeper level now, so from here on out you will be treated like an adult and will be held accountable as such.”
Little did I know there were some great perks to this accountability business. If I treated people fairly, did good in school and helped around the house, I was free to do whatever I wanted. Responsibility and accountability, I found out, were my best friends. They ended up getting me a car at 16, a no-curfew life the rest of high school and altogether, more freedom to go wherever I wanted than a tumbling tumbleweed. My confidence grew, and with confidence comes pride and with pride comes the feeling that nothing can stop you.
For some reason the term “accountability” has negative/serious/nerve-racking connotations to it more so than not. This mostly stems from the idea of crime and punishment and what happens if you get caught doing something bad/illegal. We’re obsessed with what people will think about us if we do something wrong.
But we as a society need to look at the positive aspects of accountability. If you accomplish a goal or reach a success, you should be proud of yourself and let people know. Why should people only know about the bad things you did? There is a fine line between boasting and being proud. But because most people fear the negative consequences of accountability, no one wants any part of it.
So yes, be accountable for the mistakes and decisions that you make that may have hurt/had a negative impact, but seriously, make sure you take accountability and pride for all the great things you do too. Spread the word, be happy and don’t take your failures so seriously. Find some humor in them. Relax, trust yourself and know that if you fail, it’s ok. Own up to it, learn and move on. If you succeed, take a moment and celebrate your accomplishments with those around you.
Let accountability liberate you instead of paralyze you.