I strongly believe that being accountable is one of the biggest keys to happiness.
When you are accountable… When you take responsibility for things that go wrong (regardless of whether or not it is actually your fault). You will feel in control. You will not feel helpless or feel like other people are controlling your life.
The issue is though: A lot of people are scared to be accountable because they do not understand how being accountable is different from beating yourself up for your mistakes.
What do they do instead? They default into blaming other people.
I believe people should blame themselves, but I do not think they should judge themselves. I believe everyone should be their own “Biggest fan” – Beating yourself is super counterproductive, and something I do not think anyone should do. I also believe people should take responsibility for everything that happens in their lives. Here are some mindset shifts on how you can use accountability to “Unlock” more happiness:
We all suck at so many things, I have tons of “Weaknesses.” I make a ton of mistakes. I make mistakes everyday, Everyone does. You could make an argument saying that singular “Loss” is greater than all of my “Wins” in business. When you own your faults and weaknesses, It takes away the leverage they have over you – And they can almost become “Strengths.” I proudly own about how I did terrible in school. When you “Own” what you are bad at and what you messed up on, You become more comfortable with yourself.
Take Eminem in 8-Mile, For example: One of my favorite scenes ever is the last rap battle of 8 mile where Eminem disses himself before the other guy can. He owns all his weaknesses, And it leaves the other person with absolutely nothing to say.
The more you own (And share) your insecurities, Failures, And mistakes with the world, The more comfortable you will get with yourself. Own the fact that you are a 20-something or 30-something still trying to “Figure out” life. Own the fact that you are in your 60s and you are starting a business from zero and you are scared it is “Too late” because you did not start earlier. Because the truth is, there is nothing wrong with any of those things – And once get comfortable with them, you will find that they can actually be your greatest strengths.
When I say I don’t “Beat myself up”, I do not mean that I am always incredibly proud of every decision I make.mI carefully analyze my behavior in an honest way. Sometimes, I will even be disappointed. Although I will never dwell or beat myself up on it.
That is where the difference lies — People can have negative feelings or thoughts about failures and mistakes, But the minute you start dwelling on it, You are making it more likely that your next thing will not work. And worse… You are tearing yourself down even further instead of being your own biggest fan and supporting yourself…
This is a big reason why so many people default to blaming others. They wrap up their self-esteem up in their successes. Even though I identify so much as a businessman and entrepreneur, I am proud that I do not wrap my self-esteem up in my accomplishments. Even when I lose in business, I never lose my self-worth over it.
If I lost, I am happy to deal with the ramifications of it – However I never allow myself to feel bad about who I am because of that loss.
I think a lot of this goes back to parenting. Like I said… I was a D and F student in school. Every time grades would come out, My mom would punish me for not doing well. She made me deal with the ramifications of getting bad grades, But she never made me feel like I was stupid or that I was not going to be successful.
It was accountability without judgement.
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