The hardest thing about just doing something is showing up. Years ago I was impacted by a quote I read:
80% of life is showing up
Years later, I have moved past just being impressed by the quote and memorizing it. I have actually gotten around to actually living it — actually showing up with a solid degree of consistency.
You’d think that showing up would be the absolutely easiest thing to do. I suppose that if energy, motivation and self-esteem didn’t play a part in the whole shabang, showing up would pretty much be a no-brainer.
SHOWING UP IS NOT A NO-BRAINER
But showing up isn’t a no-brainer for most of us, is it? I mean, if we have to get to work, we usually make that happen because we want to keep a roof over our heads, eat and keep our credit rate up so we can keep getting stuff.
But showing up for the self-care stuff?
Showing up for everything that means personal progress?
Showing up to match our values?
Showing up to live out and speak our truths?
Let’s take it down to day-to-day showing up: our planners (if you have one). How many things do we put on our lists and wind up making excuse after excuse to get out of them?
DO YOU HAVE THE EXCUSE MAKING HABIT?
I have become more and more alert to and aware of when I make excuses. It goes a little something like this:
I can’t because….
and is often followed by one or more of the following:
I’m too tired.
I don’t have the energy.
It will be too taxing.
I won’t be able to do it well.
I’ll feel stupid or dumb or incompetent.
My anxiety will increase.
I won’t be able to finish it once I’ve started. I won’t be able to complete the whole thing, so why start?
I don’t have enough time.
THEY won’t approve.
OUR EXCUSES CAN BECOME OUR RED FLAGS
These kinds of counter-“attacks” to my plans have become, in some cases, my red flags. In other cases, they serve as indicators that I need to plan better and/or review my values and objectives and adjust as needed.
WE CAN COUNTER OUR RED FLAGS
I’m now no longer a total wimp when these other (doomsayer, Negative Nelly) voices inside my head pop up. I am learning to either speak back to them, let them go, or move through them.
Some of the ways I speak back are, respectively…
“I’m too tired.” Counter: Sure I’m tired. I didn’t go to bed on time last night. But I can still show up. It might not be my best workout and I might have to take it easy, but I can show up and give myself that satisfaction and feel the self-respect that comes from integrity, i.e. keeping my promises to myself.
“I don’t have the energy.” Counter: I probably have enough energy to at least show up and try. When I do, my showing up will build on my strength and stamina for the future.
“It will be too taxing.” Counter: I can always reduce the intensity and my expectations for productivity.
“I won’t be able to do it well.” Counter: And? At least I’m in there doing it. All effort potentially leads to something. And I’ll be proud of myself for having tried and possibly faced some ego and perfectionism issues.
“I’ll feel stupid or dumb or incompetent.” Counter: So what? Who doesn’t?
“I’m too fat or too skinny.” Counter: So what? Who isn’t?
“My anxiety will increase.” Counter: It just might. And? The more I gently face my emotional and mental challenges, the more resilient and skilled I will likely become.
“I won’t be able to finish it once I’ve started.” I won’t be able to complete the whole thing, so why start? Counter: At least I’ll probably finish something. At least I’ll be trying. At least I can get the satisfaction that comes from keeping my promise to myself. I can also build on the strength of my growing convictions for the future.
“I don’t have enough time.” Counter: OK. Maybe I managed my time “imperfectly” ( 🙂 ) this time. I have enough time for at least part of it. (Or in rarer cases, I call it a wash and work to get on solid footing for the next time.) Counter 2: I sure have enough time for YouTube videos.
SHOWING UP AS A LIFESTYLE CORNERSTONE
I am finding showing up to be a cornerstone in my advancement towards what most matters to me.
It’s not easy, but it’s become a fun, highly satisfying and rewarding endeavor in and of itself.
So, how about you? Do you have reasons for not showing up for your self-care? Any counters in the works?
Life Hackers Post, titled “Showing Up Is Not Enough” — they make a good point regarding WHAT we’re showing up for