Showing up can be defined two ways. One way is physically showing up and the other is more of a way of being like confidently or begrudgingly. Both of these ways of showing up has been very important to me because I know how disappointed I get when someone says they are going to meet up or do something and then they don’t. I also know how great it feels to be around those I care about and the importance of maintaining friendships. There are life circumstance when one has to cancel, but it is important to keep in mind the other person may have cleared their schedule and may have been looking forward to it. Maybe I’m too empathetic, but I feel it is important to make sure the calendar is checked and if things happen, which they often do, I do my absolute best to figure out ways to adjust. By doing so it deepens the relationship with the other person and increases trust.
I was at a holiday party with my work colleagues and at the end of the party my former co-worker was debating whether to visit a friend who invited her to a party that same night in the neighborhood. The co-worker was tired and not fully feeling like going even though she had not seen this friend in many years. We all encouraged her to just drop by and we ended up supporting her by going to the party with her for about 5-10 minutes. The host was extremely appreciative and I was able to get another glass of wine and slice of pizza that night. She was also able to maintain the strength of that connection and it only took 5 to 10 minutes.
There are other important ways of showing up, including in ways that face your own fears and mind chatter. I recently read a good blog called “The Power or Showing Up’ by speaker, coach and author Rob Jolles, a contributor to the Huffington Post. In his blog, he speak about showing up as a way to challenge yourself and face up to your own anxiety. Jolles gives an example of having to go to a swimming competition after just getting over an extensive injury. Knowing that he wouldn't be able to be 100%, his mind was challenging him to not go. He eventually showed up and was satisfied with himself that he did. Even though he didn’t do so well in the competition, he was able to show up and conquer his mind as well as to support the other competitors.
In “The Single Biggest Thing You Can Do For Your Career: Show Up” by Hanna Brooks-Olsen, she discusses the Woody Allen quote “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” Often we do the work but are hesitant to put ourselves out there. When you show up prepared to do the work you are obviously more likely to make an impact on what you are doing and on others. Brooks-Olson notes, “in the creative sense, showing up doesn’t just mean arriving at a place — it means being prepared to put in the work, regardless of outside factors or obstacles, including your own naysaying mind.” When you place yourself to the side and sit in doubt and fear- that’s where you will stay.
So the next time a friend contacts you to make plans or there is an event that you’re involved with be prepared to show up. This is often not an easy task because life and your own mind get in the way. It is important to challenge yourself and make all efforts to make it happen. It’s not just about your time but it is also about your character, your willingness to challenge yourself, to grow and to strengthen your connection with the people you care about.
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