Do you show up?
This might sound like a silly question to start a blog. Of course you show up places in the traditional use of the words. But you have also most likely recently seen or heard this phrase manipulated to better describe something that clearly means a little bit more.
We know and understand to show up to be defined as to actually physically arrive somewhere.
But, to show up to yourself so that you can to loved ones, friends, family, and/or all of humanity is much, much more than just being physically present.
Fully showing up is not easy. It doesn’t just happen. It requires intelligence, intuition, empathy, generosity, confidence, and a willingness to be vulnerable. Showing up as defined here today takes a level of intentionality, effort, and practice. Ironically, sometimes showing up for you actually means not actually physically showing up.
The simple fact is that in order to truly show up for others you must show up for yourself first. That means really getting to know yourself, taking care of your physical and mental health, being honest with yourself, being kind to yourself, and setting boundaries. Showing up for yourself is what will allow you to be a better and more present friend/partner; will prevent resentment, one-sided relationships, and burnout; and will help you figure out exactly what showing up for your people should look like in practice.
Showing up means living life to the actual fullest through your own lens, in your own present state of being. To stand fully grounded on a healthy foundation of self awareness and understanding. To be connected most to the one person you spend every single second of your one amazing life with. To then show up for others with intentional love.
When we are not grounded in ourselves we find any way to distract ourselves from…ourselves. Seeking out others can mean that we actually use our relationships as a distraction rather than for connection. Rather than intentionally looking to serve others with love we use them to serve our own need to distract from our lack of willingness to be vulnerable, to hide from own our fears or discomfort, or shine a light on our inability to set boundaries.
Don’t use your experiences and relationships to distract you from your life.
When I am not showing up for myself I am more self absorbed—managing an inauthentic persona and/or doing all I can to deflect my feelings. I can be quite good at this for awhile, but the truth eventually either seeps (or pours) out. I start to wish for the days to move by more quickly rather than experiencing the toughness of fully living. I adopt a victim mentality—blaming others and outside circumstances for my discontent. I “check boxes” in relationships rather than creating opportunities to be present and connect. Even though it often can still appear on the outside that I am focused on giving rather than taking, I know when to call shenanigans on my own heart.
It is way easier to pretend to show up for others than it is to show up in very meaningful ways. To people please to protect your own heart. I have to practice showing up for myself. And you can too. Get to know you. Trust your worthiness and in your abilities. Establish boundaries. Do so by connecting to your wants and needs. Study your thoughts. When you feel the desire to distract from uncomfortable feelings take 5-10 minutes to sit with them. Feel boredom or loneliness rather than picking up your phone or texting a friend. Define how you feel. With intentional practice you will learn that you can show up for yourself in all moments, in all feelings, which will teach you how to do so for others.
One amazing way to practice showing up for yourself in measurable ways is to set goals. Of course as you know I lean toward physical ones, but you can apply the same principles for any goal that you want to achieve while learning in the process. I coach athletes to show up to each workout. To have a plan. Prepare. Fuel well and get proper sleep. Carve out enough time to complete it fully. Be present in each hard and rest interval. Keep learning. Practice raw vulnerability in the potential for success or failure. Remove distractions. Let go of white knuckle control and expectations. Stay grounded through breathing and mindfulness. Be intentional. Feel it all.
Take all of the practice and use the same principles to show up for others, serving with a heart full of love.
We all have the potential to show up in impactful ways for humanity when doing so as our most authentic selves.
Build your foundation so that you can stand on solid ground to generously (and literally) show up.