What ‘showing up’ really means

If you’re in the online business world, whether you run your own business or you have dreams of being your own boss one day, you have probably heard the term ‘showing up’ before.

It’s a term I hear a lot in podcasts, live videos, Instagram posts and it can feel a little intangible… like, what does it actually mean? So I wanted to use this blog post to explore the different interpretations of showing up and why it’s important.

Being brave and taking action when you’re scared

In business, there are many scary moments. From making the decision to work for yourself, to launching new services/products, there’s a lot of fear involved. Showing up here, I believe, means facing that fear, taking it by the hand and doing it anyway.

Taking action is such an important way for us to learn and grow. But its importance doesn’t make it any less terrifying! Being kind to yourself, acknowledging that it’ll be scary and then continuing to put one foot in front of the other is the epitome of showing up.

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Being visible and putting yourself out there

Another interpretation of showing up is pretty literal. Actually showing up online, showing your face, your voice, your personality to the world. For me this mostly takes place on Instagram (especially on stories).


Talking to camera, posting pictures, writing blogs, sending newsletters, promoting myself – all of this is my way of showing up.


This is important if you’re trying to grow a business or a following. Connecting with your audience in this way helps them get to know you better and you can build a relationship.

But of course, this comes with its own fears. Worrying what people think, comparing yourself to others, all that fun stuff. What I’ve found is that the more I do it, the easier it gets. Take a small step to gently push your comfort zone, rest, treat yourself with compassion and then take another small step.  

Being consistent

Tying all of this together is the consistency piece. Showing up can mean doing the work consistently, even when it’s hard and even when it’s scary. Being consistent with your presence online and being consistent with your message.

I feel the need to make a caveat here, because while I agree consistency is important – I don’t think we should use it as a stick to beat ourselves with. I don’t think we need to show up every single day. And I certainly don’t think we need to use consistency as an excuse to work ourselves into the ground when we need a rest.

Life happens – things get in the way of showing up. For me, it’s important to differentiate when it’s fear stopping me from showing up and when it’s something else entirely, like my health, circumstances, personal problems etc.

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If it’s fear, then it’s time to dig into that and see if you can move forward. If not, then maybe it’s time to show up for myself instead.


What it means to show up for ourselves

Here’s an interpretation of showing up that I think deserves more attention – the idea of showing up for ourselves. While it’s great for us to to want to grow our businesses and follow our dreams, if we’re constantly showing up for our businesses and not ourselves, we can burn out pretty quickly.

To me, showing up for ourselves means recognising that we are the heart and soul of our business. It means looking after ourselves, checking in with ourselves, noting our energy levels, understanding when we need to focus on us, not the business.

This could mean doing mindset work, it could mean working on your self-care, it could mean stepping away from a certain aspect of your business for a while. It looks at the wider picture, allowing you to be your own biggest cheerleader.

It encourages you to seek support when you need it, ask the hard questions and accept all of who you are.


Reading through this, it’s quite obvious now why ‘showing up’ feels intangible, it can mean so many different things for different people. I’d love to hear from you on this – do you struggle with the idea of showing up? 

And finally, if you are struggling with anything discussed here and are looking for support, take a look at my coaching page and see if working together might be right for you.

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Photography | Elle Narbrook


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What showing up really means in online business

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