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The Art of Showing Up

Starting a business can feel like staring down a giant slab of clay with a million vague visions of what could become of it. A million alternate figures that could emerge. The challenge is to start chipping away at what it’s not.

This is done by showing up… but what exactly does that mean?

This term gets tossed around a lot. The concept of “showing up” has become oversaturated in our conversations of personhood.

The truth is, I can’t explain what it will look like across the board. Showing up for my business looks different for me than it would for anyone else because I’m not anyone else; the way I interface with the world is unique… so of course my work will be an extension of that.

Here’s what showing up looks like for me:

  • Putting away distractions.

  • Setting my physical space up in a way that allows me to feel relaxed, focused and creative.

  • Putting my perfectionist tendencies aside and allowing myself to just start.

  • Picking one of my millions of ideas and pursuing it because I know that the others will converge down the line.

  • Going easy on myself… every project starts somewhere.

  • Figuring out how I want to add value to the world, and then doing my very best to create something that will.

Though the bullet points might look different for everyone, the underlying concept is the same.

The idea of showing up can actually offer some consolation in the overwhelm. It reminds me that all I need to do to be successful is share with the world what is most authentic in my heart.

If it were easy, we’d all show up.

A book I often think about, which helped to reframe how I view creativity and expression, is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

He discusses this concept of resistance when it comes to making art. Resistance is something every artist has had to navigate their way through. In his words:

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

I see the resistance reflected in the entrepreneurs and businesses I work with. Often the vision is so clear, but deeply held patterns and beliefs are feeding the subconscious mind endless reasons to be afraid.

It’s imperative to show up anyway. Perhaps it’s just in little ways at the beginning: coming up with one thing to accomplish per day. One blog post, one video, one meeting with a mentor to help find more clarity.

Regardless of how it looks, the act of showing up makes all the difference. Everything we could possibly want to create comes from that space.


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