Have you ever looked around you at the ones who seem to have it all – innumerable friends, too many clients to handle, great family life, shiniest of material possessions, enough time to post Instagram pics from every corner of the globe – and wonder why them? What do they have that you don’t have? What do they do that you’re not doing? (Negative self talk by the way, but that’s a topic unto itself.) Well, chances are pretty good that, while nobody’s lives are perfect and social media is often not an indicator of reality, the ones you know personally with these amazing lives probably have one thing in common. Throughout their lives, they have shown up.
What do I mean by that? For you Bachelorette fans, I know this phrase is making you gag right about now lol, and Lauren Zima is shaking her head with disapproval, but the concept actually has value. Showing up means you are there and present in every moment of your life. A participator, not an observer. Driving the car, not riding in the backseat with no control or participation.
When you show up you are saying “yes!” to the opportunities – and challenges – that life presents you. You take ownership of your choices and your life and your destiny. Practically speaking, it means simple things: You show up for your family when you care about them and reach out voluntarily, often creating spaces and times for connecting; you show up for your friends in similar ways and when you value their input, empathize with their struggles, and celebrate their achievements; you show up for yourself when you value your life beyond measure, value your time enough to say “yes” even when fearful, and “no” when it’s appropriate, value your health – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual – value your security and financial well being enough to pick up the phone when it rings, open the mail, answer the door – literally and figuratively – and hold yourself accountable for your choices.
Showing up means you take ownership of your rights, privileges and opportunities by virtue of your humanity. It is living actively not passively. And it feels really good. If this hasn’t been you in the past, and you’ve just “let thigs happen” and assumed they will just keep happening beyond your control, it’s never too late to turn this around as long as you’re alive and well. It starts with you. Show up for yourself today. Where do I start you might wonder? You start with a choice and manifest that choice with your words. Speak it. “My life matters and my destiny is in my own hands. Today, I’m getting out of the backseat and, while I still have breath, I’m going to drive myself on the path of my life’s journey.” Taking this power back is invigorating and motivating in itself.
For me, I show up for myself every time I write and share my messages with you. In terms of my goal to live deliberately, it doesn’t really matter if one person reads it or 1 million. I have shown up for myself by putting my thoughts into action. How can you show up for yourself today? In another time these words might have sounded selfish, but in real application, that’s not the case. When you help yourself to live your best life, you are invariably helping those around you by contributing more to their lives, by not being a burden or a “downer”, by spreading the joy you experience which is contagious, and like dominos we hence collectively make civilization stronger and our world a better place.
If this approach seems foreign to you, that’s ok. Being open to growth and new ideas and change is part of being alive. You know what happens to stagnant water, right? So, don’t be overwhelmed by the concept. Don’t look at your entire life – just look at today. And, just for today, show up.
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