Secrets to Success.
Once in an interview, I was asked, “What is the secret to your success?”
“Continued sobriety, a strong belief in a God that works under all conditions, a fabulous recovery support system over the years, treasured mentors, my mother, a loving husband, and a willingness to do the work” I responded. “But the two most important factors,” I said, “have been my courageous spirit and my willingness to be accountable for my actions.”
Each time I did something I was afraid to do, I was a winner. Going back to school, becoming a lawyer, continuing to take the Bar exam after multiple failures, letting go of the practice of law, asking for help, revealing my story publicly, and speaking up against injustice, particularly when I feared retaliation, have all been opportunities to walk through my fear.
I am also willing to be held accountable for the choices, actions, and decisions I make. Accountability is a point of view that is practiced through action. It means looking at the part we play in everything that happens to us. It means seeing ourselves as volunteers and participants in our lives, not as victims of circumstance. This is a difficult mind-set to master, particularly when we don’t like what’s happening. But once we get in the habit of seeing our part, we profit in many ways, as the following:
- You get greater results because you’re focused on solutions. Victims wait for things to change to feel better. Accountable, people take charge and recognize what they can do now.
- You feel more empowered because you’re more in control. When you’re not sitting around waiting for something to happen, you feel good and in control of your life.
- You genuinely feel better about yourself because you make healthier choices. There is a sense of self-esteem that results from making right choices.
- You make different choices because you know you’ll be held responsible.
- You are smarter because you learn from your mistakes. It’s less likely you’ll repeat them.
Accountability is a choice we make and a process that never ends. Today you are invited to discover and uncover behaviors that keep you stuck in blame, and you’re invited to identify opportunities for greater accountability and thereby greater self-esteem.
Until next time, I’m Francine Ward, attorney, coach, author, and speaker. I invite you to join my conversation on my Esteemable Acts Fan page, Esteemable Acts Twitter feed, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.