Accountability is to acknowledge the responsibility we have as an individual for ourselves. Accountability is not only what we do but also what we choose not to do. As a person, we are accountable for our accomplishments and failures, and it is a continuously binding state. Accountability does not represent consequences but ownership. It is a life stance, a willingness to own our actions regardless of circumstances. People who do not wish to be held accountable may make excuses or shift accountability. Still, the most valuable thing we can do is be aware of our responsibility and how our accountability can affect other people.

What causes us to avoid accountability?

We are not often taught what it means to be accountable for our actions. While we may face discipline for wrongdoing, this is very different from mindfully reviewing our actions and accepting responsibilities. Accountability can often feel like an attack when you are not ready to acknowledge how your behaviours reflect others.

What happens when we continue to run away from our responsibilities?

How can we improve if we fail to see when we are wrong? If we overlook our mistakes, we are bound to make them time and time again. If we negate responsibility when making an apology, such as using ‘but’ or ‘if’, we can cause far more harm. Adding caveats to our apology suggests we are not taking accountability for the result of our actions and valuing ourselves over those we have wronged.

‘You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.’

How to hold ourselves accountable

We must model the behaviours we wish to see in others. If we want others to act with accountability, we must also take responsibility for our actions. We must meet the commitments in ourselves that we require in other people. In developing our fault, we could have an ‘accountability partner’ to keep one other moving forward on the journey of responsibility.

We should challenge our behaviours to see if we act with the accountability we wish others did. While it is difficult and painful to see who we are as opposed to the disguise we put forward to others, it can be liberating as an opportunity to understand how we can make our lives better by transforming our behaviours. It is essential to recognise how we may be enduring or contributing towards a problem by not having accountability for a situation. Shift our behaviour by changing the pattern with which we usually react to the problem.

Vitally, we should observe what has hurt us and how that may be stopping us from taking accountability for a situation. The phrase ‘wounded people wound people’ helps examine how often we allow our vulnerabilities to affect our responses to events without intending for them to. We must work on healing from our traumas to be more constructive individuals.

When making apologies, we must make sure we are heartfelt and validating towards the feelings the other party has towards our wrongdoing. By accepting responsibility for the pain we have caused, we allow the other party to move on. It is essential that we feel remorse for our wrongdoing so we can learn.

What happens when we accept your responsibilities?

We will find ourselves recognising a far more agreeable state of mind. We will be willing to examine how our communication affects others when we accept responsibility for our wrongdoings, act more constructively when we make mistakes, and fundamentally take other perspectives whether we agree with them or not. This will help us grow an understanding of how beliefs and actions are shaping every life.

By taking accountability for something that has gone wrong, we can actively search for solutions. This can be successfully applied to relationships, businesses and significant life events. If everybody holds themselves to a substantial standard of accountability, the culture created is more responsible as a whole and enables greater trust and togetherness as a collective.

How can guided meditation helps us to face accountability?

Personal accountability requires mindfulness and acceptance of who we are. It helps to review our and other people’s responsibility. By practising mindfulness and reflecting on our thoughts and actions, we understand our accountability and a more remarkable ability to support others. This is also done when we praise those who do take great responsibility for their actions.

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