I live my life by this equation:
Compassion + Accountability = Empowerment
It came after years of playing the victim and avoiding accountability at all costs.
See, I’d spent years in what I call “validating therapy.”
Sitting with therapists who were so focused on being kind to me, supporting me, that they never asked me to look too closely at myself or what I was creating in my life.
They were happy to listen to my whoas and jump on the man-that-sucks-wagon right along with me.
This went on for years. Years that I was completely stuck.
From the outside it LOOKED like I was working my booty off. I scheduled + attended all kinds of therapy appointments. I talked about my pain- constantly. I shared my story with anyone who wanted to listen.
I thought I was doing the right thing. You know, being “vulnerable.”
And yet my self-esteem was on a steady decline….
Enter: Accountability + Compassion
Then one day I met with a new therapist from a training I really liked. One of the first things she said to me, in a totally lovingly voice was, “Yes, this happened to you and what did YOU bring to the situation, hon?”
Wait, what???? Me? What did I bring?
Yes. You. What did you bring to the situation?
Aw, sweet sweet empowerment!
The truth- that I knew but was totally avoiding AND that you already know- is that for your life to change you have to change.
And you can’t do that without accountability.
Turns out, those accountability questions are the best thing that ever happened to me. They’re HOW I developed my self-esteem, self-love, self-respect and became a person I really like.
Instead of dwelling on what happened TO me, which I had/have zero control over, I learned how to pay attention to what I could change: ME.
Now, as a therapist/coach I see over and over again how this simple building block is the KEY to getting unstuck.
No matter if it’s a client, a friend, my hubby or myself accountability, delivered with compassion, is always the difference between staying stuck and (finally!) healing, growing and moving on. Which for me, is the very definition of Empowerment.