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“It’s not my fault.” Or is it? - Three Steps to Personal Accountability

I never give anyone or any situation control over my desired result. Here is how.

Ac·count·a·bil·i·ty. This is the word I repeat to my youngest daughter when she blames me for forgetting her Halloween mask at school, or to my oldest daughter when she misplaces her favorite sweatshirt. When I question how they got themselves into this situation - where we are frantically searching for a misplaced item - their response is always the same: “It’s not my fault.” So, I give them a tiny lecture on personal accountability, help them solve the problem at hand, and life goes on.

This latest episode of lost and found did, however, get me thinking about my own level of personal accountability. How often do I say, “It’s not my fault?”

Being accountable, or taking accountability, is one of my most favorite business superpowers. When you take accountability, you are taking ownership over or responsibility for your desired results. Good or bad, an accountable person does not blame other people or the situation. I know, this can be exhausting. It can get heavy always carrying the burden of accountability. But being accountable is also powerful because when you take personal accountability, you are never a victim. You never give anyone or any situation control over you or your desired results. Being in control is powerful. This is freedom from a victim mentality. This is having a growth mindset.

If you are feeling angry or guilty because you skipped a workout, don’t blame a hectic schedule or the early meeting that popped up. Accept the fact that you could not make it work today. Commit to making it work tomorrow. Move on.

If your career or business results are not where they should be, don’t drain your energy by blaming COVID, the economy, the president, or your company. Commit to taking an action that will move you toward your desired result. Move on.

If you struggle with this concept, here are 3 steps to help build your personal accountability:

  1. Bring awareness to your thoughts. When you are in victim mode (i.e. blaming others, getting defensive, making excuses), it is time to take a pause.

  2. Think about what you (not anyone else) can do to bring you closer to your desired result.

  3. Take that action.

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