Do you hold yourself 100% accountable for what transpires in your life? Do you take ownership for your moods, the attitude you project, the actions you take and the words you speak? Do you recognize when you’re in the wrong?
When things go awry – you miss a deadline at work, you forget a close friend’s birthday, hurt someone you love, etc. - do you own the role you played and work to prevent repeating the same behaviors? When things don’t work out it is fairly easy for all of us to displace blame and avoid taking an introspective look and call our own selves out.
Yet how can we really grow and evolve as individuals without owning our “stuff?” If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, are we crazy to think repeating old patterns without ever self-correcting will bring us a different outcome?
1) Don’t be afraid. Jim Morrison said it best, “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” So go face those fears. Heights, public speaking, intimacy, commitment… whatever has had a grasp on you, face it head on. Once you do, you’ll be free.
2) Accept yourself for who you are today. Maybe you aren’t exactly where you want to be, but you’re on your way. We all start somewhere.
3) Don’t rely on external sources for validation. Think about how powerful it would be if we stopped relying on mirrors and compliments to validate ourselves.
4) Forgive others. And yourself! We all screw up. If someone hurt you, forgive them. There’s a quote from Buddha, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Think about it. Release the anger/resentment/etc. and forgive – yourself and others.
If you ever feel like you’re not holding yourself accountable for the way things are going – why not begin today? Not too long ago, I went through a similar exercise. I prioritized my life - commitments, relationships, hobbies - and figured out which are priorities and which are options. Develop habits to help you become more accountable in every day life. Science says it takes 66 days to develop a new habit, and there's no time like the present. Similar to fitness - we grow stronger with each rep, with each run. If you want results, you have to put in the work. Start small and see the tangible impact your hard work has on your happiness. Sometimes we may not always know where we're going, or how we're going to get there - but one thing is for certain; It's pretty damn powerful to be in the driver’s seat of your own life.