Ownership and accountability go hand in hand. Taking ownership means accepting your actions—the good and the bad. Being accountable allows you to stop making excuses and blaming others for your shortcomings and, instead, to improve yourself. Plus, people who take ownership tend to earn respect. And that’s extremely rewarding.
What happens when people don’t take ownership? Usually, they end up rationalizing their actions in a way that isn’t honest. We like to break up the word “rationalize” into “rational” and “lies,” because that’s truly what those excuses are.
1. “Everybody Does It”
This is a common rational lie we hear growing up. You might think something is fine because you see someone else doing it. If your boss is always coming in 15 minutes late, for example, you might think it’s okay for you to start coming in late.
However, no one else’s standards should matter. Life isn’t about embracing what other people are doing. Instead, you need to embrace the way things should be. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, you won’t take ownership of your life.
2. “It’s not My Job”
This excuse is a combination of avoidance and blame. Ownership is about taking responsibility and doing what is required (or more) without seeking credit.
You might not be recognized in the moment for a task, and that task could be outside your job description. In the end, however, people who do the right thing are always rewarded.
3. “I’m Only Human”
This is true. No one is perfect. But to push yourself toward your life’s purpose, you need to aim above average. Ownership and accountability are about accepting your humanness, accepting mistakes, and learning from the past. Just because you’re not a superhero doesn’t mean you should give up or bend the rules.
To learn more about these rational lies and two others that could hold you back, pre-order Redefining Possible by Dustin Hillis and Ron Alford.
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