Showing Up in Uncertainty

I remember a Harvard Business School professor of mine sharing a story with us one day before class started. “It matters that you show up.” He said. His friend had lost a loved one. My professor went to the house, not really believing that he should be there. In spite of his reservations, he simply showed up. His presence proved to be deeply meaningful to his friend and the family.

This action – showing up – is a great illustration of what is required in this moment of uncertainty and social unrest. You. Can you be you in all your splendor and incompleteness?  Are you showing up?

 

Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

My professor’s story popped into my mind last night as I was hosting Dishing on Disruption, a weekly interactive ‘transition-inspired’ online event. A participant shared that she was hesitant in this moment, not knowing what to say to friends who inhabited different racial and ethnic spheres than the one she occupied.

Are you ever hesitant to be you?

Transition says a lot about this. It is a process that asks us to show up. To engage more and more of who we are in what we choose to do. While that sounds simple on the page, it is challenging to execute.

Here’s why: When we enter adulthood, we rely on external influences to set our definitions and expectations for who we are.  Our families, our communities, our religious affiliations, the schools we attend, our occupation, and so much more coalesce to form these external influences.  Together they erect a wall between you and their expectations and definitions for you.

Transition invites us to disassemble that wall piece-by-piece.  It is a process. A woman whom I interviewed recently for my 2nd book described the process as, “chaotic, lonely, surprising and adventurous.”  She went on to describe how transition expressed itself for her,  “It gave me the ability to see myself. Prior to this all happening, the me I saw was other people’s perception of me. What I got to see in all of this was a very different me. It helped me ask the tough questions; ‘What do I want to do? What do I want to be?’ and really listen to my answer for the first time in my life.”

Once upon a time, showing up meant getting out of the car at work and heading through the front door into the office. The mechanics of our days have changed, but our need to show up remains unchallenged.

Are you ready to show up?

My work on transition has given me a steadfast belief: if we are to emerge better from this moment as individuals and as a nation, we all need to show up.

It isn’t easy to show up in this fashion but it is enormously valuable to do so. When I first realized that I needed to show up in a different way, I was overwhelmed by a hard truth. It had been so long since I asked myself a question about what it might mean for me to show up, the answer was not obvious. It took perseverance and possibility to guide me forward as I looked for an answer. The search has turned into a journey of a lifetime; one that expands who I am to include an author, advocate, and advisor who is staunchly rooted in social justice issues.  The journey continues to unfold and to give me great gifts. The greatest one, perhaps, is my connection to myself which in turn allows me to connect with you.

I wish for you the courage to ask yourself questions about how you show up. I also hope that you carry something special in your heart. You see, I firmly believe that the answer to our unrest and to ensuring a brilliant future for Black Americans is present with us now.

All you have to do is show up.

Linda R.  (linda@WomenAndTransition.com)

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If you have another moment, check out my new website here. It offers a one-stop shop for resources on transition for you, your family members or friends who are in or considering transition. Let me know what you think!

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Copyright © 2020 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com. All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.

 

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