It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. — Theodore Roosevelt
The next couple of months I want you to commit to showing up and being seen. It will take courage but you have to do it every day. It won’t get easier but you will get tougher.
Show up every day because creation awaits your manifestation. Show up because you have so much within you to share. Show up because you are enough. Show up because people less skilled than you are doing it without complaints.
Practice showing up despite your emotions. No one ever created anything significant acting solely on their feelings. Don’t wait to get in the mood. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Inspiration comes when you show up. Consistency will help you build confidence and courage.
Take it one day at a time. Move. Walk. Crawl even but show up every day. You deserve to do amazing stuff. You deserve to do great work. It’s always a good day to add to your knowledge. It’s always a good day to show someone kindness. It’s always a good day to hone your skill. It’s always a good day to create magic. Show up.
Put yourself out there. It’s not as scary as you think it is. Do it for you. Think about your mortality and use the time you have here to do all the things you want to do. Show up with the fears, the nerves and the uncertainty. You will be glad you did. Life will reward your diligence.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.” — Matthew 25:14–30
This story is a familiar one popularly known as the parable of the talent. The first two servants in the story decided to show up each day to work on their gifts. As time went on they recorded an increase. The last servant decided to brood in fear and do nothing. Over time, his gift refused to multiply and he lost it when the master returned because he refused to show up daily to put in the work.
At the end of it all when you’re giving an account of your life, may you not be like the last servant in the parable of the talent who failed to show up because of fear. May your excuse not be that you feared the critics, didn’t think you were qualified or was waiting to be inspired. Until you die, show up every day without fail.
Originally published at Dzifa Mensah.