One of the hardest parts about friendship seems to be simply showing up for it. That sounds silly, but I've been engaged in this subject long enough to know that showing up truly seems to be the defining issue between those who have a circle of friends and those who don't.
It's the difference between Intention and Action. Desire and Doing. Hope and Reality. The little thing that differentiates between your heart whispering that you're lonely and your soul feeling fed and connected.
The Importance of Showing Up
It's much easier to sit on the couch wishing I was in better shape than to show up at the gym to make it a reality.
It's much easier to say I want a better job than to take the risks necessary to pursue that career fulfillment.
And, it's much easier to say I want friends than it is to meet strangers who have the potential to become those confidantes.
We simply want the results: the lean body, the dream job and the circle of friends without being willing to keep showing up along the journey.
Sometimes we muster up our courage and buy new running shoes, update our resume and sign up for a women's friendship matching site. Which is a great first step. But it's not showing up for the dream.
Showing up means to be present. To commit. To be on time. To RSVP. To walk in the door to meet a group of potential friends. To risk feeling silly. To be tired and do it anyway. To want the end result enough that it's worth the present energy expenditure. To follow up because it's important to you. To schedule another get-together to build familiarity. To not only show once and expect to see results. To show up again.
Showing Up Doesn't Guarantee Immediate Results
Yes, getting on the treadmill is tiring and defeating when your body doesn't seem to change. Yes, sending out that resume is discouraging when you don't hear back. Yes, a ConnectingCircle is scary to RSVP for since you don't know who else will be there and chances are high that you won't leave with a new best friend.
You have to show up again. You have to go to the gym 3 times this week. And you have to send out hordes of resumes before you get a call back. And you have to meet several women at least 3-5 times before you'll feel the bond of familiarity.
And sometimes you'll go to the gym faithfully for a month and not see the scale move. And sometimes you'll look for a job for months and not see doors open. And sometimes you'll attend a ConnectingCircle where you didn't like anyone you met.
But that doesn't mean it was in vain. Your showing up is moving you closer. When it's easy to give up-- you have to keep showing up. Our bodies do get healthier, our jobs do change and we do build friendships. All require you to show up though.
Our Showing Up in GirlFriendCircles.com
It's intriguing to me how many women sign up and pay to participate in GirlFriendCircles but then seemingly never attend a ConnectingCircle. Fortunately, the vast majority do. And of those who do, nearly 90% of those who have attended at least 3 ConnectingCircles have reported that they are now following up with at least two potential friends. Three nights of your life-- meeting somewhere between 6-12 women-- and they now feel that they have 2 friends. Those are some good odds! Way better than the lottery or romance!
- But you have to show up. Which first starts with RSVP'ing for a ConnectingCircle in your area. Even if it's ten miles away. Even if no one else has signed up yet. Even if you're nervous.
- And then you have actually show up. Follow through on your RSVP. Feel the hesitation in the parking lot and still walk in the front door.
- Then you have to show up with specific women after meeting them. Writing them a follow up email. Deciding to all RSVP for another ConnectingCircle again. Scheduling a brunch.
- And you keep showing up. That's how it works. :)
Showing Up or Saving the World
In January we implemented a Show Up or Save the World campaign where we decided we'd make donations every time we didn't show up when we said we would. And I'm pleased to announce that it reduced our no-shows and cancellations.
The cool thing is that even if you didn't show up-- no matter the reason-- you contributed to our non-profit pot. Thank you! Thank you for not whining, but engaging & giving! For letting the small $3-$5 donations inspire you and help us do something together. Thank you!
To that end, because in three months so few of you didn't show or cancel, I'm going to match the amount raised to give double our amount. GirlFriendCircle members contributed $183 in our first quarter. CARE, our chosen non-profit for this quarter, can train a teacher to provide hundreds of girls with an education for $170. You bought one. I'll buy another, on your behalf. :)
That amount won't teach the whole world, but it leans us into what's important to us. And we'll show up again this way. We know that one donation doesn't make all the difference. But we do believe that showing up each quarter with a check to a different non-profit will slowly change us to be more generous and will compound the results on the other end. We showed up. And we'll do it again next quarter.
I want to show up where my company gives back.
You want to show up for friendship.
Let's show up!
I welcome all suggestions for your favorite non-profits that give to women. I'll be picking the next one soon! And, I hope I wasn't too hard on you in this post...I know it's easier said than done! Courage!