In this age of endless scrolling, swiping, and ghosting, showing up for others may seem like too much work. After all, when we make a commitment, there’s a chance we’ll miss out on something even better. But this obsession with FOMO (fear of missing out) traps us in a cycle of restlessness and indecision. And we end up missing out on much more: intimacy, deeper connections, presence.
Learn why showing up for others is one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves (and others), and how to start doing it, even when we’re hesitant.
The Power of Commitment
According to Pete Davis, a Harvard Law graduate and author of Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing, purposeful commitment gives our lives purpose, community, and depth, but we are too often caught in “Infinite Browsing Mode,” overly concerned with keeping our options option. But we can all learn to become “long-haul heroes,” to courageously commit ourselves to places, professions, and causes, relinquishing false freedoms of an open future in exchange for the deep fulfillment of true dedication. It starts with knowing what we want and deciding to make a choice.
First Step: Decide What You Want
Sometimes, we fail to commit because we can’t figure out what we want. We have not established a vision aligned with our values. We look to other people to guide us to a meaningful life, but it’s up to us to define “meaningful.” This requires self-awareness and heart energy. What moves us? What matters? Give yourself time and space to reflect. Mindfulness meditation can help you settle into your body and find your answers. Only when you figure out what you want can you galvanise your will and direct your attention deliberately.
Second Step: Make a Choice
Commitment means making a decision despite the circumstances. Some people experience life as something that happens to them. They experience the “locus of control” externally. They may too easily see themselves as perpetual victims and never take the first step because they are too afraid to fail or be rejected. It’s up to other people to make things happen and reach out.
During the Hoffman Process, we teach participants that we cannot always control what happens, but we can control how we respond to what happens. We are not victims in the world; we are active participants. Taking a chance may not always go the way we want it to go, but it’s worth taking anyway. We can respond to unexpected results by shutting down and never trying again, or we can take it as a lesson and move forward. The choice is always ours.
Step Three: Remember to Show Up for Yourself
Humans are social creatures. Our ability to cooperate with others has allowed us to advance as a species. But cooperation takes commitment and the willingness to show up for ourselves first. According to Rachel Wilkerson Miller, the author of The Art of Showing Up: How to Be There for Yourself and Your People, showing up for yourself and showing up for others look like the same thing. She explains that “showing up is about bearing witness to what is happening and then responding accordingly.” Once you learn to do it for yourself, it’s easier to do it for others. Choosing to be present and giving something your full attention trains your brain to filter out distractions so that you can be more present in your life and your relationships.
How the Hoffman Process Can Help Us Show Up
Deciding to attend the Hoffman Process requires a level of commitment at the start. As the old Taoist belief goes, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” The Process helps people to identify where they unconsciously direct their attention, such as negative patterns and avoidance of shame. Helping you clear the inner conflict of thinking and feeling is the basis to redirecting your attention and aligning your life with your values. Indecision, procrastination, fear of failure, victimhood—these are just patterns keeping you from connecting to others and to yourself. Once you make the choice to let them go, the world opens up.
Find out more about what to expect at the Hoffman Process.
This article was contributed by Erica Garza. Follow @ericadgarza on Instagram.