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The Power of Showing Up

Most of us have one of those big hairy audacious goals (also called a BHAG) or big dreams that we don’t really dare to believe in, because they are so BIG! But they hold great power, because we still strive towards them. 

The thing about wanting something big, is that you have to keep showing up on your way towards it. Any athlete who wants to go to the Olympics have to show up for training. Every kid that wants to learn how to read have to show up to class and keep reading. Every business owner who has a product or service to share with the world has to keep showing up to communicate, sell and ultimately help their clients. 

Whatever your big thing is, you have to show up. You can’t send a friend or pay someone to show up for you. If you want something big and mean it, you have to walk the distance

But what happens when we stumble? When family or relationship challenges make it feel impossibly hard. When every muscle in our body and mind wants to resign, hide and eat ice cream for a week. 

We still have to show up

Maybe not “run” as fast or as often, but we HAVE to show up. Because this is the ultimate test. Not proving anything to others, but to YOURSELF. Show yourself that you’re not choosing to opt out or give up just because it got hard. 

You get it by now. The one thing here that I want to make very clear though. Showing up is not about “fighting” or hiding your emotions. Wiping the tears off your face, putting on a mask and pretending that it’s all fine. Because if it’s not fine, the only way to make it worthwhile is to show up with everything you’ve got. The challenges, the not so pretty thoughts, the people who hurt you and the boss that never promoted you. Keep showing up and don’t you dare filter what that looks like. This is true vulnerability and incredibly empowering.

Naturally, you need to do this respectfully and authentically. How you might ask? If it helps, I’ll share what my version of what this might look like in reality:

  • Let’s say that I hit a big challenge in my personal life with a person really hurting my feelings. Naturally there are tears, sadness, frustration and all sorts of things bubbling up.
  • My ego will want me to just shut everything down and stay home and feel sorry for myself. But I still need to show up for sessions with my clients, because they are truly meaningful to me and I owe it to them and to myself to show up and do what I said I was going to do.
  • Of course I’m not going to bring my personal challenge to the session, but as I prep before the session I would think to myself “how can what I’ve been feeling now be helpful in today’s session?“. Most often I can bring a helpful part of what’s happening like “being open to the full range of emotions in life” or “helping the client connect with a difficult emotion they are trying to push away“.
  • Even more often I’ll use the feeling, challenge or example to write notes for a future blog post, video or product that could help someone else in the future. It’s one of many ways I process difficult things and how many of my best ideas are born. 

“Showing up” is the easiest strategy in theory because “all you have to do is show up“, but the hardest in practise “I really don’t want to show up today“. 

By showing up, you’re allowing yourself to be seen. Never underestimate how powerful that is and who is watching. Most importantly, show up for yourself. It’s the strongest act of self love and self belief there is.

In my Career Transition Program I help people not only define goals that matter, but also give them the structure and steps to keep showing up.