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Accountability Recovery Article

A word that strikes despair, at the very least, in the mind of most teenagers, accountability is pretty much a cuss term to anyone fighting to escape from responsibility.

Synonyms include words like responsibility, liability, and answerability. So, the pool of contemptable ideas grows only larger the further one looks to define the word itself. However, there is hope! And it lies in realizing that it is okay to ask, “what’s in this for me?” in life. As humans, we are teleological (goal seeking), and so whether we consciously ask what’s in it for ourselves, or do so subconsciously, we are ever doing so.

At Healing Wings, we say that belief drives behaviour, and therefore what we believe about anything, for that matter, should be examined when we are working to change behaviours.

And what we believe about accountability, should be examined if we are to fully get what its purpose is in our lives, and how it can work for us. In other words, to know what’s in it for us to become and be responsible people. 

People who are in a place of being worn through by life, tired of doing things in secret and carrying burdens of guilt, or dreaming but never achieving, will tell you that they will do just about anything for things to be different.

The odd thing is, it's accountability that makes the difference.

How that works is that when we have the correct internal structures of integrity, much like an architectural structure, we can hold our own weight. We bear up under stresses without breaking or cracking, just like a building or bridge.

Which bring us back to goals.

We all have them.

The quality of our goals, however, is determined by our values. Once someone has some seriously great values in place, there is almost no reason to not reach the goals that will arise.

Yet, we all fail at times.

Why is that?

Well, when we take a closer look, we will notice a very close working partnership between values, integrity and accountability in people who attain personal success, whether as entrepreneurs, single moms, teachers or astronauts.

Unless we are willing to keep ourselves accountable, we cannot be trusted or trust ourselves. It’s that simple. And trust, is everything.

It basically looks like this: a decent value system means I’m setting better quality goals. It also means I am developing trust around me and can trust myself. As such, I am willing to answer to myself and others on anything I am asked about, because I have nothing to hide. Naturally, I remain positive and motivated to keep to my goals.

And, lastly, I know this one golden key: that daily, when I’ve placed myself in a good frame of mind, I consciously commit to setting another goal, and I put in place the internal and external accountability that will keep me to it. This way, I am always going forward and therefore, am a happy person.

Because I’m always going up in life.

And that, in a nutshell, is what accountability is about, and what it does for us! Even the toughest hearts cannot resist the idea that there is more goodness out there for each of us, than can be lived in a lifetime. And if a proactive attitude towards accountability is what gets me there, maybe the word is not a curse, in fact, maybe it’s a blessing, after all!

How to make it work?

  1. Ask for help.
  2. Accept the help.
  3. Be held to account.




By Anke Swart

Youth Centre Program Coordinator

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