Action > Words
Two weeks ago, a friend of mine had a belated birthday party celebration. She was a mid-February birthday and waited to celebrate until Omicron had calmed. Her husband texted us a few days before. Tyler and I didn’t even have to talk about it; we were going to the birthday party.
Last week, we received a text from our Pastor asking if we could watch the babies in the nursery during church that weekend. Two of the volunteers who were initially signed up had to cancel. My Saturday would be spent babysitting my nephews while Tyler worked. Sunday was also a family day. There was little to no time to simply relax. The didn’t matter. We decided as soon as we read the text we’d be volunteering that weekend.
I have a group chat with my parents. Every so often, my Mom sends a text to my Dad about plans, forgetting I’m in the chat. Last week, I read a text from my Mom to my Dad trying to resolve a babysitting problem. There was a one-hour difference between when my parents would have to leave my nephews and when my brother would return home. I had no plans, so I jumped in.
Last Friday, a dear friend celebrated the opening night of the musical for which she’d spent months rehearsing. She’d invested late nights, weekends, and early morning hours into preparing for this show. We purchased our tickets weeks in advance and showed up ready to cheer as loud as we could.
So much of a relationship is built through showing up. Your values come through loud and clear when you actually show up, too. This is true for other people and for yourself. Showing up takes anything from a nice promise once made to the reliability of your word. Showing up is a building block of consistency.
As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve done work on my self-talk and mindset to replace an expectation of perfection with an expectation of consistency. Consistency yields results with respect for humanity whereas perfection yields results with a heaping pile of misery on the side. You don’t have to be perfect in the process, all you have to do is show up.
Each day you show up to lend a hand is another day invested in a relationship. Each day you show up to the gym to get a workout is a day invested in a healthy lifestyle. Each day you send the text, volunteer your time, read the pages, write the words, eat the vegetables, drink the water, meditate, connect… it’s all an investment in what really matters to you. Talk is cheap, showing up to take action makes the difference.
As I’m writing this blog, I’m writing a chapter on consistency in my book. This is a dream I’ve had for decades and, frankly, a dream I’ve been intimidated by for just as long. The process of writing a book is lengthy. Visualizing the day you can buy it at your local bookstore feels even further away. That feeling of enduring the pain and suffering for something that may or may not happen can be… well… it can deter the process from happening entirely.
Still, I know there is value in doing this work. Each morning I get up a little earlier to put 500-1000 words on the page gets me a little closer to that dream. Each time I get a note from one of you telling me you read my blog makes that dream feel even closer. The one thing I know for an absolute fact is it will never happen if I don’t show up to invest the time.
Be it a goal, relationship, habit, project, or vision, showing up to invest the time and energy is really all there is to step one. It’s the foundation. Build a strong foundation and the rest will be all the more possible.