Today, I Showed Up. Here Is How To Show Up

Today, I showed up. Here is how to show up

Have you ever been invited to an event and you had to convince yourself to go? This recently happened to me. I could not find an outfit that I felt good in. I was not going to know a lot of the other guests. It was very hot and it was an outside event. I could go on and on with the excuses. However, I wanted the person being celebrated to know how proud I was of her and how excited I was about her future. I showed up for her.

This article is sponsored by Neely Coaching & Training

 

How’s YOUR “showingupness”?

First, what a great word! In her blog post on the importance of showing up, Kaitlin Kindman, a therapist and co-founder of Kindman & Co., describes “showingupness” as “the degree to which reliability, empathy, care, intentionality, thoughtfulness, and embodiment of ‘just being there’ that is consistently demonstrated by someone. It speaks to one’s willingness to put our loved ones and/or ourselves first, but people with great levels of SHOWINGUPNESS do so willingly and gladly.”

Showing up matters because it’s where our character and convictions are put to the test, where we learn about ourselves. It’s where our words and intentions are put into actions through decision-making and setting boundaries. It lets others know we care about them and reminds ourselves that we count too. It makes a difference. And it feels great!

 

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What does it look like to show up?

The late scientist and ALS sufferer, Stephen Hawking, once said, “showing up is half the battle.” Some days it can be hard to get motivated and to be where we are meant to be. If we can show up and be present, we’re off to a good start. 

Showing up for others

  • After hearing that a friend’s long-term relationship was ending, another friend cancelled her weekend plans and drove two hours arriving on her doorstep with ice cream and tissues. When I asked her what made her do that, she said “that’s what we do – we show up for each other.”
  • A client had been describing the changes that were occurring in his organization and how it was impacting him and his team. Over and over, he pushed the boundaries – empowering his team to make decisions to show he trusted them, refusing to engage in the blame game when mistakes were made, acknowledging small wins when they occurred, and advocating for what he felt was right. When asked what was fueling his perseverance, he reminded me of a conversation we had about what he wanted to be known for and how that translated into behaviors. He was being the leader (and human) he aspired to be. He told me he was showing up for his team and colleagues.
  • I took a leap of faith five years ago, going out on my own professionally. There have been times when I have asked others for help or to celebrate an accomplishment with me. It feels awkward every time. What if they think I’m weak? What if they see me as self-absorbed? What if they feel like I’m wasting their time? I learned that it is important to show up for yourself by celebrating your hard work. In addition, my relationships got stronger, and joy increased. And guess what – people show up for me over and over

Showing up for myself

  • Speaking up for myself is hard. I’m more apt to speak up for others. So, no one was more surprised than me when I found myself asking someone doing work on my neighbor’s property to clean up debris that had ended up on my property from their work. He was more than happy to do it. All I had to do was point it out….and speak up. I showed up for myself.
How to show up in life

 

Why don’t we show up?

If showing up is so great, why don’t we do it all the time? Honestly? Showing up requires courage, vulnerability, and sacrifice. 

  • We may question if we have what it takes to manage a situation. What if we are humiliated or embarrassed? What if someone disagrees with us and conflict ensues? 
  • We may feel like there is only so much success to go around and, as we fall into the comparison trap, we don’t measure up. So why take the chance?What if we must let go of something or someone to be able to show up? (even when it’s something or someone we want to let go) That’s uncomfortable! 
  • We tell ourselves that we are doing “just fine,” and we choose to believe it. We won’t admit that we are not doing our best, honoring our values, or living our dreams. We pack our schedules with things to do and places to be and don’t make the time to reflect, set intentions, or plan. 
  • We feel pressure from society to be or act in a certain way. We put aside our wishes and desires to get caught up in should’ s and suppose to’s. We lose ourselves thinking we must be like everyone else.

 

What can we do?

Get clear on our values

This is a common theme in the work I do with clients. Values are standards or principles that guide your actions and beliefs. They define what is good and worthwhile for you. Core values are those for which you would likely fight, quit a job, or leave a relationship. They are your North star.

Identify that person who keeps it real for you

Who do you have around you who will pick you up when you fail? (because if you don’t fail sometimes, you’re not showing up) Who will give you a kick in the butt when you need it? Will point out what’s going well and celebrate with you? Make sure you are spending time with that person.

Don’t forego thinking time

I was recently talking to a long-time friend about a decision I need to make that I was struggling with resolving. Her response to me, “so you’ve been journaling about this?” Umm, no. I used to. And it helped me. That evening, I purchased a new journal to give me a space to get things out of my head and help me make sense of things. It doesn’t have to be journaling specifically. Find what works for you to slow down and be intentional with reflection and thought. 

Some questions to consider:

    • What are my core values? How are they showing up in my words and actions?
    • What isn’t working and what am I going to do about it?
    • What is working and how will I acknowledge that? (where I showed up for others and/or myself, asked for feedback, kept a boundary, acknowledged another, etc.)
    • What do I want to be known for? How are my actions aligned or not aligned?
    • How am I choosing to impact those around me? 
    • How do I want to contribute today?
    • What is my head, heart and gut telling me? (check in with each one)

 

How’s YOUR “showing-up-ness”?

 

Ask others how you are doing

We see ourselves through our own assumptions and biases. That means we may not have an accurate understanding of how others experience us and how we leave them feeling. (both positively and negatively) Ask them.

Ask questions

let’s face it, we have been conditioned that life is supposed to be busy, busy, busy. Encourage and normalize slowing down and reflecting by helping others hit pause. Ask questions and give them a safe space to talk through things.

Embrace differences

I had not talked to a work contact since she got married a couple of months ago. When we last spoke, she was stressed because as she put it, she had “gone against the current” with wedding plans and was not sure how they would be received. Her response when I asked how her wedding was – “everyone had a great time, it felt like us and people will remember that.”  She prioritized her happiness, understanding that there is more than one way to do something. 

Set boundaries and keep them

you can show up AND set boundaries. In fact, it’s necessary to do both. Be aware of showing up out of fear, an overwhelming sense of obligation, or because of a low sense of self-worth. This is why being mindful of how and why we show up is important. It raises our radar.

Sing the egg song

Did you know that after laying an egg, hens will sing a song? It’s called an egg song! Other hens will join in to support the hen who laid the egg, creating a real ruckus. Be like hens and celebrate both your success and others’ success too!

Researcher and Storyteller Brene Brown leaves us with this thought – It’s scary to show up. It feels dangerous to be seen. It’s terrifying. But it’s not as scary, dangerous, or terrifying as getting to the end of our lives and thinking – what if I had shown up? What would have been different? 

Show up for others. Show up for yourself. And end each day by proudly stating – Today I showed up! – because you did.

Debby Neely is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation who specializes in leadership coaching and development. Her business, Neely Coaching & Training, supports both formal and informal leaders in realizing their potential and in getting results. 

Debby Neely
Debby Neely

Debby Neely is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation who specializes in leadership coaching and facilitation. Her business, Neely Coaching & Training, supports both formal and informal leaders in realizing their potential and in getting results. Their mission is to help you be the best you can be.

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