Just Show Up
Some mornings you may wake up and think “Oh my God, my aching body,” I think I’ll just give myself permission to hang out and do nothing today. Sometimes that may be the smart thing for you to do, because your body really just needs a little rest. But then there are those other times when the best thing you can do for yourself is forge ahead—and just show up. Amazing things happen when we just show up!
Having the courage to just show up—especially when you don’t want to—is Esteemable Act. Just today I did an Esteemable Act. I am trying to take off a few extra pounds, but I love sweets. Yesterday was the first day I chose not to have anything sweet other than fruit. Today was day two. I had lunch with a client and on the way back to my office I was tempted to stop and get something sweet e.g., a candy bar, bubble gum, ice cream, cookies—you name it. Instead, I allowed myself to feel uncomfortable and drove right past the store. While the urge is still there, the fact that I have gone this far in my day without something sweet has given me the courage to go the next few hours—one hour at a time. It’s amazing what happens if we just give ourselves some distance between that thing that we’re hooked on (e.g., food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, shopping, sex, chocolate, gambling) and not doing it. Ask any addict who has kicked an addiction of any kind. The longest and most painful period is the first 48-72 hours.
Self-esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts and it’s an Esteemable Act to say “no” to things that are not good for you, and say “yes” to a new attitude. One little strategy that is helping me stay on track today is imagining how I will look and feel when I reach my goal weight. It was that strategy that helped me stop drinking and using drugs 33 years ago, and stop smoking cigarettes 30 years ago. Was it easy, no way! But the road to recovery from anything starts with not doing that thing you do, one day at a time. Just show up.
Here are a few other benefits to showing up, which all speak to personal responsibility:
- You get results. Suppose you decide to learn to use a computer because it would increases your productivity at work and position you for a better raise. You take three of the ten classes and you’re ready to give up. It’s much harder than you thought it would be, and you don’t have time to bother. While you can always stop taking the classes, the benefits of continuing are greater than the temporary relief you may have from quitting.
- You live in integrity. You become known as someone who can be counted on to do what you say you’ll do. Others will see you as someone who lives with integrity.
- Increased self-esteem. You will raise your self-esteem. Self-esteem comes from doing Esteemable acts. It’s an Esteemable act to show up and do what you said you would do, especially when you don’t want to.
- Opportunity to serve others. You get an opportunity to be of service. The best teachers and guides are those who have been through the fire, have reached the other side, and are willing to share their experience, strength, and hope with others.
Think about what it will take to follow through on your commitments this week. Is there someone you can go to for help? Is there someone who can assist and support you through the process? Are there other resources you can utilize?
I invite you to answer these questions today, and be willing and open to be the best “YOU” every single day.
I’m Francine Ward and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share them with me through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.