We’ve spent the last few blogs defining the traits required to succeed. We spoke of talent, self-confidence, grit and conviction.
But is that all? We know even the most successful people have bad days. Sometimes they want to chuck it all and sit back quietly and ‘let things take their course’.
How do they snap out of it?
No amount of talent, self-confidence, grit and conviction can help if you lack a primal strength: courage, or in the context of this blog, the ability to simply ‘show up’.
Why is this so hard? Because we are conditioned to flee from uncertainty. But if you stay on you will act. If you act you will create change and surpass your fear. All it takes is showing up.
One can have the best mentors but ultimately ownership of the task by showing up is entirely up to you. No one can teach you how to do this. You simply need to nerve yourself into showing up. You must train your mind to say in the face of fear: Move. Get it done. Now.
Not showing up turns you into a spectator in your own life. Ever felt like you came away from a meeting without meeting your objectives, without feeling OK? You were in the meeting but you didn’t show up. Ever felt like the week went by and you didn’t really do enough? You were present in your life but you didn’t show up. Do you sometimes feel like you’re not making a contribution at home? Again, you occupy the same house as your spouse and your kids but you don’t show up. You don’t take ownership of things.
Life moves on, with or without you. It doesn’t wait for you to show up or even get back on your feet. One day you will wake up and realize that the price of not showing up for years is a lack of accomplishment and self-respect. It is very hard to show up then, after years of not showing up.
Show up today. Show up now. Here are actions of people who tend to show up:
1. They own situations, take responsibility
2. They don’t play victim
3. They honour who they are and what they believe in; they don’t lose that pure part of themselves in the face of the world’s crises
Do these actions sound like ones you want to adopt? Do they show you are more courageous? Well, if yes then here’s how you put it all into practice:
1. Start showing up: If you are software developer, write code. If you are writer, just write. If you are a painter, paint. Just do what you are supposed to do. Don’t worry about the outcome. Set goals. Create plans. Move the needle a little bit every day. Accept failure as part of the process, not as a wall.
2. Face your fears: Identify your fears. Understand that they have a basis in unreason. Develop a solution to tackle them head on. What you do every day turns into a habit – whether it is showing up or running away. Courage can be learnt.
3. Eliminate mental bias: Most of our fears have roots in our own beliefs, many of which are flawed. It may be a worthwhile exercise to introspect on beliefs that are driving your fears. Do the opposite of what the fearful voice inside of you says.
4. Take incremental steps to progress: Remember that Rome was not built in a day. Create daily schedules and routines that will take you closer to achieving your goal. Stay focused; execute a fraction of the highest priorities on a daily basis. Be flexible. The goal is sacrosanct, not the plan.
5. Change the mental dialogue to a positive one: Instead of starting the day with, ‘It’s going to be another worthless day where we work hard and get no results’ start your day with positive reinforcements like ‘I love this work and I am going to make something interesting happen today.’
And therein lies the secret to showing up to life every day: you become the story you tell yourself in your head.
About the Author:
Sandhya Reddy is a leadership & transformation coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.
Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, business coaching, personality development, leadership coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals, get that elusive promotion through a blend of knowledge, action and image-building, enhance influence among the leadership team, be more productive, get more out of one’s team, and be known in the company as an indispensable performer and future leader.
Follow Sandhya Reddy on Twitter @sandhyareddy