Who knows what you’ve started? Who believes in why you began?
When we start anything—a new goal, project, or role, it is important others know about it. We need accountability, especially when we are just beginning something new to us.
It’s at this early stage when we are most vulnerable. We must bring support with us. We must share our dreams with folks who believe they are possible, and want to see them come true for us.
There are four types of accountability to carry with you through any new project, launch, or role.
Dreams have a gestation period. They require a safe womb for incubation prior to entering the world.
There may be a lot of doubters in the early stages of your new start. Don’t let them get into your head and plants seeds. It is critical that you surround yourself with other visionaries at this stage. Folks who have blazed a trail through the “impossible” or charged their way through the “insurmountable”.
At this moment, we need the optimism of other dreamers who believe anything is possible with enough tenacity and hard work. Staying close to these Walter Mitties to drowned out the Negative Nancies.
Without action, dreams are merely post-its on a vision board.
Once we’ve lived among the dreamers long enough, it is time to find a doer to help us stay accountable to taking small steps each day toward our goals. At this stage, the route and path will reveal itself through constant progress.
Self-doubt and loneliness can creep in when you start taking small steps. It’s important you have an accountability partner who is on a parallel journey to not only push you forward, but also keep you positioned to the future. No turning back!
Discounting ourselves will never help others advocate for our value.
There will come a stage, after discovery and prototyping, that whatever you’re creating, building, growing, or leading becomes of value to others. In my experience, this is the stage that holds back the majority of women.
It’s not that we don’t see or understand our own worth, it is that we do not advocate and charge for it. Accountability to help us pause, inventory our value, and nudge us to negotiate that pay or price increase is crucial. We need these accountability advocates to see and champion for our value, and prompt us to do the same.
Sometimes your roots have outgrown your pot. You must find a bigger pot to keep flowering.
A dear colleague shared that wisdom with me when I turned in my notice for a position I loved but had outgrown. We need folks in our lives who recognize our restlessness and help us plot what is ahead.
This accountability helps us see when it is time to move on. It can be very challenging for those of us who are headstrong to cut our losses, especially when significant time, emotional, or financial investments were made. But we must remember, the only failure is making the same mistake twice—and these accountability partners help us do that.
Why It Matters Now
Women are crashing into the pandemic wall at alarming rates. We have been removed from the impromptu accountability that happens over Friday night happy hours or weekend brunches. The support systems that fueled us beyond our work and home lives has been eroded by the social distance.
2020 shined a light on all that is no longer—or may never have, worked for women in the workplace. We have a brief nanosecond in history to create the work environments that will work for future generations.
But if you’re like me, you are also exhausted! It will take all of us to lock arms and push each other over this pandemic wall.
We must be intentional about finding accountability right now. No woman should tackle the challenges ahead alone. No woman should approach the starting line without a cheering section. The work required in the months ahead is too important to go it alone.
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