Sometimes All You Have to Do is Show Up

Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT

Certified Life Strategies & Stress Management Coach/Career Coach to Teachers Experiencing Job Burnout

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I won a speech contest this weekend. I was a contestant in my area contest withToastmasters International. Specifically, I won First Place in the International Speech Contest, and I brought home a lovely trophy for winning first place.

Want to know the secret to my success? I showed up. I was, in fact, the onlyperson who showed up in my category. The person who was supposed to have been my competition never appeared.

I still had to offer my speech and make sure that I met the time requirement. I did. Afterward, people congratulated me on doing a good job. A couple of people tried to tell me that I probably would have won even if I had had competition. But we will never know that, will we?

In spite of coming home with the trophy, my victory felt a little hollow, frankly. When you win by default, there isn’t much of which to be particularly proud, is there?

At least, that is how I felt until I realized that winning by “showing up” may be just as important as winning as the result of other efforts. If Woody Allen is right, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

Brene Brown says, “Sometimes the bravest and the most important thing you can do is just show up.” I admit, I hadn’t thought much about the importance of just “showing up,” before this weekend, but now that I have given it some thought, I think maybe “showing up” hasn’t been getting the respect it deserves.

More broadly, I invite you to consider…do you "show up" on a regular basis? If not, why not? I might have lost my contest yesterday if I had had competition. I will never know if I won because I had the better speech than my no-show opponent. At the end of the day, I now realize, it doesn’t really matter. I won because I showed up.

Brene Brown is also known for saying, "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

I don't know why my competitor didn't show up yesterday. I hope it isn't because there was some sort of family emergency, and I hope no one was sick. I also hope it isn't because they got scared and didn't show out of fear of competing.

Regardless of the reason for their not showing up, I know that my "secret to success" yesterday was in just showing up. I invite you to consider: Where you are showing up--or not--in your own life?

Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT is a Career Transition Coach with CareerHMO.Contact her at Kitty is a member of Toastmasters International. Specifically, she is President of Step to Success Toastmasters, Vice President of Membership for St. Michael Toastmasters, and a member of the Advanced Richmond Toastmasters, all in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to working with CareerHMO as an Independent Coach Consultant, Kitty is CEO of Boitnott Coaching, LLC. She is a Certified Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach. She is also the author of the soon-to-be-published e-book, Stressed, Stretched, and Just Plain Overwhelmed: A Guide to Managing Your Stress and Developing a Greater Sense of Work-Life Balance.

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If you or a friend or family member is looking for a job because they are out of work, between jobs, or underemployed, contact me for information about the “disruptive job search” methodology that is taught at CareerHMO, the “cure for chronic career pain.” I am now working as a career coach with CareerHMO and am looking for people who could benefit from the program and the fantastic resources that are available through CareerHMO and its sister site, Careerealism.




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Kitty Boitnott
Boitnott Coaching, LLC

Glen Allen VA 23060
United States of America