I hope you are enjoying August! I have had a lovely time over the past couple of weeks as Rob has been on leave and we have had family come and stay with us in Cumbria. We have had fun showing them the beauty of Cumbria even if some of it was through a mist of fine rain. Still beautiful in my opinion! We did get some good weather too and I loved spending time with them.
Anyway, this week I have been reminded of the importance of taking accountability for your actions. I think this is a key lesson to learn if you really wont to transform your life and move from ordinary to extraordinary!
So, I was sat at my desk last week and I had brought the post up and placed it next to me. I still get quite a lot of post and it is often easy to tell if something looks like it is important or whether it looks like it might be junk. Anyway, I looked at one of the envelopes and I originally thought it looked like the kind of junk mail that I would normally put straight in the recycling however I got an intuitive nudge that I should open it. So, I did!
Much to my dismay, it was notification of a parking violation and a fairly substantial fine. My immediate reaction was to disagree that it was even me driving however they very helpfully enclosed a photo of me pulling into the car park and leaving again so there was no denial to be had!
I hastily read the letter to understand why I was being fined as I had parked in the car park as they stated however I had paid for a ticket and I knew that I had not over stayed the length of time I should have been able to park. It transpired that on entering the car park, you have 10 minutes to purchase your ticket and display it otherwise you receive a fine. This was my mistake! On parking, I had spent a few minutes writing birthday cards that I needed to post at the Post Office and had sat and written them. I then purchased my parking ticket, displayed and continued with my shopping.
My immediate reaction was to challenge the ticket because I knew that I could prove I had purchased a parking ticket and, regardless of how long I had taken to write the cards, I knew that I had not stayed longer in the car park than the ticket I had purchased and this could be proved by the time I entered and left the car park.
At this point I will pause and draw your attention to the fact that I am trying to justify to all of you why I should not be charged the fine! The truth is that I broke the regulations of the car park and quite rightly they have the right to hold me accountable for that. I might not like it and I might want to justify my actions with a whole host of excuses but the truth is I did not purchase my ticket within the ten-minute slot regardless of how long I stayed or how long I paid for.
As I sat at my desk feeling outraged and making excuses, I was suddenly reminded of one of my own NOW principles which is about taking responsibility for your actions. At the end of the day, the parking regulations were clear and I had not followed them so I knew I had to take accountability for my actions. In that moment, I let the frustration go because the only person getting wound up was me.
When we take accountability for our actions we choose freedom and release ourselves from frustration and other negative emotions. Instead we choose empowerment and we give ourselves the opportunity to grow and learn.
I decided to pay the fine and I am determined to not feel resentful about it. Instead I have chosen to recognise that when I park somewhere my priority is to ensure that I have complied with the required regulations. By doing this, I am not going to fall in to the trap of getting fined again. I even made sure I was in a positive mood when I paid the fine rather than be in a resentful frame of mind. I believe this makes a difference.
It is important for me to remind you that taking accountability it not about taking the blame for things that are not your fault and placing yourself in the role of victim. If I had paid the parking fee as soon as I had arrived and then been fined in error I would have absolutely taken action to resolve it. It is simply about choosing a path that says, when I am wrong I can accept it and learn something from it so that I don’t continue to make the same mistakes again. I can let it go.
So, when you make a mistake my simple advice would be:
- Acknowledge it
- Suck it up
- Be gracious
- Learn from it
- Let it go
- Move on
I would love to hear how you are taking accountability for your actions and reactions so pop a comment below!
Until next week
p.s I used Forgive oil to support me as I paid the fine. Forgive is the ‘renewing’ blend that enables you to let go of negative emotions and to support you to move forward. It is a beautiful mix of Citrus and Woods including Spruce, Bergamot, Citronella and Arborvitae.
Card is from Gabby Bernstein’s Universe has your back deck