Are you struggling to find enough clients, do a good enough job, or achieve your goals, and wondering how to make it happen? Let’s look at why showing up is the key to your success.
Showing up refers to your ability to do things consistently and to be accountable to yourself for that. It’s a simple as that, but it’s also essential for achieving any outcome goals you have.
Launching a successful business.
Completing a qualification.
It doesn’t matter what you are trying to achieve – it’s the same principle. Showing up is required for success, and it means that you are committed, disciplined, and consistent with your efforts no matter what, which makes the results possible.
A lot of people I meet come to me for coaching because they are getting half baked results or no results. A lot of the time it’s about not showing up for yourself consistently.
A lot of things happen if you don’t show up.
For example, in marketing one of the keys to becoming visible and known is that you show up regularly and keep your promises to yourself and your audience. It might take 6 to 12 months before somebody even knows that you exist, so you need to be putting yourself out there consistently and regularly in the same places over a long enough period of time that people can start to see you and get to know you, let alone want to buy something from you.
A lot of coaches I meet try something here and there for a month and then give up saying that nobody is interested. Not long enough! And likely, not consistent enough.
The same goes for eating and exercise for example. If you want to be athletic, to lose 5 kg of body fat, to gain 3 kg of muscle, to run a marathon or to consistently follow a Mediterranean diet, then you need to show up for yourself and exercise, eat well or train several times per week and every week consistently for a period of time – usually at least 3 months.
It’s great to start with planning to do something, but that is the easy bit. You feel excited at the prospect of achieving the result. You feel satisfied that you’ve mapped out all of the steps appropriately. You feel like you are ready to go.
But the reality is, as you start to implement your plan life is going to throw you curveballs. That’s a definite – and showing up requires you to figure out how to keep showing up for yourself, or for others, or both.
I know for myself for example, at least two or three nights a week I sleep poorly at the moment. And while it might be tempting for me to take a day off the next day, I have responsibilities and things that are important for me to do so I dig deep, and I show up. I make myself get up on time, shower, get dressed in colourful clothing, eat something nutritious, and prepare myself mentally for the meetings and tasks ahead. Obviously there are exceptions, like if I am really sick, but otherwise I just get over the mind games and move forward.
ALL of us have obstacles in life that prevent us from showing up and that is why working with a coach to be so helpful because it’s about learning how to navigate, troubleshoot, and problem solve those obstacles so that you can be consistent and get the results you want.
Why is it sometimes hard to show up? Simply, because our brains work against us. Our brains are wired to seek pleasure, avoid pain and expend as little effort as possible. This is why we tell ourselves all the lies and excuses that stop us from taking action!
But if we work with our brains, we develop better habits that help us to show up and create results.
So, what happens if you do manage your brain better and show up consistently?
Well let’s look at some real life examples.
I have been running this podcast every week for over two years. I have committed to consistently publishing episodes every week no matter what. For example, my father just passed away a couple of weeks ago, and knowing that he was unwell I recorded a couple of episodes in advance so that I could keep showing up.
Some days I don’t feel like recording a podcast but I do it anyway because I am committed to this activity.
People ask, where do I get the motivation? Well, I have learned to embrace this process because it builds my audience over time with more and more people listening to this podcast. I don’t want to let them down by not showing up. If I don’t do an episode or two, or if I’m late, people will get the impression that I’m unreliable and untrustworthy – definitely not helpful! Therefore, I have strategies in place to make sure that I show up every week no matter what.
Actually, weight loss is a really good example of what’s required for showing up. In my experience of coaching people around weight loss, it often takes several weeks before they start to see the impact of habit they have changed. In the meantime, they may get sick, lose motivation, feel overwhelmed with stressors or feel tired as their body changes. But by committing to themselves they can overcome those challenges and still show up for themselves in order to achieve the result that they want.
The interesting thing is that it’s actually not so much about the result because that is a one-off thing. Showing up is actually about embracing the process and developing the habits that will make you a success.
Those habits become who you are, your new identity, and a new way of living.
In the weight loss example, people talk about losing weight and then gaining it again. It just means that they stop showing up for themselves and go back into their old habits which no longer serve them.
In another example, I think about myself as a business owner running my signature weight loss program in my local area for 3 1/2 years.
It didn’t matter how tired I was, or down, or what the weather was like, I showed up consistently for those groups of clients and got myself into a positive mindset to foster an exceptional experience for those clients and hold the space for them so that they could achieve their goals.
Sometimes I definitely didn’t feel like running those group sessions, but I had strategies in place to make sure that my clients got incredible value from those sessions and from working with me. After all, it was the results they got and the way they felt in those sessions that created multiple referrals and sold-out programs every time.
What do you think would’ve happened if I cancelled sessions because I didn’t feel like going, or if I showed up half hearted and listless?
Showing up – or not – creates your results.
So how do you commit to showing up for yourself and for other people?
It’s really all about managing your mindset, your energy, your motivation, and maintaining your level of commitment to yourself and or other people.
