Showing Up Doesn’t Guarantee Victory

Matthew R. Harris
Sep 15, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Simply showing up doesn’t mean you’ll win. It doesn’t mean the results you expect to occur will actually occur.

Every year 32 teams show up for the NFL season and only one of them walks away with the Lombardi Trophy.

That’s the cold reality. Showing up doesn’t guarantee you a victory in any pursuit. But, NOT showing up guarantees that you will lose. It guarantees that no progress will be made.

If I didn’t show up to my writing session today these words would never make it onto the page. It’s only because I decided to show up that these thoughts are being recorded.

So showing up won’t guarantee favorable results. But, do you think it’s possible to show up to the gym 5 days a week for a year and not lose weight?

Possible…..probably; Likely, hell no.

Showing up is simply a way to give yourself a chance to succeed.

Showing up consistently increases your chances of succeeding, exponentially.

When you continuously show up to the things that you don’t really feel like doing, you build momentum. Think of it this way:

Every workout, every writing session, every hour spent developing your skills in some area, every moment spent connecting the dots in some seemingly disparate areas of your life. All of this effort, continuously expended in a constant direction, helps move you closer to the vision you have glorified in your mind.

The reason people don’t show up in a lot of areas of their life is because it’s fricken’ hard sometimes.

We are, by nature, creatures of procrastination, constantly seeking comfort. If we perceive something as being uncomfortable, we will take whatever steps are necessary to avoid it, coming up with unbelievable reasons (read: excuses) to justify our behavior.

What we must remember is that it is these moments of discomfort where our true strength is developed.

So, what does “showing up” even mean? I answered this question in an old YouTube video from back-in-the-day (whatever that means).

To me, showing up means taking an objective look at your week before it begins and deciding what activities and habits are going to be the most relevant and profitable in relation to your long-term vision.

You have to look at the trajectory of your life, where you want it to be and continuously make modifications.

To me, showing up means doing the things that you know you *should* do, especially on the days that you don’t *feel* like it.

It’s the execution of uncomfortable daily habits that you know will produce results.

So showing up is really just overcoming the inertia of inaction.

It’s the beginning and continuous stages of building and mastering your habits. It’s a process that enables and encourages you to focus on the things you CAN CONTROL. I talk about this all the time. Showing up is the work required to make dreams a reality.

It’s not sexy. It’s not glamorous. It’s not even that fun to talk about.

It’s simply necessary.

People who succeed in life are the people who show up, the most.

Stephen King writes 3–4 bestselling novels every year because he shows up to write more than anybody else.

Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player in the world because he practiced harder and more often than anybody else.

Warren Buffet is the greatest investor in the world because he studies longer and harder than anybody else.

Don’t trick yourself into believing that anybody possesses skills that are beyond your own abilities.

Skills and mastery only come through repetition. They come by simply showing up as frequently and intensely as is humanly possible.

We all see the end results of so many great people, but very rarely do we see the climb. We glorify and praise them as “talented”, “gifted” and “special”.

Get that idea out of your head.

Nobody in the world has a monopoly on potential; you have just as much as anybody else.

Their success is simply a function of execution; they have showed up to work more than everybody else.

I know it took me 3 years of talking about writing a book before I actually showed up and got to work. It wasn’t until I showed up that anything happened!

It is a million times easier to brainstorm and talk about great ideas than it is to put them into reality.

Showing up to work is WAY HARDER because there will always be a reason for you to avoid the hard work necessary to make your vision a reality.

Today is a perfect example — I can think of a hundred reasons why I don’t really need to write today. Or why I don’t really need to workout tomorrow morning. Or why I don’t need to save $1000 this month for my long-term goals.

Showing up is the most difficult thing to do consistently, and it’s rarely, if ever, fun.

But, you have to ask yourself if what you want is REALLY that important? Is the life that you dream of every day REALLY worth the effort it’s going to take to get there?

Only you can answer that question for yourself.

Only you can decide in what areas you need to start showing up more often.

I can tell you all the areas of my life that are important to continue showing up, but I can’t give you an exact blueprint. That’s something you have to do for yourself.

So, like I talked about in the beginning of this post, showing up might not guarantee your success in any endeavor, but it will significantly increase the odds.

The bottom-line is that if you are relentless and keep showing up, day in and day out, failure really isn’t an option.


If you enjoyed this post, chances are you’ll enjoy the other work I’ve published on the Relentless Forward Momentum website. All 3 of my books are available for free (say whaaattt?!?!), plus you’ll get regular inspiration, motivation and strategy sent directly to your inbox. How could you possibly say no to all that?! :)

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment in mind, body, and soul.

Matthew R. Harris

Written by

Author of Relentless Forward Momentum | Fitness Fanatic | Washed-up NCAA Athlete⚾️ | Free-market Promoter | in love w/ @katyperry | #RFM

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment in mind, body, and soul.

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