All You Have To Do is Show Up
It’s so very easy to give up on something if it doesn’t feel like it’s working.
If you get nobody signing up to the course or event you’ve just launched.
If you’ve sold no products this month.
If you’ve got no new clients or work in the pipeline.
If you started writing that book but then life got in the way and it’ll probably never happen anyway.
If you’ve tried meditating and you’re sat there thinking, how on earth is anyone able to stop the constant mind chatter? (Which, by the way, is not the goal of meditation despite what we’re told!)
If you come up with an idea but then realise it would require a lot of time, creativity, risk, trust, money and what if it’s not successful?
If you start a new project but you don’t work on it for two weeks and then the inspiration is gone.
I’m feeling these “well I’m just not good enough, it’s not working so what’s the point” feels a lot recently. They’ve been weighing me down a bit (aching shoulders, like, really aching). Inducing a few tears here and there. Quite a bit of procrastination.
I’ve started going on early morning walks every day (this early spring sunshine that we seem to be getting is making it very easy to be honest!) and each day when I walk alone (and am therefore given the time and space to think about my work and anything else in my life that needs addressing), these feels have come thick and fast.
And I get scared. Have I made a terrible mistake? What am I doing? How will I make sure I earn enough? Where do I go from here? What can I do?
And then out of nowhere on a walk this week, a little voice whispered to me:
“All you have to do is show up. Just commit to it. Things don’t happen overnight, and they certainly don’t happen if you give up on them. Show up every day, even if only to do something small”.
Wow, that little voice has a good point, I thought.
Recently I’ve had lots of ideas - for projects, for work, for how to improve my life, make more money, have a creative outlet. And I get excited and I scrawl things down and I plant the seeds. And then I don’t show up. I don’t work hard on it. I see that things haven’t happened by the next morning and I think ahh, well that’s obviously not working. Nexttttt…."
But this voice made me realise something. Nothing will happen if every day you do nothing to make it happen. Nothing changes if nothing changes. After all, you can’t plant a seed and expect it to grow without nourishing it, can you?
It sounds obvious, right? For something to be successful, for an idea to grow, you need to work hard and commit to it, don’t you?
But I think we all forget this. At least I have been. We get excited and we do one thing to manifest our idea and then we get busy, or something else takes priority, or we get no sales/sparks of inspiration/money and we just give up on our idea.
And then our idea says alright, if you don’t want me, I’ll pop up in someone else’s head instead.
Then a few months later you see someone has done your work. But that was my idea!
Yes but you didn’t show up, did you? What did you expect? says your idea.
Commitment is a tricky thing. It feels overwhelming doesn’t it? Whether that’s getting a gym membership or subscribing to Netflix each month, deciding to join a yoga class, or posting on your Facebook business page five times a week. We shy away from commitment. We get lazy, we get busy, we get scared, we get cautious about money. Throwing yourself into something for the long-haul makes us feel vulnerable and requires a lot of trust.
But trust and commitment? They’re the foundations of any relationship. For me, at the moment, they’re things I need to work on in my relationship with my work and growing my business. Trusting that I’m on the right path is a huge one for me. Trusting that I have the skills and ability to be hired by someone for a project. Trusting that I will make enough money each month to pay the bills. Trusting that even if I'm having a quiet month work-wise that new work will come in. Trusting enough to not worry about it, to not give into the fear, to not give up.
It would be just wonderful if that was all we needed to do. Just trust and the rest will take care of itself. And yes, trusting that everything will be fine and the universe has it all worked out for you and the spark of inspiration or the sales or whatever it may be will come to you is crucial (I love the quote “if you believe, you will survive” from Katie Piper). But that alone is not enough. I honestly feel like when I left my employed job last summer and started my business (without really having a plan in mind), that the universe gave me a little nudge - sent clients my way who were my kind of people, kept the work coming in out of the blue, giving me something to work off, but now it’s standing back and saying “your turn now. Go get it.”
I guess at this point that it’s then time to commit. To show up every day and do something that will move you towards your goal. Just three days ago I felt helpless and hopeless because I wanted more wedding film bookings to come my way, and they weren’t. When the little voice reminded me I have to actually make it happen, I then spent an evening putting together a showreel of my latest wedding films. Two hours after posting it on Facebook I had a booking.
And then the next day my lovely friend Mel suggested I do more baby/child/family photography and films and my response was something like “I’ve always wanted to, I really want to do more, but last time I tried I didn’t get many bookings so I guessed it wasn’t meant to be”. But as we talked about it and I remembered about the whole showing up thing, I started to get the excitement again. The inspiration. I really felt how I would feel to be photographing squishy babies (ridiculously happy - and broody) and it made me want to. just. blinking. do. it.
So yesterday I designed an advert for Mummy & Me photo sessions, let myself feel how lovely it would feel to do them and posted it on Facebook. A day later and I’ve got seven sessions booked. Just because I sat down at my computer and decided to show up, to commit, to make it happen. And it cost me nothing.
Point proven, Steph.
All you have to do is show up.
Most of the time we are the only thing holding ourselves back and I guess what I’m trying to say is if you give something your whole heart and soul, if you decide to go for it and keep going for it (and believe whatever you are trying to achieve will happen), you can do anything. If it’s meant for you, you can make it work out.