Last night I was watching my son's baseball game. One of his teammates was batting and hit the ball right to the first base catcher. If you don't watch baseball, this play would usually cause an easy out for the kid batting. All the catcher needed to do was grab the ball and touch the base. As it played out, I prepped myself to yell "Good Try".
The batter, even though there was a 99% chance he wouldn't make it to first baseball before the other player tagged him out, still without hesitation started running to first base. The catcher grabbed the ball and as he went to touch the base, dropped it. Safe, the batter was safe (he didn't get out). For a moment, this made me happy. Not because the batter was on my son's team and avoided an out, but because he kept going. He didn't look at the odds stacked against him and pause or even stop. He showed up to the game and even when things didn't look good he kept going.
So, often in life we are faced with adversity, with the odds stacked against us. And the older we get, I think, the more we back down.
I believe, success is only achieved by showing up, and how you show up determines the degree success achieved.
I was born ambitious. My father has told me to slow down so many times, that I picked the song Vienna by Billy Joel for our Father Daughter Dance at my wedding.
I would never listen to him, or anyone who tells me to slow down. I want the most out of life, and I can’t get that unless I show up. And if I show up and I don’t like the results, I know I have to show up differently. Our attitude determines our outcome.
My husband often asks, “don’t you ever get tired?”. Of course, I get tired, but I get more tired of people telling me I can’t. I show up not just for myself, I show up for my family. My whole life I faced adversity, as we all do.
However, I never back down and always show up, because if I don’t, I’ve already failed. I remember at my first “real job” working at a bank, when I was 19, a client called me an incompetent little girl. But I kept showing up and giving it my all and ended doubling my salary in commission my first year. But I didn’t stop there, because as my friend Billy Joel says, “Only fools are satisfied”.
Life isn’t easy nor is it kind. Showing up is hard and showing up with a positive attitude is even harder. Two years ago, I quit my 9-5. I had a passion for leadership development and consulting, I knew I could make a difference. Even though the stakes were high and I was risking a lot. I left my cushy job, salary, benefits.
I had no client base, just a dream and business plan. And I knew if I showed up, they would have to acknowledge me. I knew that if I worked hard, I'd find clients, I'd build a business. I also knew, if I never tried, I was guaranteed to have as many clients as I did the day I quit for the rest of my life... ZERO.
My peers often say, “I wish I could do something like that”, or my favorite, “You’re so lucky your husband works, and you just do what you want”. My response is always the same, I showed up, I kept showing up, and I keep showing with a smile on my face.
Life is like a bank account, every time you show up; whether that’s getting out of bed when you don’t want to, going on that run after a long day, working that extra hour, holding your tongue to save face even if it hurts your pride, working until mid-night on a paper for your degree because your juggling a full-time job kids and school, cooking dinner for your family even though your exhausted instead of wasting money on dining out; you make a deposit. And you every time you don’t, you miss out on the opportunity to increase YOUR account. And in business everyone knows you can’t ever make up for a lost deposit because someone else will act on that opportunity and take that deposit from you.
My whole life I faced adversity. I still do. We all do. The question is, how bad do you want it?
This I believe: Always show up. Because every time you don’t, you've already failed.