Once, I was watching the American TV show- The Real when a co-host mentioned that showing up was 70% of winning or something along those lines. This made no sense to me. How can showing up be half the battle? In my then myopic view, I thought ‘how can I show up to a competition and have won half the battle?’ Surely, if I did not prepare, then I will not win.
It is not until recently that I gained a better understanding of what she meant. Showing up is half the battle in a competition. To show up means that you have taken the brave step to put yourself forward and deal with the consequences, no matter what it is. To enter a competition and show up on the day means that I have fought my mind which tells me that there is a possibility of failing. Sometimes, fighting the dreadful picture of failing in front of a crowd! Despite this voice in my head, taking the step to be present is putting myself forward for the consequences and hopefully, this includes winning. If I am not there, I cannot win. I remember attending a Law Society event for law students and there was a raffle drawn for a week of work experience at a top city firm. Three names were drawn to win this but neither of them was present. Now, I do not know the reasons for their non-attendance. However, not being present meant that they missed the opportunity which had the potential to change their lives. Don’t be those students!
I know it can be terrifying and sometimes, I think the event is of no use to me. In my young years, I have had a few experiences where showing up paid off significantly. One incident that comes to mind is when I was searching for work experience. This was something that I struggled with and I thought I was doing what I ought to be doing. In retrospect, I was not doing everything that I could potentially do. I was not being there-physically present. I was in my final year by the time I thought I would go to the Careers Fair. Although it seemed like I was going to find out information that I could easily find online, I went anyway. I went with a friend. I remember looking at the Law firms, firms with legal departments and walking up to them to talk. Some of them, I knew nothing of. So how did showing up pay off? I went over to our City Council representatives who had a stand and I remember just asking about legal internships. I was told about opportunities that I could not seem to find online. Later on in the year, I completed an internship within the Council. So yes, showing up did provide me with additional knowledge to help find answer to my problem which was a search for internship. So show up, ask questions and let them know that you have arrived but don’t go overboard!
The final instance that I will talk about is an interesting one. I believe that sometimes opportunities will come to you. Life however has a good mix of opportunities coming to you and you going after opportunities. It is perfect when these opportunities come and you are ready to grasp it with both hands. Last year, I attended another Law Society event which was not aimed at me but LPC and GDL students. It was a fantastic insight and some of the things I learnt from the event- I still take with me. The peculiar thing was that an accountant who delivered a session mentioned at the end, an opportunity to apply for the leadership programme that the deadline had been extended. Hearing this, I spoke to him briefly afterwards and applied not long after. Fortunately, I was selected for the programme and had the opportunity to receive a training session on conflict management at Allen & Overy. This to me is another classic example of the power of showing up.
There are many other examples that I can describe. Showing up is you winning the battle of self-doubt and failure. Showing up is also just showing commitment and that you are ready to grasp opportunities thrown at you. So keep going to those events, even though you are tired and all you want is some dinner and sleep. You never know, you might be given an exclusive opportunity or just gain something new. After all, in the words of my father ‘no knowledge gained is ever a waste’.