And to be honest, I completely agree. But what is accountability?
Is it software?
Is it having someone to confess to when I mess up?
Is it someone who watches me like a hawk?
Is it a short-term need?
And while we are at… is it on me or on someone else to “keep” me accountable?
Realistically, this is not a simple subject and not something I’m going to be able to thoroughly handle in one short email. But, I got this message from a Live Free member who recently reported a year of success in his recovery and freedom efforts and I think what he says here really highlights what true accountability means and why it’s a benefit.
“I’ve done recovery by myself and succeeded in removing porn for about 2.5 years; However, the only change was [my use of] porn, and the change was short-term. Over the years, I’ve been in and out of counseling (one-on-one and couples’), and I’ve tried several configurations of accountability. But joining the Live Free Community was a turning point for me; it put me in easy, direct contact with so many other guys who have the same struggles I do.
This gave me a safe place to process everything involved with my addiction (e.g. triggers, temptations, slip-ups, wins, life in general, etc.), and it also allowed more people into my life to encourage and challenge me.
The biggest benefit of processing in a community like Live Free over processing by myself is that being part of a community and regularly sharing what’s going on in my freedom journey gives others insight into my life.
Counseling and accountability continue to be very helpful and necessary tools for me, but I also have a large community of people with experience (good and bad), knowledge, wisdom, and different perspectives who want what’s best for me cheering me on, praying for me, and challenging me to be better just because I’ve reached out; and the more I reach out, the more engagement and connection I receive in return.“
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1. Accountability is not a one-and-done thing.
While he doesn’t state that in so many words, the fact that he’s been engaging with the community in Live Free for over two years says as much. Accountability is an ongoing process of sharing and processing.
2. Accountability is more than just being told when you’ve been “bad.”
So many people look at accountability as a negative thing. It’s punishment and scolding when we’ve screwed up. But real accountability is sharing our entire life (the good and the bad) and allowing others to speak into it.
3. Accountability isn’t just about confession, but more about processing.
I’ve heard many guys say “accountability doesn’t work” but usually that’s because they are defining accountability as a one-way relationship where one person is just continually confessing their “sins” to another person but not moving forward.
But if you view accountability as a way to process your experiences, emotions (and yes, decisions), you’ll not only gain a ton of benefit from it, but you’ll actually enjoy it because those processing moments will lead to positive growth and change.
4. Accountability is on you.
I call Live Free many things, a supportive community, an educational resource, and an accountability tool. Because I do this, I will get messages from time to time from new guys who sign up and then ask me “Where’s the accountability thing?”
They ask this because they’ve grown up believing that accountability is an app, or a software tool, or someone who’s always checking in on them, so they can just set it and forget it.
Point me to the “I want Accountability” button, so I can press it and be done with this whole process.
But that’s not accountability. As my friend above states, “I also have a large community of people… who want what’s best for me… because I’ve reached out; and the more I reach out, the more engagement and connection I receive in return.”
Accountability is a relationship.
Accountability is a decision.
Accountability is a choice.
We offer an entire course on accountability inside the Live Free Community App, so if you are a member, check it out, and if not – sign up and then check it out!
Either way, just know that accountability is absolutely a key to success in one’s freedom journey efforts. But it only works when we approach it the right way.
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