Don’t Show the Work

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How many times have you heard those words? Maybe you haven’t, but as I grew up, I heard quite a few times from various people or movies, “don’t show the work.” It was maybe even something that I noticed from watching people transform before my eyes without giving any indication of how they were getting there.

We all have this idea that our lives should be presented flawlessly. No brushstrokes, no falling down, no failing in public. Keep every struggle inside. So we produce these magically fit bodies, beautifully smooth faces, wrinkles that just disappear, businesses that look like “overnight” successes.

When really, in the background, we are working, hustling, eating better, practicing, sweating, spending the money on beauty treatments. We are getting it wrong until we get it right. And then, when we finally achieve whatever success we are hoping to achieve, we finally show the world the finished product as if the effort didn’t exist.

Yes, that is magical. It makes us feel perfect and beautiful and unattainable and special. But it’s not realistic. When we do these things, how can we expect girls to want anything else but a magically perfect physique? An overly romanticized view of relationships? How do we promote any kind of growth mindset? And how can we expect people not to quit when things get tough?

They think, “she never had it hard, so I must not be cut out for being an artist (or insert profession here)”.

So today, on Instagram, I’m sharing a horrifying video of myself. I am red and sweaty and making an ugly face. My body is not what I want it to be. But this is the work I’m putting in every single day. I workout to make myself strong and healthy, I workout to feel good and kick of the productivity of my day to get the blood circulating through my brain, to encourage myself to make better food choices throughout the day. This is the work I’m putting in to have the body and mind that I want. But it’s not the only work I put in. It’s just the start.

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