Accountability to a group or team reduces sole responsibility. Support enables us to navigate challenging circumstances alongside others. Accepting support and reciprocating to ensure reaching goals alleviates the aloneness of life’s journeys. Yet what happens when we relieve ourselves of self-accountability? Should we fail, may we blame others for our collapse? Blaming others eases the burden of failure. Yet should we succeed, do we acknowledge success, or do we give credit to the community that supported our victory?

Some of us function remarkably well following another’s lead, yet left to our own devices lack the strength to commit and endure challenging journeys. We crumble alone but succeed by relying upon other’s direction and support, thriving while led to victory. This is not to claim that direction, mentoring, and education are not worthwhile for achieving endeavors. Yet recognize that eventually we must become personally accountable for our successes and failures in order to empower our “selves” with the reigns of our destiny.

As one exercise and food program concludes and another begins, my habitual pattern of releasing support lacks transition to sole, self-accountability. If the only motivation has been accountability to others, when the term limit ends, the progress stalls. The disempowerment of placing all efforts toward the good of the team without self-accountability and responsibility reduces long-term effectiveness and success. Rather than viewing other’s expertise as the sole mechanism for guidance, self-responsibility is required to share the result.

Without the self-accountability piece in place by acknowledging our mistakes and successes and owning our share of the process and progress, utilizing the community is not sustainable. A balance prevents leaning fully upon a crutch, the imbalance of power. “It takes a village” includes self and community responsibility toward a common goal. Although the world necessitates leaders and followers, personal goals present a dual contribution.

Mindful responsibility while heeding advice from others is a balance worth seeking. Should support dissipate, decline, and falter, self-reliance upon a solid foundation successfully prepares us to continue the journey alone, until new discovery and aligned support is situated. This builds walls of sustainability within our foundation. Additionally it allows ownership for success, rather than a statuesque creation of someone else’s vision. When we choose to give up our power and rely solely upon others, we weaken our innate ability to survive and thrive. Embrace self-accountability, and the world rises to meet and greet you with the supplemental support you seek.