There are days when your mind listens to you but not your body. When you feel able, but have limitations. That’s okay. Listening to your body means acknowledging what is happening within you as oppose to what you want the reality to be. Give yourself time to recover and focus on creating the reality once you are ready. Make sure you don’t extend your body’s limitations unnecessarily. Being fair to yourself also means taking a break when you need to and pressing on when you can.
Have you noticed that you are mid-sentence and you repeat the same thing again and again and again? It’s not for a role you’ve practiced or a conscious decision, it’s your life and that happens. While things may happen weather you are aware of them or not, the responsibility is yours and your alone. We try to find escape, guilt trap people, put others down to feel taller. But nothing works except for real growth, accountability and action. Stop that thought and teach you’re mind who’s in charge.
We spend our formative years adopting other people’s vision of the world, as well as learning from the experiences that we are exposed to. Unavoidable limitations consist of our geography, associations, access to education, the language we speak and more. And because our parents are responsible for us at the start of our life, we might feel like that responsibility applies later and delay taking ownership of who we are and the mark we leave in the world. But trusting someone doesn’t absolve us from responsibility, nor does it represent a valid excuse for how much we choose to live. Growth is an inner journey,
We tend to want to eliminate completely built-up stress, either through activities that clear our mind, such as meditation or exercise, or through activities that give us pleasure at the expense of our long-term wellbeing – drinking, stress eating etc. Focusing on tension release without accounting for the long-term impact of how we do it creates a bigger negative impact in the long run than the immediate positive effect.
Experiencing tension is a good opportunity to pause and understanding what led us to this moment. Is it frustration with our own decisions or some things that are outside of our control. Once we understand the root cause, we can empower ourselves to change the way we react to situations. Reactions are natural, but they are also specific to each individual. We react based on what we perceive as normal. A broader example is how some cultures celebrate death, while others celebrate the birth of a child. Our values are specific to us.
Tension is our body and brain reacting to events throughout the day and storing a sense of alertness that cannot be maintained for a long period of time. Managing tension is a life skill that allows us to clear out the clouds and see the sky clearly. Under a clear sky we are more likely to stick to our path than in semi-darkness. Also, seeing more friends than threats in people will attract more kindness.
Accountability comes from a place of love. It shows understanding of one’s circumstances and it asks for transparency on both parts. The person being held accountable would have to perceive it as a positive intervention rather than criticism. The person who takes the power must use it with respect and kindness.
Why Not Self-Accountability?
Being able to set rules and implement them in your own life is a superpower. It takes practice and discipline and putting something on the line can add to the level of commitment. We can go quite soft on ourselves when we planned to get out of bed at 4AM and we need to face the cool air. Negotiating with ourselves in the moment is challenging – because winning in the short-term is not winning in the long-term.
Here is where an accountability partner comes in. Someone who we respect for their commitment and care, for their interest in seeing us improve. It can be someone you’ve met on a forum, the hotel reception or a good friend. People care about people and that’s something we can use to our advantage to practice self-care and self-discipline.
We pride ourselves with our ability to think, but when it comes to pressure and perceived threats we are not always making conscious decisions. From ‘I can’t find my keys before going to work’ to fear of public speaking, deadlines or our views being challenged – everything takes a certain level of awareness. Panic leaves little room to clear thinking.
Long-term practices such as meditation or floatation tanks deal with the backlog of accumulated stress, but what can we do in the moment? It’s as easy as breathing, but taking deep breaths isn’t a natural reaction when our heart is racing. This is why it’s good to have prompts either around the place (environmental design) or a person that can keep you accountable and guide you.
It takes strength to acknowledge the weakness of when our prefrontal cortex takes over. Once we accept the reality of the situation, we can move through regulating our body, telling it to obey us and then plan according to what the reality is, rather than what it looks like.