A Biographer made up the story about George Washington confessing to cutting down the Cherry tree. Yet, it is still very easy to believe that he cut that tree down based on his character. The story has also been useful for generations of parents as an example of taking accountability. As a child, you may have learned that it is more honorable to own up to your actions, rather than blame others or make excuses about why it is the tree’s fault.
On the other hand, holding ourselves responsible can feel risky. Admitting our faults may threaten our self-image and open us up to criticism from others. It may seem safer to focus on external circumstances instead of looking at our own actions.
The truth is that you could be missing out on more happiness and success by trying to evade responsibility.
True self-esteem requires having the courage to take an honest look at yourself. Accept your weaknesses and missteps, as well as your strengths and accomplishments.
Taking responsibility puts you in control of your life. We all live and grow. You can show yourself that you are capable of changing, and handling the consequences of your actions. Start taking action to resolve negative circumstances, and try some meditation.
Earn trust by living up to your commitments. You will deepen your connection with family, friends, and coworkers.
In the long run, facing the truth usually creates less anxiety than trying to cover it up. Being responsible allows you to enjoy greater peace of mind.
Make it a habit to assess your role in any situation. While external events do matter, focusing on what you can control is more productive.
Pay attention to your behavior even when there are no other witnesses around. Assume equal responsibility for successes and setbacks.
Do you sometimes excuse your behavior because you are trying to juggle too many goals at once? Respect your limits and shorten your to-do list. Creating priorities will help you to accomplish more.
It’s difficult to hear what others are saying when you’re on the defensive. Listen with an open mind, so you can understand their position even if you disagree.
Express regret promptly and sincerely when you let someone down. If possible, try to make amends and avoid repeating your slip ups.
If you need another reason to work on accountability, think about your impact on others. Remember how you feel when a business or a loved one harms you and refuses to take responsibility.
Encouraging a more accountable culture makes it easier to assume responsibility. Start by clarifying your expectations and the consequences for not meeting them. Ensure that you understand what others expect of you as well. You will ensure yourself that you can achieve what you set your mind to.
Help others to be truthful. Respond with mercy rather than anger. You are bound to need a second chance sometime too.
Talk with others about how to make progress moving forward. Share specific observations, praise, and criticism. Be grateful for any insights they give you.
By assuming more accountability, you can automatically have a positive impact on others. You will be teaching your children an important life lesson and contributing to a healthier workplace and society.
Accountability is a skill that grows stronger with practice. Take charge of your life by assuming responsibility for your actions. You will empower yourself to build the future you really want.
If you need additional support on your leadership and personal development journey, please join my Supportive Tribe, where we dig in deeper to topics like these and provide strategies to be successful in both your personal and professional life. Hope to see you there!
motivation, leadership maven, stay motivated, how to, personal development, professional development, leader, leadership coach