3 Lessons About The Importance of Showing Up
My husband and I recently took up tennis.
When we signed up for the summer session, we knew we’d have to miss half the lessons due to already planned travel and commitments we were super excited about.
But we decided to go for it anyway since we were looking forward to spending time together in this new way!
When we started the lessons, I was pretty bad.
Ok, not horrible. I could hit the ball, but with no real technique or consistency. While it was frustrating, I was excited about the new mental and physical challenge, so I didn’t let the fact that I was a beginner detour me.
I also didn’t let the fact that I was only going to be at half the lessons make me feel bad. Yes, everyone would probably progress faster than I would. And yes, I might feel behind.
But, here’s what was amazing to me.
Even with showing up half the time, I made HUGE improvements by the end of the summer. (As confirmed by my teacher!) When I WAS there, I was fully there. Fully present. My hitting got better, my serving got stronger and the best part was that I was feeling more confident and super proud of myself!
I want to share the 3 “tennis” lessons that I “love” from this experience? (See what I did there?)
Tennis Lesson #1: Showing up 50% of the time, still leads to progress.
50% is more than 0%. Even 5% is more than 0. Feel me?
How often do we fall into black and white or all or nothing thinking? We believe doing something isn’t worth it unless we can give all of ourselves. But sometimes, you’re not in a season of life where you can give all of yourself to something. Does that mean you shouldn’t do it at all?
Take running a business. I see so many solo entrepreneurs, some who have small children that just aren’t in a position to put the pedal to the metal in their business because one of their major resources (time), is devoted to taking care of a small human. For now. Does that mean it will be that way forever? Does that mean they should throw in the towel?
Limitations on current resources (like time, money or energy) shouldn’t make you feel like you can’t do anything.
Figure out what small steps you can take, then watch yourself progress.
Tennis Lesson #2: Be there
For whatever time or energy you are able to devote to something, be there fully. While I was on the tennis court, my phone was away, I was listening to my teacher and I was working hard. The time I wasn’t there and I was traveling, I was fully doing that. Being present in your life is the best way to make progress on anything.
Tennis Lesson #3: Play Your Own Match
I’m obsessed with Serena Williams. (What a joy to watch her play this past week!) But clearly, I’m not looking to play at the US Open anytime soon. That’s not my goal, so comparing myself to her would be silly. But then why should I compare myself to anyone else really? My guess is that every single one of us in that class had different “goals”, wants and needs we were hoping to get out of the class.
Know why you are doing something. That ‘why’ is sacred to you and only you. Once you know it, there is no need to compare yourself to anyone else. You go at your own pace. Your pace is perfect for you. Sometimes we go fast, sometimes we go slow. But in the end, HOW we do something is far more important than how MUCH we do something. See Tennis Lesson #2.
It turns out, I enjoyed myself so much, I’m going back for lessons this fall. And I likely will still miss some classes. But, I’m determined to improve, one stroke at a time.
And, if you need a little push in the showing up department, might I suggest checking out Soul Stroll: I Show Up which is inside The Movement.
Here are the mantras:
I choose to show up
I stay the course
I’m always connected
To infinite source
I am here to help
I give my very best
What I seek is seeking me
I focus on my progress
There is nothing to fix
Everything is perfect
Life is working with me
I choose to accept it
Here’s to showing up and doing your best!