The Discipline of Showing Up


Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Woody Allen

Have you ever signed up for something with initial excitement and enthusiasm?

Have you seen this excitement and enthusiasm wear off?

Do you sometimes feel like quitting or simply staying at home?

I don’t think you’re alone.

I have singed up for a hundred different activities, events, and commitments.  My initial excitement carries me for a while.  I want to see great things happen, but I get bored, frustrated, or tired.  The initial feelings of euphoria turn into dread as I fight the inner battle inside my head – should i stay at home or should I show up?

This is my story.

I signed up to help with youth group at our church after our youth pastor invited me to go on a missions trip to Guatemala with our church’s teenagers.  I remember the excitement as I attended my first few meetings after the trip.  It was fun to interact with the kids.  I was fueled by the momentum from our life changing trip together.  This feeling lasted for a little while but then it started to fade.  I was one of the older leaders at the weekly meetings.  I felt awkward at times in my interactions with the teenagers.  And there times when I would have preferred to be at home with my wife.

Generally, I kept going.  I decided to show up even when I didn’t feel like it.

Some nights were better than others.  There were many nights that turned into something very positive for me and hopefully for the teenagers I was hanging around each week.  This would not have happened if I decided not to show up.

I signed up for Toastmasters almost a year ago.  Again, I was initially excited about this opportunity, but this hasn’t always been the case as my time with the club has continued.  There our times when my mind is focused on things in my office, and I struggle to shift my brain into a Toastmasters mindset for our lunchtime meetings.

And yet, I have decided to show up.  This has led to many new friendships, tremendous personal growth, and improved self-confidence.  This week, I’ll be giving my tenth speech at our club’s bi-weekly meeting.  This means I will officially become a Competent Communicator – the first in a series of Toastmasters significant milestones.  This would not happen if I decided to stay across the street at my office.  I’m only three projects away from completing my Competent Leader, and this won’t happen if I don’t show up.

At home, there I are times when I come home exhausted after a hard day of work.  I want to be the best husband and father I can be.  I want to be intentional in my interactions with my wife and my kids.  This starts by simply showing up.

Showing up takes discipline.

Showing up will STRETCH you.

Showing up matters.

Showing up can change the world.

How would your world be different if you made the decision to simply show up?  How has showing up made a difference in your life?