My 2024 Mantra: Holding Myself Accountable First

Each year, I choose a personal mantra to help guide and influence my thoughts, words, and actions for the year. For 2024, my mantra is “Holding myself accountable first”.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Before reacting in anger, blame, resentment, or when dealing with a challenge or a goal, I want to try to pause and reflect on my role and actions and how I can make sure I am doing my best before I take the easy route of blaming others (or other forces) for the things I am upset about.

When I’m honest with myself, I recognize that often times, my anger or blame is not much more than a projection of my own unwise habits or my own missteps in the given situation.

This doesn’t mean I don’t ever hold others accountable — see the word first — but rather that I start with myself and make sure I am reflecting on my own actions and how I can show up with more integrity. It also doesn’t mean I beat myself up; instead, the goal is to focus on improving outcomes, not assigning blame or self shame.

The trigger to bring up this reflection is when I feel myself angry at a colleague, friend, or family member. That’s my cue to pause and think honestly about my role. In the sometimes that I’ve remembered to this so far, it’s also helped to cool my anger and given me more space to think about creative ways to address my challenges.

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