Showing Up: Part I

This is the first of a two-part post that highlights the two ways we Show Up for life and in our work. Are you listening? Good. The first one up is:

#1. Prepared Spontaneity

What does Prepared Spontaneity mean? To take responsibility for the things you can control and let go of the result. It is a yin-yang interplay between being in control & detaching from the result. Hang on to that last part, we’re going to come back to it in a second.

Preparation is something we can control. We can prepare for an interview, prepare for a session with a client, a presentation, or a meeting with a business contact. We can prepare dinner. We can prepare for a speech or an important conversation with a colleague. We can even prepare or set an intention for how we show up for work every day. We can all agree that when you show up prepared to any situation, you are more confident, clear, less stressed and more in control. The likelihood of success is far greater when you prepare.

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The second part is equally, if not more important: let go of the result. This is hard for us to do because we crave predictability and certainty, which contributes to our desire to control everything. Through spontaneity, we learn to let go of the result, the outcome, and even our expectations. Spontaneity allows us to unblock from linear 1+1=2 calculations, presumptions of what-happened-in-the-past-must-happen-in-the-future-thinking. We allow chance to take it’s course and let the chips fall where they are intended to. We give up our control of the outcome and learn to trust that whatever happens is for the best.

What we can control:

  • Our reaction to a particular outcome
  • Our actions or behavior
  • Our thoughts or attitudes
  • Our emotions
  • Our beliefs
  • Our decisions
  • Our approach to work & life
  • Preparation time i.e. a few hours, a lifetime

What we can’t control:

  • The outcome of a situation
  • What other people think and do

The paradox of control is the more we let go, is the more control we have. In short, Prepared Spontaneity is to go with the flow in an active way. We give 100% of ourselves to planning and preparing and then we let go.

Keep me posted on how it goes…

Stay tuned for Part II, where I discuss the other side of how we show up for life and work.