If you want to show up for yourself or others consistently, the first thing you must do is to define a really good reason why you want to do a particular thing. In my example of podcasting, this is tied in with my ability to have an impact on the lives of other people and to help people to bring their greatness to the world. This is a huge part of my purpose, so if I don’t do this podcast consistently, I might lose my audience, and that might mean that I don’t get to fulfil my purpose.
The nutshell is that having a big why or lots of whys is really important for committing to something.
The second thing is that you have to be doing something that is truly meaningful and important to you. If you are trying to do something that you think you should be doing but don’t really want to do and then it’s going to be hard to stick to. This ties into your why, but is slightly different.
For example, reaching my audience is important to me, but my actions for getting there must be meaningful and aligned. When I tried to run a Facebook group over about a 14-month period, I struggled because I absolutely hated being on Facebook and so I wasn’t able to make myself be consistent and show up for that and I learnt a really important lesson by failing at that. I realise that I was doing something that I thought I should be doing but didn’t really suit me or feel right and it didn’t suit my audience either.
So, choosing activities and goals with importance and meaning is an essential part of showing up.
The third thing is that if you want to be able to show up for yourself or others consistently, choose habits or activities that play to your strengths, or find ways to use your strengths to complete those activities. It’s much easier to be consistent when you are doing something that you are good at or have the potential to develop skills in.
The fourth thing, and this is probably a really important one, is that you just have to stop overthinking things. It’s really easy if you’re tired or stressed to want to give up on yourself and to tell yourself stories about why you can’t do something. That’s just your brain trying not to make the effort.
If you think about it, it’s actually the discomfort of doing something under adversity that helps you to come out stronger and with a greater sense of self belief. If you give in every time and don’t be consistent, then you are just proving to yourself that you can’t. If you grit your teeth and get
through something challenging, you gain a sense of pride, efficacy and a glimmer of hope that you can do it again. This gives your untrusting brain the proof it needs to believe you can succeed.
It’s way better to find some strategies and cues and just make yourself do something and get across the line to prove to yourself that you can because that will create momentum and an upward spiral.
My best strategy to overcome mental hurdles is talking myself into doing the activity and outlining all the reasons it’s important.
The fifth thing is that planning is really important in terms of being able to show up for yourself. Imagine if I was trying to record a podcast every week but didn’t have any sort of activity put into my calendar. I’d probably forget will be trying to squeeze it in around other appointments or double booking myself and then it wouldn’t get done. Planning means you are intentionally making space – a dedicated time slot every week – to recording an episode, doing the gym workout, or posting on LinkedIn – whatever it is you want to commit to.
Planning offers you more than just the ability to complete the task. By making space for what matters to you, it prompts you to clear out the low return tasks so that you don’t waste time and become more efficient and productive. When your schedule is based around important but not urgent tasks and not too many of them, then it’s much easier to show up for yourself.
The sixth thing I want to talk about today in terms of showing up is that sometimes you’re going to need support from another person or some sort of system to help you show up. It could be a coach. It could be an alarm. It could be a ritual or process you used to get yourself into the right headspace. But whatever it is, if you find it hard to be self motivated and self disciplined at times, think about the things you can do to help you show up for yourself.
Using this podcast as an example once again, if I’m not in the mood or am lacking inspiration, I have a few uplifting podcasts that I listen to that help me to come up with a more positive mindset and create some of my own ideas for content. I also have content that I’ve created in the past and I can always go back to that and re-purpose it for a podcast episode if I need to. I have a system of dictating into my iPad or phone so if I get an idea while I’m on the run I can capture it in a document using the microphone function and that means I am constantly adding to the content when the ideas strike me. These are three of my personal strategies for making sure I show up and do this podcast every week no matter what.
The seventh and final thing that will help you to show up is the 7-minute rule. In the practice of yoga, there is a saying that if you just do 7 minutes then you will likely keep going. I apply the same principle to anything else that I need to show up for. Just seven minutes writing some notes for a podcast. Or just seven minutes getting my mind in order so I can still see my clients today and not cancel any appointments. You get the idea. Doing a tiny amount of something means that you get over the initial hurdle of starting, and that you are more likely to keep going
Today we talked about what showing up is and why it is important.
I also talked about seven ways to help you show up for yourself:
1. Define a specific why, or many whys
2. Focus on activities that are meaningful and important to you (linked to the why)
3. Choose activities that play to your strengths, or find ways to use strengths to complete them
4. Stop overthinking things and just do them with the help of strategies and cues.
5. Planning specific activities for specific time slots
6. Get the support you need from others, systems or tools
7. Commit to just 7 minutes so you get over the hurdle of starting.
Showing up for yourself means that you can do meaningful things in your own life and succeed at those things and feel like you are living a purposeful and intentional life.
It is about learning to embrace the process and become good at that, rather than just focussing on the result. This not only helps you achieve the result, it also helps you to become committed to the regular actions that create your results!
Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
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