Updated: Dec 16, 2020
Have you ever thought about how you show up in this life?
What you wear. What you say. How you react and relate to others. How you approach challenges. How you recover from adversity. All of this is related to showing up. How you "show up" can really be translated to "how do you do you?"
Showing up is not the same as showing off. You need not DO anything special. You just have to do what is right for you. You don't need to have a special talent or wield special powers of persuasion, or wear glitter (unless you really want to, of course). You just need to live your life on your terms.
Showing up does not mean always being happy. Rather, showing up is being ready to experience all of the variety of emotions that come with being human. Loving and hating. Winning and losing. Excitement and boredom alike. To show up is to be there for it, regardless of what is feels like. And then to turn around and be there for it again the next day and the day after that.
Showing up does not mean being seen and heard, or showing off. I think people so often confuse showing up for life with being the center of attention, or being out there for the world to see. Showing up is based on your own metric, not others. For some, showing up might include taking the big stage. But for most of us, showing up is simply living and doing. Nothing elaborate. Just life. Being unafraid to just be who we want and to be what we want. Doing what we want. Loving who we want. And never apologizing for always abiding by those very simple rules.
In our current world of viral internet videos, social media influencers, and the undeniable financial value that has been placed on being out there, it comes as no surprise to me that so many people find themselves staying on the sidelines. Or at least feeling like they have chosen to stay on the sidelines. They withdraw from anything that even looks like center stage and huddle in to their work or their tasks, likely to avoid any comparisons or critique, from self and others. That is surely the safest way to proceed. We come to believe that the world doesn't really need us or what we have to offer since what we have isn't exceptional, overtly valuable, or popular enough for its own meme. But when we decline to express ourselves or do what we love or be what we want, we are in essence declining to participate in our own lives. I am not worried about what the world misses out on when we sit each round out. I am worried about what WE miss out on - what WE lose personally by staying in the shadows of our own lives.
We get one. Life, that is. Isn't it our obligation to show up and live it?
So, how do you show up for your own life? Just like the little girls in the photo above we need no one's permission to just be and to just do. And life sure is a whole lot more fun when we can remind ourselves, on a daily basis if needed, that showing up is what makes our lives worth living. I can't think of a better way to honor the life that we have been given than to actually show up for it, living it fully and completely. We show up when we do and act and live and love. We show up when we succeed or fail in equal measure. We show up when we stop waiting for something else to happen or for someone else to arrive and do something for us. We show up when we stop making excuses about what we don't like and we start creating the things that we do like. We show up when we decide, one day at a time, to live the life that we have, building what we want and being who we are.
Show up for yourself. You matter. It turns out you are the only one who does.