show-up“Acknowledge your effort for showing up.” That is what a Bikram teacher used to say to us at the end of every class.   To this day, I still repeat this phrase to myself during class.   It reminds me to appreciate myself for simply making the class, regardless of how inflexible I was, or how imperfectly I was able to do the postures during that particular class.

It’s a simple concept, but we often forget it, especially if we are overachievers. We tend to judge our achievements by results and results alone, and not appreciate the efforts we took along the way sometimes. In a way, it’s counter-productive, as 95% of the achievement process is the journey to the goal, and achieving the goal is only 5% of the process. Yet for man of us, we are down on ourselves for the first 95%, since we still haven’t achieved the results, and only feel satisfied with the last 5%. 

Wouldn’t it be great to feel good about ourselves all of the time? Well, this sentence reminds me to do that. It takes effort to do anything new or difficult in a job search, on the job, or in life. It’s important to acknowledge yourself when you take that first step also and the second step, and not just that last step. We may not always succeed after the first step, or the eighth step. The fact you took 1 step or 8 steps in a new or difficult direction takes effort, guts, and openness to learning new things. That is to be appreciated in itself.

This phrase also helps me overcome my fears of trying new or challenging things.  I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more timid I become to try new things.  “What if I suck at it?” is my instinctive response.   Believe me, when I first started this blog a few years back, I often had these thoughts.  I still do sometimes as I write these articles.  However, I have learned to take the pressure off myself by looking at things with a different perspective – “I acknowledge myself for showing up” and writing these posts.  Whether one person reads it or 100K people read it is secondary.  I write because I love sharing my struggles and my learnings with the world.   It helps me grow, and if it helps anyone else, that is icing on the cake.

You can do the same.  Half of the battle in trying anything new or challenging is taking the first action.  So I urge you to take the first action, and to recognize that it’s such an accomplishment when you do so.  For example:

These are just some examples of challenging things that you may talk yourself out of doing — don’t talk yourself out of it! By “showing up” and appreciating your strength for doing so, you and I can make amazing things happen one step at a time in our work, our lives, and perhaps even the world!

Your comments: What mental concepts do you use to overcome your fears of trying new things?  Add your comments and questions below.  Let’s have a discussion!

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I am always in your corner

– Lei

2 Thoughts on “Acknowledge Your Effort for Showing Up

  1. This is a great post Lei. I love everything you said about it, especially when you said that it takes about 95% of the time to get to your goals and 5% to enjoy it even if you get there. So basically enjoy the process and acknowledge my efforts of getting there.

  2. What a great concept. I will try to remember that for today. For the week.

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