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When making a big commitment to ourselves, we often end up delegating accountability.

“If you see me with a cigarette, wipe it out of my mouth,” we say, knowing our friends are just as tempted by our addictions as we are.

Accountability certainly doesn’t work when our friends struggle with the same things we do. It doesn’t work when our friends don’t have the capacity for tough love, either.

More importantly, accountability doesn’t work unless you are first accountable to yourself. It should not be delegated.

Accountability doesn’t work unless you are first accountable to yourself. Click To Tweet

Think of it this way – if you can’t be accountable to yourself, you’re not going to be good at holding others accountable either. Others can’t trust you to keep them in check.

Further, if you don’t follow through on the things you’ve committed yourself to, it ends up eroding your self-confidence.

And thus, a negative cycle is created. What I’ve just described is a formula for losing.

We need to examine this more closely…

If you’re asking someone to hold you accountable to something, it’s because you find yourself having a hard time living without that addiction. You’re confronting a part of yourself that either wants to or doesn’t want to do something very badly.

Asking a friend to wipe a cigarette out of your mouth is like treating the symptom without addressing the cause. Even with their help, you’re bound to repeat old patterns.

The first thing you need to do is sit with yourself. And don’t make yourself or your emotions wrong. Oftentimes, our emotions are simply demanding a little bit of attention. And there is nothing wrong with the emotions that come up. It’s possible they’ve been trapped in there for a while.

Acknowledge your emotions. Sit with them. Love them. You will find that they begin to dissolve relatively quickly when we give them the space and attention they require, like a parent consoling their weeping child.

Once you’ve confronted the emotions that have been controlling you, the only thing left to do is create a schedule and live by it. If your schedule says work out, work out. If your schedule says work, work. And if anything doesn’t work, change the schedule. Keep iterating until it’s workable.

Sooner or later, you will begin to see that it becomes much easier to keep your commitments, especially when you internalize the consequences of not holding yourself accountable.

If you are the kind of person that can keep themselves accountable, then and only then are you qualified to keep others accountable.

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Hold Your Horses, Cow-Person!

From: David Andrew Wiebe
To: You!

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