The Art of Remaining Accountable

Good Day Everyone! Can you believe that July is over halfway finished? I'm not sure where the days are going, but holy Hannah they go fast!

Today's topic is accountability. I'm warning you now, I am extremely passionate about this.

I know, I know. You probably think that I am a huge dork for getting passionate about such a topic, but to be honest, I'm passionate about anything that makes you a super awesome person!

We all know somebody who is never at fault for anything (I say that with intense sarcasm and an eye roll). The world has wronged them in every way, and at no point have they been in charge of their choices. Sound familiar? Does someone immediately come to mind?

If you do not know anyone like this, congratulations! If you do, I'm with you. I understand how frustrating it is to be friends with or related to someone who can't take ownership of anything. In other words, they are not accountable.

Let's look at what accountability actually is. The term gets tossed around quite a bit, but it's not always understood.

By definition, accountability is, "the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility" (Oxford Languages, 2020).

Okay, now what does THAT mean?

I'll make it simple. It's taking responsibility for your actions. It's being able to admit that you've made a mistake. It's being able to be trusted that if you say you are going to do something, you do it. Basically, it's all about being a standup person.

It seems pretty simple, so why is it so hard?

I mentioned in one of Femmepowered's Instagram posts that learning how to be accountable (or not) usually begins at home. I used the example of how parents react to their child not doing well on a school exam:

Mom 1: "If you studied harder, you probably would have done better. Let's try that next time".

Mom 2: "Your teacher is an idiot. If she would have done her job, maybe you would have done better".

In the example above, Mom 2 is not showing her child that he is responsible for his grades in any way. She has now demonstrated that good grades are solely based on a teacher's performance when in actuality, academic success is a product of a student, parent, and teacher working together. If we added more details to the example, we might see that Mom 2 has been too busy on her phone to help her child study or to guide him to make good choices, therefore he has chosen to play video games late into the evening rather than review his exam material. You can see how Mom 2 has played the "blame game" by pointing her finger at the teacher, rather than taking ownership of the situation. Now, I am not picking on Mom 2. Parenting is a friggen hard job and sometimes we drop the ball. She may have been having a bad week. Let's now show how she can be accountable, as well as teach her son how to be accountable:

Accountable Mom 2: "You know what, I wasn't very present this week to help you before your exam. Work is crazy right now and I've been preoccupied. I'm sorry about that and I'll do better next time. However, you also need to make sure you're studying on your own, if I'm not able to be here. Your grades are important and it's up to you if you want to do well or not".

Yay! Mom 2 has now openly recognized how she made a mistake, but she also showed her son that he needs to take charge of his situation as well.

This may seem like a silly example, but I really want to demonstrate how it truly does begin at home. Our parents are the first people who teach us how to be good people. No pressure, right?

That being said, you might not have accountable parents to have learned from. Then what?

This is where self-evaluation comes into play. The first step is recognizing how you tackle life. How are you in your place of work? If your manager questions you about a mistake that was made, do you automatically blame your coworker? If you got fired, is it because (here comes the eye roll) your boss "hated you", or is it because you took 20 coffee breaks per shift and were rude to customers? What about in social situations? If you show up an hour late to a gathering, do you have a million excuses rather than just admitting that you left your house late because you were binging Netflix?

Examining yourself and recognizing that there is an issue is the first step, and it's a brave one to take. Admitting wrongness is not easy, especially when it is in relation to your character. But, if you can take that first step, you are one step closer to being a better version of yourself, and that is ultimately what life is about. It's about personal growth, day by day, little by little. Just because you used to be a person who pointed fingers at others, doesn't mean you have to always be that person.

SO, be accountable and start now. Teach your kids how to be accountable. Don't be afraid to admit that you are wrong. If you don't admit when you have made a mistake, how are you supposed to fix that mistake in the future? The more that you are honest to yourself and to others, the easier it will come to you; it just takes practice. Admitting to being wrong does not mean that you are weak, stupid, or any other adjective with a negative connotation. It means that you have integrity and that you are confident in your ability to improve in the future. That sounds like a pretty awesome human being to me!

As always, please be kind and love yourself.

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