3 Reasons We Hate Accountability
Bring up the word “accountability” and you’re bound to get a reaction. The type of reaction you get is probably going to reveal a lot about the person’s heart and where they are at in life. You see, the very idea of accountability is counter-intuitive to our natural selfishness and pride. Therefore, it’s not naturally something we love. The people who embrace the idea of accountability are those who have experienced the benefits of it, but even still, there’s always a love-hate relationship with it.
Here are three quick reasons we love-hate (or just plain hate) accountability:
- We are forced to admit we’re not perfect.
- We are forced to admit we can’t do it on our own.
- We are forced to admit that we don’t really want to change.
Ouch. How did that feel right there when I just read your innermost thoughts?
A little strange?
How did I know? Because I feel it too. And so does everyone I talk to about the importance of finding people to hold them accountable in their lives.
But like most things in life that cause us to step out of our comfort zone and get uncomfortable, it causes us to grow and change in a way that is powerful and special.
If you’ve ever struggled to make a change, be more disciplined, or keep a commitment, the solution may be accountability.
Now, here are four good reasons we should embrace the practice of accountability:
Have you ever looked back at a long-lasting friendship and realized that you don’t really know the person? Like, maybe on a surface level you know what’s going on in their life and how things are going… but on a deeper, meaningful level, you have no idea what they are really struggling with?
If you haven’t experienced that, it’s probably because you just haven’t given it much thought.
Whining about your job or complaining your husband doesn’t count as heart-level stuff. It’s easy to grumble about the circumstances in your life, it’s not so easy to share openly about what you’re struggling with spiritually or emotionally.
One of the greatest ways to deepen a relationship, whether it be with a spouse, friend, or mentor, is to open up and be authentic about who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and where you want to be in the future.
Be the one to start that in a relationship and see where it leads. It’s possible that the other person isn’t interested in that, and that’s okay! By being real, open, and honest with people on a heart-level, you’ll begin to attract that kinds of people and relationships that you want.
When you find that person who you connect with and who can speak truth into your life with love, embrace and nurture that relationship.
Less Pride, More Humility
By opening up about who you are, where you struggle, and what you’d like to change, you automatically lose your tight grip on your pride and start to embrace humility.
We falsely believe that if people really knew us, they wouldn’t love us. Or maybe if we actually open up to someone, we’ll be forced to face everything about ourselves that we’re unhappy about. And in our insecurity, that just feels like too great a burden to bear.
But from what I’ve experienced, when you practice authenticity in everything you, you’ll learn to love yourself for who you are. There’s no masks, secret identities, or fears that you’ll get found out.
You get to be YOU. The imperfectly perfect version of you.
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Having someone who knows you and knows the changes you want to make in your life is important for getting solid wisdom and objective advice. When you allow someone to know you, they’ll be in a position to pinpoint your excuses.
This is one of the reasons accountability is uncomfortable. We like to hide behind our excuses. We like to justify why we can’t do things.
But just as this person can call you out on your excuses, they can also call out your strengths and call you up into success. When someone knows you well, they have an objective viewpoint on what you’re capable of. They don’t focus on your weakness, because they can see all of the good in you.
You know you have a tendency to always think the worst of yourself, so why not have some people on your side cheering you on and showing you how much you are capable of?
If the other points aren’t enough for you, this one should be. I’m going to say it clearly: you will get to where you want to go much quicker if you have accountability.
We get pretty comfortable disappointing ourselves and breaking our own commitments, but when you have someone on your side, rooting for you and encouraging you, and reminding you of your plan, you are less likely to give up. You don’t want to let that person down.
Whether or not that’s a good reason, who cares. If it’s what you need to stick to your commitment, then do it. The more you experience the feeling of satisfaction that comes from following through, you'll learn to do it more naturally on your own.