The Show Must Go On

Several days ago, I had to do something I wasn’t sure I had the energy to do.

Speaking with a friend beforehand, I gave vent to some of the fear and frustration: Could I do it? How would it go? If it mattered to me to give people what they came for, how could I possibly go on stage when I felt I had so little to give?

My friend generously predicted that I would not only be fine, but that I’d find my groove through the simple act of showing up. “I bet you’ll have a harder time coming back down than going up,” she observed with a smile.

Sure enough, she was right. The show went on, not because I felt ready, but because it was showtime. And, afterward, I found I was able to turn back to my work for several hours with the energy I’d been seeking all day.

It’s really scary to put on the show when you’re not feeling an ounce of show biz in you. But if you don’t give yourself the option to back down and merely inhabit the role instead, you may find a depth of commitment and contribution you didn’t expect.