Imagine waking up every day being certain that you don’t have any more debts, your bank account has enough money to declare financial freedom, a life that is secure, no financial worries and no more calls from debt collectors.
Above could sound magical and impossible for most, but imagine the ability to make the right choices in life resulting in a financial future that is secure and debt-free.
One of the core competency required to get out of debt is accountability. I am not talking about accountability partner here, which for me is a pusher who will remind and push us towards our goal.
Accountability is blameworthiness or liability as to who can be blamed for any financial situation that we experience. It is not defined by a place or situation it is an ongoing process of making decisions on each and every moment of life.
Accountability is intrinsic not only in other areas of life but more important in financial well-being. The major problem with society today is that we are taught to live with “it’s not my fault “attitude. This transfers the power from us being in control, to someone or something that’s beyond our control, either a person or an external event.
What is the reason that you believe you are in debt today, is it the economy, job, spouse or anything else. If the answer was anything other than yourself, then you need to look at building accountability and making yourself accountable rather than transferring control to someone else.
If the reason for all the financial choices and spending’s that you have done to accumulate this debt is someone else then forgive him, if it’s you then forgive yourself and move on. Sometimes we should be thankful that these situations have occurred earlier in life than later, as it could be more expensive in a later part of life and have less time and energy to recover from it.
The reasons could be many- it, in fact, could be outside of our control, I am not here to agree or deny it, and there is no point in crying over spilled milk. The more authentically you hold yourself responsible for the existing situation the faster would be your progress in getting rid of debt.
Whatever it is that has made debt hole in your life, either it’s by trusting someone or a company, end of the day it doesn’t matter, what matters is how quickly we are able to dust ourselves and move on with new and wise decisions. It is also a reminder that life presents us with many financial situations and the person behind this decision wheel is you, making your choice.
Accountability can be built by observing three areas
Your response to events:
This is the first stage in building your accountability towards your financial situation. We unconsciously react to everyday events in life, at this stage, you need to intervene in these automated responses in your life. Some of them are like
- Explicitly experiencing pain on pleasure when spending money
- What do you do when you feel unhappy, do you go shopping?
- How would you respond when your mate buys a new dress or a gadget
- The way in which you communicate with others
- What do you communicate to yourself when you see expensive items, rich people, flash cars ….
- How do you learn, evaluate and process your previous experience or do you learn from past experience at all.
At this stage, you have not only identified your automated responses, but the biggest achievement you have made is accepting yourself as the person responsible for these decisions.
Responsibility is the identification or ownership of the task to be performed whereas accountability is the acceptance and internalization of ownership of the task.
Now that you have identified your automated responses to events in life, in this stage you need to capture the feedback of what works and what doesn’t. As part of this stage, you make sure that your learnings, feedback, and experience are used to make the right decision so as the desired outcome is achieved. For example, take the situation where you always wanted to do shopping while you are unhappy (existing outcome), but, in fact, the best for you is to talk to a friend or family while you are in unhappy condition (desired outcome).
Based on the past feedback, experience, and outcome- you would go ahead and implement a system or solution that makes sure you get the desired outcomes like talking to family while unhappy.
When you know what’s happening and you have taken desired steps yet if you haven’t received the anticipated results, who is accountable for the outcome. At times in life in spite of our best efforts we are left short of desired results, for example, you could have stopped spending, prepared a budget and living well within your earnings and have started repaying your debt, but who do you think can be held accountable if you lose your job?
Getting out of debt is something no one else can do it for you, even if you win a lottery, you might be able to clear your debt but the underlying tendency to make wrong decisions or spend more than you earn would bring you back into debt. I want to you internalize the core character that’s required if you want to get out of debt and remain debt-free for the rest of your life.
Remember it’s your life!
If you hold yourself accountable, you will be debt free.If you hold others accountable,you will achieve deteriorated relationships. — Piggy Wise (@PiggyWise) July 10, 2014