That quote by Murray states something that I want to reiterate: "The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred." The definition of Providence? "The protective care of God."
Moments before the most remembered (,gifed, memed, and otherwise memorialized) line of the ANTM video, Tyra's "We were all rooting for you, how dare you," Tiffany perfectly exemplifies feelings many of us have probably experienced in our lives: "I'm sick of crying about stuff I can't change. I'm sick of being disappointed." To which Tyra rebutts "If you were sick of being disappointed you would stand up and you would take control of your destiny. You know that you had a possibility to win?" Look at 1 Samuel 13:13-14 which virtually says the exact same thing.
We often fail to realize the power that we have to completely change our own lives by simply believing that it is in fact possible. Will Joel Friedman, PhD says, "There is no stopping such a being in any set of circumstances in powerfully harnessing and channeling their energies, talents, skills and abilities in transforming and transcending all obstacles." I still remember the exact moment I first started to take responsibility for my own life, almost three years later. I decided that I did not like what my life felt like, I asked God for an opportunity to change it, and then I committed to action. On your own journey towards personal accountability, do not underestimate your own power and never ever underestimate the power of God. Once you decide on a particular outcome you want to see manifested in your life, God is already behind the scenes setting your course to make sure it comes to fruition. The only catch is, you have to actually stay on course.
During her judging challenge Tiffany completely gave up on reading the teleprompter, which was the first thing I noticed in this clip. She barely got through the script before she stops and says "I can't do it." Honestly, this reminded me of myself in a lot of situations. As soon as conflict arises the first thing I think is how can I get out of the situation, rather than how can I get through it. The next step towards personal accountability is developing in your mind a crystal clear image of what your end goal looks like and completely following through with your entire being.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of commit is "to carry into action deliberately." Even with a simple action like reading a teleprompter, notice Tiffany's body language as she reads. Nothing about it says deliberate. She walked into it lackadaisically and when she hit conflict- words in the script she couldn't read- what did she do? She completely gave up.
Linda Galindo, author of The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success- No Nonsense, No Excuses (a book I haven't read but is summarized in this article I did read), she advises us to "Be responsible 'either way'." Regardless of bumps we may hit along our journey we must hold ourselves completely responsible, "with no wiggle room," for the outcome. Galindo clearly states that this includes the choices, actions, and behaviors which lead to those outcomes. She even offers questions to ask yourself not if, but when you experience conflict:
- What is the problem?
- What am I doing- or not doing- to contribute to the problem?
- What will I do differently to help solve the problem?
- How will I be accountable for the outcome?
Matthew 7:3 and 5 read "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?...You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
In the video, Tyra at one point tells Tiffany that if she doesn't finish the challenge she'll go home which ultimately gave her some boost of motivation. Tyra then goes back on that point to make an even better one, saying "I can't sit here and say 'Do it. Do you want to go home?' Because in the real world people are going to say 'next' and not care."
The most obvious requirement of self-accountability is holding yourself accountable for your choices, actions, and behaviors. In moments of conflict or disappointment, you also have to be responsible for picking yourself back up and starting again. In "Personal Accountability- A Requirement for Life Advancement," author Todd Smith says "While I appreciate others helping me get better, I am the one that must hold myself to a high standard." External factors such as other people and experiences in your life can certainly influence you to want better for yourself, but they cannot make the decision for you nor should they be your sole reason for making the decision. Tiffany is a perfect example of this: She came on the show to pursue a better life for her family but, and Tyra even pointed this out, they wanted it more for her than she wanted it for herself which showed when sh*t hit the fan.
A similar point Galindo makes is the actual part that deals with self-accountability: "Are you accountable for your actions even if nobody holds you accountable?" Smith simply asks "Why should it be someone else's job to make sure you're doing the things that you know you should be doing?"
I thought of it like this: If you're sitting in the driver's seat of your own car in your own lane, someone else driving a separate car in a different lane cannot drive your vehicle for you. Doing so results in them having to stop driving their car and remove themselves from their lane to help you stay on course...when you could just drive your own car.
I could really go on about this topic, there are plenty of self-help articles and scripture that all support this main idea: Whatever you want for your life, and the responsibility of making it happen, is yours and yours alone. Like I said, people can motivate and influence you, but change will not happen unless you first desire it for yourself. I hope that this post was helpful, let me know your thoughts in the comments or on social media!
What is Personal Accountability?