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Do you hold yourself accountable? What keeps you going forward with your plans when it gets tough and nothing seems right?

Passion as a drive

holding yourself accountable, passion, drive

Photo by Andrey Maximov

Passion is undeniably important to realizing your dreams and it’s the drive pulling you to act towards achieving a goal. Yet, in those late hours of night while you’re supposed to do your portion of the day or on days when you don’t feel like doing anything, passion can disappear. Not disappear altogether per se; perhaps it could fade away temporarily, mask itself with weakness, internal accusing voices and fear. In those moments, it’s very easy to give up under the impression that everything you’ve done is in vain.

This is a familiar truth experienced by most, if not everyone. The question is how to overcome this shortcoming? For everything in life, when you feel you have no options, there are actually two: give up and surrender; or move on, push yourself through ‘the wall’.

If passion fades away in difficult circumstances and your body and mind are telling you to quit, there’s one thing that may save you from abandoning the path you’ve previously chosen. You’ve guessed by now: self-accountability. What this means is exactly that – accountability for yourself. Even though many recommend external accountability as a motivating factor in reaching a goal (announcing it on your blog, telling your friends), I’ve personally found self-accountability much more powerful.

Practical use

Instead of announcing your plans to the whole world, try telling yourself only, and learn to feel pride internally at the things you’ve done, and shame for the things you haven’t.

Self-accountability is the response to all those questions from friends, asking how I could work 2-3 jobs and continue with my hobbies, how I managed to find the time for Italian lessons or photography courses or the gym, even reading books, how do I push through exhaustion and get something done?

To be honest, you may have used this for a while completely unaware of its presence. For a long time, I’ve identified it with stubbornness. Being stubborn generally has a negative connotation, since you may stick to an attitude, belief, activity for purely biased, unreasonable motives. Self-accountability is tied to responsibility and when developed consciously is a skill that will help you get through when times are hard.

If you take time to work on developing awareness and how to use it when the going gets tough, this will be your number one tool. It will keep you awake when all you want to do is sleep and drift away. It will make you go to the gym when you’d rather snuggle under a blanket watching TV. It will even ignore any excuses you’re giving yourself for not moving forward.

Apart from helping you with realizing your dreams and accomplishing your goals, relying on self-accountability can also raise your self-esteem. If you’re doing the work or the activities no matter what, holding yourself accountable, then you’ll feel better about yourself and have a bigger chance of continuing with that practice in the future.

You can be your biggest friend or your biggest enemy. Why choose enemy when you can have the lovely opposite?

Do you find self-accountability being a powerful tool in achieving something? What’s your experience? 

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11 thoughts on “Self-Accountability as a Top Skill in Life

  1. Great post, Sophie. I love that you relate self-accountability, a positive trait, to stubbornness, a negative one. I think most of our “flaws” can be seen as great strengths if we look at them that way.

    • Thanks Joe! Exactly – many things can be seen as a strength if looked differently and developing a flaw into a strength is the best we can do. It took me a while to figure out what has kept me going through life and self-accountability is definitely the answer.

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  4. Sophie,

    How uncanny that this great post of yours overlaps so much with my own post this morning. A case of great minds, right? Also, the positive form of stubbornness I usually call steadfastness.

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