Congratulations! You took the time to rebuild, you have the tools to set boundaries within yourself, and for others, you are aware of how and when to focus on your joy and develop positive routines. Now it's time to grow! What does it take to grow as an individual? In my opinion, it stems from accountability. This is surprisingly hard for many people to do. Don't worry, though, because you already have the starter tools necessary to make this easier for you. Refer back to the previous articles and repeat the steps needed throughout this part of your journey. Getting into that habit now will benefit you significantly later on.

     When you hear the word "accountability," how does it make you feel? Honestly, most people don't respond well to the word. It is often used in a negative dialogue like, "you NEED to take some accountability here!" in a time you may already be on the defense. Let's start by removing that negative association to the word. Accountability here means growth, and growth is good. Keeping that in mind, growth can be uncomfortable sometimes, and that is why it is essential to remember to cycle back to previous steps and regain that power. Accountability equals growth which equals power.

     You may feel easily triggered and impulsive at this point in your journey. You need to stop and analyze your reactions to these things during this time. Chances are, these things are not terrible; they remind you of something that brings up emotions. What emotions are you feeling? Where do you think it is? When was the first time you remember feeling that way? Was it within your control? Start to ask yourself these questions. Feeling these emotions fulling and with awareness is part of growth. Knowing how your mind and body react and where it stems will help you go back to previous steps and work on rebuilding that hidden hurt part of yourself. 

     Now let's talk about accountability regarding how you may affect others. Throughout this journey, you will make connections and build bonds with people. Chances are, these relationships won't last. A couple of reasons being you more than likely are not choosing healthy people, and you will end up changing throughout this time and will grow away from some people. Just know that this is ok and is completely necessary to learn the lessons needed to attain empowerment truly. The key is to pay attention to your reactions throughout these relationships and when they end. You will make mistakes. You will respond in negative ways and revert to these steps again. That is all normal and ok! That is growth! Repeating these mistakes until you learn the lesson and grow. You can only control your reactions to situations at the end of the day.

     After months of trial and error, failures, and successes, all of this will become natural to you. This healthy behavior of routines, joy, boundaries, rebuilding, and accountability will become a habit. Throughout this journey, you may have already stumbled backward and made some mistakes. That's ok because these are the moments to reflect and grow. Take accountability for yourself. Focus on what you can control, which is your reactions. Emotional impulse is hard to overcome, but it is possible. Having a sound support system is essential, so throughout this time, make it a goal to weed through the bad ones and find the right people who align with your future self.  

     Remember to reward yourself along your journey. Don't forget to focus on your joy and keep your routine going. Keep rebuilding and setting boundaries as you grow. After this, you can easily transition into empowerment and validation.  

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