We know that long-term success requires showing up, day in and day out. What we often don’t think about is that there are two kinds of showing up. Let’s call them Level 1 showing up and Level 2 showing up.
Level 1 showing up is showing up, going through the motions, and tracking your time in. We show up in this way when we attend classes and do the homework the way it’s prescribed. We show up this way when we sit in our offices and wait for something to react to or to motivate us. We show up this way when we hear the people around us and do what we need to to keep the peace.
Level 2 showing up is different in kind. When we show up this way, we understand that the prescribed homework is a springboard to new applications and understanding. When we show up this way, we show up to our offices ready to make something happen whether the winds are favorable or whether we’ll be rowing. When we show up this way, we listen for what’s really going on with others and move beyond keeping the peace.
It’s frightening how much of our lives we can coast by showing up in a Level 1 way. What’s even more disturbing is that we know at a gut level that we’re showing up that way and we have a love/hate relationship with the people who show up in a Level 2 way.
It’s more comforting for us to call those who are having a lot of success lucky, fortunate, or gifted rather than pointing out their tenacity, hard work, or risk-taking. We could cultivate those traits, but it’d require putting some skin in the game. It’d require failing, letting good enough be good enough, or having no clue as to what the hell we’re doing but doing it anyway. Not to mention spending most of our days being uncomfortable in some way or the other.
We’re each capable of showing up in a Level 2 way, in both big and small ways.
Lori Jordan showed up in a Level 2 way when she quit her nice gig to start Red Staple.
Seth Godin showed up in a Level 2 way by starting the Domino Project rather than waiting on the traditional publishing industry to figure out a better option for getting great ideas out to the public.
Kyle Durand showed up in a Level 2 way when he got fed up with the cumbersome document-signing process and started developing Our Deal.
Barbara Stafford showed up in a Level 2 way when she saw that she started helping people by providing a soup-to-nuts service instead of just doing their copywriting.
Jo VanEvery showed up in a Level 2 by taking career coaching to academics, an audience who has historically been skeptical about coaching but who desperately need it.
Chris Guillebeau showed up in a Level 2 way by doing the World Domination Summit despite having zero experience at pulling something like that off.
Andre Blackman showed up in a Level 2 way by creating a job board for public health change agents and organizations.
Mark Silver showed up in a Level 2 way by starting Heart of Business and having the audacity to put spiritual teachings at the forefront of the business guidance he gives.
Every member of Team PF got selected because they show up in a Level 2 way and make things happen.
It’s unfortunate that “showing up” covers both types of showing up because they’re totally different attitudes and behaviors. It’s unfortunate because, at the same time I want to encourage you to stop showing up (in a Level 1 way), I want to encourage you to show up (in a Level 2 way).
Luckily, you don’t need coaching on this one. You know where you’re showing up (in a Level 1 way) and where you could show up (in a Level 2 way). You have it within you to show up in a different way. Will you?
p.s. Remember, every moment is a chance to practice.