Observe The Face Of Honesty
To be accountable to oneself, that is, to undergo honest self-criticism, is part of Muslim practice called al-muhasba or self-inventory. To engage in al-muhasba is "TO ASSES AND ADJUDGE YOURSELVES BEFORE YOU ARE ADJUDGED AND ASSESSED ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT, AND WEIGH OUT YOUR DEEDS BEFORE THEY ARE WEIGHED OUT FOR YOU".
A believer polices himself. He assesses himself for the sake of Allah. The final judgement of Allah may end up mild for some, simply because they were quick to judge themselves in this life. Or the final judgement, the Day Of Resurrection, may end up a tough ordeal for some who were unconcerned about what they did in this life, thinking they would not be called to account.
Honest self-criticism plays a vital role to purify our souls and to light the path of blissful success. The Holy Quran says: " TRULY HE HAS SUCCEEDED WHO PURIFIES IT. AND TRULY, HE HAS FAILED WHO DEFILES IT."
In fact self-criticism seems like a fairly straightforward concept. It means acknowledging that we have committed a sin, whether against ourselves or others, be it our creator or anyone or anything in creation. For most of us, such a confession is an incredibly tough thing to do. Pride prevents us from owning our faults, especially before people when that is necessary.
It behooves us to recall that being honest with ourselves is actually a way to enjoy life, rather than make it tougher. It is a fact (Scary For Many) that the very best way to prevent ourselves from committing haram acts is to really investigate whether such activities are permissible in Islam. For one, many of the things people classify as socially forbidden are actually very much halal, which we deny ourselves to escape the judgement of people, not Allah.
More deeply, haram acts----knowingly committed or not----necessarily result in making life truly less pleasurable, if not immediately for us then for many others, for their nature is to damage the human spirit, the condition of individual and societies, and the balance of the world.
By carefully questioning our actions (Past And Present) we make life easier because it makes the path to God, the path to peace, much smoother. It is pointless to say all human beings err, but not admitting our specific mistakes is playing with fire. An honest approach to our behaviour is to willingly acknowledge the shortcomings in our actions and, at least to ourselves, the flaws in our character. This is the first step towards unburdening ourselves of guilt.
With the exception of a rare few, everyone will stand witness in the Divine judgement of their own earthy deeds. Hence, in this life, it makes profound sense to take note of our own deeds, with most of our focus on the cations we need to improve or eliminate, seeking forgiveness for all our substandard performances. Confessing our faults, to ourselves and God, and then doing our best to eliminate them from our behaviour is an act of high Imaan.