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Don’t be surprised if you peek under the tree on Christmas morning and there is no ‘Knight in Shining Armour….’

Because guess what? No one is coming to save you.

Do you ever ask yourself why you’re sitting around waiting and waiting for that tap on the shoulder, for someone to show you the way, or for someone to push you forward, or someone to let you know that everything is going to be okay?

Life can have it’s ‘moments’ for sure. But you know what?

You’re going to be okay. In fact, you’re going to be waaaay better than just ‘okay’.

Because you were born for this life.

Let’s talk about responsibility and accountability. These two often get confused, but they’re actually very different.

Responsibility is how you respond to your ability … meaning that you have the capacity, capability, potential, power, talent, skills, and strengths according to how you flex that muscle. Responsibility is an exercise, a project, a task, or an assignment that you are responsible for.

Accountability, on the other hand, is the outcome, the aftermath, the impact, or results of your actions.

Accountability breeds responsibility…

You can be responsible for your family, for your team and for your business. And you can put in place all the rules, processes, and systems you like …  but if the individuals within the group are not accountable, then it’s likely that things won’t work out the way you’d hoped. Instead, it’s likely you’ll experience poor attitude, behaviours, performance, productivity, and innovation.

This is where we all get it so wrong … Most of the time parents, leaders and organisations rearrange, reorganise and restructure. They re-shape ways of working and change how things are done, because the results are just not there.

But the thing is … until individuals are empowered to step up to the plate, nothing will turn out any differently.

When individuals are accountable there is no finger-pointing, no blaming, no criticizing nor judgment because they become 100% answerable for what they have done.  Guess what? When people are held accountable, they will usually (9 times out of 10) rise to the occasion.  In fact, more often than not, they go the extra mile.

Accept responsibility for your actions…

Responsibility is your response to your ability… That’s all good and well you say.

But what about when it comes to discomfort and adversity?

So often we are really waiting to be saved or we’re sort of only half living, biding our time in hope that someone will sweep us off our feet on a white horse or wave a magic wand to transport us to the future at a time when all the hard work is done, and we can celebrate the results!

But life doesn’t work like that. And fairy tales have a lot to answer for!

If you want something in life, it’s up to you to go out there and get it.

How many times have you relied on others to make it happen for you and it doesn’t come through?

How often has someone told you that they will take care of things and they don’t?

How frequently do people let you down?

This is pretty common, unfortunately. And all it does is leave you in a hump feeling angry, sorry for yourself and lost worrying about ‘where to from here?’

But imagine if it was only up to you?

Can you imagine how empowering that would be?

Well, there’s nothing stopping you.

Except you.

The quicker you own up and step up … the sooner you will make things happen for you.

And the reward will be a beautiful sense of pride and satisfaction, and a deeper sense of ‘knowing’ that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it!

This kind of pride and satisfaction does not come from another’s work … that magical experience resides within you and nowhere else. 

Be accountable for your results…

So … Why do we give our power away, only to be disappointed, let down or saddened?

What holds us back from doing it ourselves instead of hoping a Prince Charming is going to come to the rescue?

The answers are different for everyone. And typically, it will depend on how you were raised. Were you encouraged to go and get into life? To be independent? Did you grow up having everything done for you? Did your family have traditional values which have been imprinted on to you?

In one way or another, most of us are reliant on others. To a certain degree, it’s human nature. Humans like community, and sure, others can help and support us, and champion us, and advise us … but they can’t be responsible for us.

Many of us are reliant on ‘systems’ to take care of us too … but when we do this, we simply give our own personal power away.

Take ownership of your mistakes…

I believe what gets in our way is fear. Fear that we are going to fail. Fear that we are going to make a mistake. Fear of what others will think or say about us.

Fear gets such a bad rap. What if we looked at fear as an opportunity to grow? Lean into it, and see where it takes us? Have you heard the old saying? ‘There is nothing to fear, but fear itself?’ Wise words. I help a lot of people unpack their ‘fear’ and it’s usually NOTHING compared to what they thought it would be! In fact, it can be a very interesting journey of self-discovery.

So, let go of the fear!

When we take responsibility and accountability for ourselves, our choices, and our actions, we stretch our capabilities, we grow, we learn, we begin to enjoy our relationships more (because there’s no heavy expectation attached).

Most importantly, we take charge of our own destiny… which is way more exciting than waiting around for a Knight in Shining armour who might just turn out to be a loser dressed in aluminium foil!

You’ve got this!