It’s tempting to blame everyone around you for your troubles. Pointing your finger at co-workers and claiming you have nothing to do with poor outcomes? Yup, that’s the easy part. But I’m here to let you in on a little secret –the more rewarding path in life comes from a place of personal accountability, not blame. How can this be? First, a little background….
Personal accountability is the belief that you are fully responsible for your own actions and their consequences. It’s a choice, a mindset and an expression of integrity. Some individuals exhibit it more than others, but it can and should be learned as it is not only the foundation for a successful personal/professional life, but also a prerequisite for happiness.
You see, your challenges in life are real and will always exist. It’s highly doubtful that life will go your way 100% of the time. However, that doesn’t mean that these challenges should turn into excuses. Once we stop focusing on what’s happening “to” us and focus instead on what we can do within our current circumstances to succeed, we will get the results we’re looking for. These results will lead to a happier, more engaged attitude –particularly at work. It reaffirms that you are the architect of your life and that you can handle whatever life tosses your way.
So, how accountable are you? Here are four factors to consider that contribute directly to your personal accountability and can make for a happier outlook at work in 2015:
Being committed means you are willing to do what it takes to get results, no matter what the challenge or task at hand. It means buying in readily to what is asked of you, even if it isn’t in your immediate job description. Those who are accountable are willing to fulfill a larger role for the good of the organization.
Do you throw a pity party every time you hit a bump in the road? Are you quick to give up at the first sign of trouble? Yes, it’s a valid feeling, but acting on it could mean you are, how shall we say, less than resilient? Channel your inner tenacity and make an effort to bounce back quickly from setbacks. Push on no matter what and you may realize you are stronger and more capable than you realize.
Having full ownership over your actions and results involves the ability to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly. Recognize the positive aspects of what you contribute at work and be open to receiving feedback on areas of improvement. View them as stepping-stones to getting better at your job and, ultimately, happier at work. If you can own up to improvements that need to be made and honor them, your pain and blame goes away all while making a bigger impact.
4. Continuous Learning
Making mistakes is never fun, but accountable people don’t view them as failures. Rather, they view them as teachable moments that will help make them better and more successful in the future. They resist the urge to pin the blame on outside forces and, instead, use what they’ve learned to open up new options for the future.
The takeaway? Victim mindsets don’t lead to success and happiness. Start 2015 off right by increasing your personal accountability and engagement at work and happiness is sure to follow.
Cy Wakeman is a national keynote speaker, business consultant, New York Times bestselling author, and trainer who has spent over 20 years cultivating a revolutionary approach to leadership. For more on Cy, check out http://www.realitybasedleadership.com/.