80% of Success is Just Showing Up

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Denver at Sunset

Tonight was a meetup, and I didn’t want to go. Actually, I really really wanted to go when I received the invite, but by late Sunday afternoon, I was feeling lazy, tired, and unmotivated. I did a lot of homework last week, and I worked out this morning, and I was rationalizing with myself. Didn’t I do enough this week? Wasn’t I already putting in the work? Didn’t I deserve a night off?

There’s no right answer here. Either way, I could have lived with my decision, but I made myself go. Why? Because you must show up. Eighty percent of success is showing up, right?

Finding your stride, creating something amazing, achieving the things you want to achieve, and being successful mostly come down to just showing up.

But showing up isn’t just arriving at a place, it’s putting in the work regardless of roadblocks. It’s overcoming your self-doubt or lack of momentum. It’s demonstrating your commitment in the face of uncertainty or vulnerability.

So how do you do it? You fiercely believe in your future even if you don’t know how to get there. It’s narrowing in on your goal and taking steps toward it. Did I know if this event would pay off? No, but guess what? When the invite arrived, I had a little feeling, a little premonition, so I RSVP’d yes. I knew it was the right people and would take me a little bit closer to what I’m trying to create. Beyond that, who knows what would happen?

As it turns out, 30 people RSVP’d yes. And today, three of us showed up. Two people hosted, and three showed up. I wasn’t disappointed though. In fact, it was the opposite. I thought this is a gift — a priceless opportunity to ask all my questions, build a real connection, and get full value from this experience because the odds are in my favor. As it turns out, I would have paid for the time I got for free tonight. It was that good.

So, back to that thing about showing up. There’s this coaching concept that if you believe in the thoughts that you will understand after you’ve achieved your goal before you’ve achieved it, you skip time. Basically, you get the benefits of the lesson before experiencing the event that would trigger the growth by imagining how it will change you. Make sense? That was more complicated than I thought to explain.

Put another way, most people get tripped up by the how. I want to write a book, find a husband, lose 20 lbs, travel the world — how do I make that happen? Instead of figuring out all the steps or following a playbook, what if you spent your energy on holding the vision of you doing it, accepting the wisdom now that your future self will know, and do stuff now that makes it more real and more likely. Write a page, agree to be set up with a good guy, go to the gym, book airfare. Take a chance.

There is no right path, right order, or cheat sheet. You’ve just got to do something. And then keep doing something. You’ve just got to show up. Even on the days you don’t feel like it. Even when you don’t know where it’s leading. Even if what you’re creating doesn’t feel good enough.

Because intentions are good, but if you don’t show up, if you’re not doing the work, or believing in your future to the degree that getting where you want to go seems inevitable, you’ll end up with nothing but ideas and aspirations.

Show up.

I did. It was awesome. And if I stayed home, I would have missed this crazy cool sky tonight too.

Written by

Life coach for women. Writer for 29 publications. Happiness, success, productivity, balance, leadership, inspiration. Follow me on Instagram @coachformoms.

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