Accountability: Bondage or Freedom?


We all need it. It’s vital to success. We know the benefits. But from my experience, few people like it. Why? Why do we often shy away from relationships that provide accountability? Perhaps our view of the true purpose of accountability is skewed.

Merriam Webster describes accountability as:

-the quality or state of being accountable (required explaining actions or decisions to someone) 

-An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions

In my work as a consultant and coach many people don’t view the words- required, explaining actions or decisions to someone, obligation, and accept responsibility– as inviting or relational. 

Repelling, even restrictive, but definitely not relational.  

No wonder we tend to avoid this type of relationship like the plague. Yet, these are necessary components of an accountability relationship. So how do we move from avoidance to acceptance? 

Try looking at accountability this way: ACCOUNT – ABILITY.    

Account: to consider or regard in a specified way  

Ability: talent, skill, or proficiency in a particular area

So the definition of an accountability relationship is your willingness to take responsibility and account for one’s actions to allow a person(s) to help you consider or regard in a specific way your talent, skill or proficiency in a particular area.    

Now, doesn’t that sound more relational?

Your willingness to accept responsibility and explain your actions or decisions to someone gives them permission to help you account for your talent, skill and ability to accomplish the goal.

They are not telling you what to do. They are challenging you to consider the ability you already have to reach your goals.

Let’s say I’m trying to lose weight. I tell my accountability partner(s) my detailed goal, plan and what I desire from them.   For example, I will send them a food and exercise journal daily giving them permission to question my choices and activity.  

When they start pulling me on the carpet, I have to remember I gave them permission to help me account for my ability to get it done.

  • They are not telling me what I can or can’t do.
  • They are asking me to account for my decisions, while reminding me of the oath I made to myself.
  • They are FOR me, not against me.
  • They are not lording over me, rather loving me to a greater place of achievement.
  • They are telling me YOU CAN DO THIS…so do it! 

Of course you must take an assessment of the people in your life and choose appropriately.  But once you have them, engage them. It may only be one or two people, or a group, like The #68DayChallgeng Communiity. That’s fine. Just give someone permission to hold you accountable.

Enjoyment. Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor

Viewing your accountability relationships through this lens produces a feeling of freedom not bondage. So let’s use them to grow, grow, grow so we can live the live we desire!

What good or bad experiences have you had with accountability?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  If you are a member of the #68DayChallenge Community, share your thoughts there, if not share them on my Facebook page.

I’m excited about your future and believe the absolute best for you!

Until Next time..Live Life MaXXed!