Subject: Just Show Up and Put One Foot in Front of the Other
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
produced by Margo Chisholm
Coach, Speaker, Author, Adventurer
Monday, February 7, 2000
Archives of Celebrating The Journey are now available for
viewing at https://www.tothesummit.com/CTJ.html.
They are not all there yet and will be by the end of the
week. Enjoy them and invite your friends to take a look!
Just Show Up and Put One Foot in Front of the Other
Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing
up.” I heartily agree with him. And to take it one step
further, 90 percent of success is showing up and putting
one foot in front of the other.
As an addict, alcoholic and compulsive overeater, I spent
many years of my life not showing up for much of
anything. Often I wasn’t able to show up at work or with
my friends or to play tennis or even to go to a party. I
broke commitments, invented illnesses and crises as
excuses, and had pretty much given up on any dreams I
might have had.
When I got into recovery, one of the first things I heard
was, “Just show up.” It didn’t matter how I looked or felt,
whether I was afraid or not, whether I thought I could do
whatever was in front of me or not. The point was to just
show up. The context then was about getting to recovery
When I started climbing, the concept of showing up grew
and became, “Just show up and put on foot in front of the
other.” Many times on a mountain I felt completely
exhausted and had no idea how I was going to get to the
summit or to camp or even to the next rest spot. But I
knew I could put one foot in front of the other. Just take
one step in the direction I was headed. That’s all, just one
step. That’s all I had to do: show up and put one foot in
front of the other. The context then was about climbing
very big mountains.
The context now is about everyday life. I learned about
showing up and putting one foot in front of the other in
early recovery and on very big mountains. The concepts
serve us all in everyday life. If we don’t show up for life
and put one foot in front of the other, even on those days
when we want to just stay in bed and turn the electric
blanket up to Mother, we have no chance at having the
life we really want.
But what if I fail? What if I look stupid? What if they
don’t like me? What if I don’t do a good job? What if…
What if… What if… We can “what if” ourselves right out
of our lives. All those things are possible. We might fail
or look stupid or not be liked. If we don’t show up and put
one foot in front of the other the best we can, it’s true that
we avoid the risk of failing or looking foolish. We also
eliminate any opportunity for success or joy or growth.
I invite you to choose the possibilities of what can be in
your life over the fear of what might be.
In what ways are you not showing up in your life?
What project are you putting off?
Which friend or loved one are you growing apart
from because of an ignored issue?
What ongoing problem are you blaming on
someone else so you don’t have to deal with it?
What dream do you have that you’re not moving
In what way can you show up for that piece of your life
today? What single step can you take toward having the
life you really want?
Life is not a risk free undertaking. Sometimes it’s scary;
sometimes it feels overwhelming; sometimes it doesn’t
look like we think it’s supposed to; sometimes we feel like
we can’t do it. Nike says, “Just Do It.” I say, “Just show up
and put one foot in front of the other.” You’ll find that
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just
show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.
You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
Tell the truth.
Don’t be attached to the results.
Show up, put one foot in front of the other,
and extraordinary things can happen.
To The Summit
THE LAZARUS CHILD by Robert Mawson
This is not a book on the topic of Just Show Up. It is
a book I happened to read in this past week, and was so
profoundly touched by it that I am drawn to recommend
it. It is an unforgettable novel of family love in the face of
tragedy; of the courage of self-sacrifice; of the unknown
mysteries of our unconscious.
A family’s life is changed forever when their
daughter falls into a coma after an accident. The family,
their marriage already in trouble, seeks the help of a
controversial neurologist who has dedicated her life to
coaxing children back from the darkness.
That is the essence of the plot but the strength of
the book lies in its ability to touch people in a way that is
profound. This book has changed the way I look at life. I
found it quite extraordinary in a most unexpected way.
Give yourself the gift of showing up this week.
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Copyright © 2000, all rights reserved, by Margo Chisholm
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“At every moment of our life we have an
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Henri J. M. Nouwen
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
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