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Struggling with accountability? Stop making excuses. And start doing more of this.

accountability

Want accountability?

First of all, what is accountability? Here’s what it’s not: it’s not making excuses. And it’s not blame. Instead, accountability is the ability to account for your actions honestly. So at its simplest, accountability just means being responsible. And you might be pretty good at that. Even when it means admitting that you’re wrong. Still, it’s not easy.

What’s the problem?

Part of the problem is that you’re a rebel. So you don’t see the need to answer to anyone but yourself. And at some level, you’re right. But the problem with this approach is that you isolate yourself. And when you’re isolated, you lose valuable input from others. So you read self-help books. And they encourage you to man-up. Or you listen to a podcast. Or you get an accountability partner. And having an accountability partner is a good idea. But still, something missing. In fact, you know you’re missing the mark. Because you’re still not your best self. So what can you do?

It’s not what you might think.

Because what actually helps you become your best self is counter-intuitive. But why? Because it cuts against the grain of what you’ve been taught about being a man. Because men are supposed to be manly, right? Yes. But what does being manly mean? Does it mean being tough? Or athletic? Or strong? Perhaps. But you know that it’s more than that. And here’s what’s missing.

There is no accountability without this.

The key to accountability is vulnerability. But wait. The meaning of vulnerability is being open to physical or emotional attack. And who wants that? That feels like weakness. And you don’t want to feel weak. But is it true that vulnerability means weakness? Let’s think about that. Let’s say you build a strong fort, so marauders can’t get in. That feels strong, right? Because now, you can to repel any attack. But what happens if your enemies are inside the walls? Because that’s the problem. The real enemy is within. In fact, you are your own worst enemy. And here’s why.

Blaming doesn’t help.

Because when something goes wrong, you want to blame someone. So sometimes, you blame yourself. Because it’s all your fault, right? But the fact is, someone else is usually involved. And while blaming yourself feels like accountability, it is really just blame. And if, on the other hand, you blame someone else, you run the risk of not taking responsibility for your actions. So if you want to do something about the real problem, please listen to this:

Now what?

So if you want to be accountable, stop blaming. Instead, open yourself to vulnerability. Because it’s the manliest thing you can do. Need further help? Drop me a line at mark@marknewtonpdx.com. As a men’s life coach, I work with smart, creative men who sometimes feel overwhelmed. And I’ll help you get focused and moving again.

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