Today we are talking about surrendering. Surrendering encompasses an expansive number of angle and what I am going to focus on for now is surrendering when it comes to the goals we set and our expectations for achieving.
What Does it Mean to Surrender?
The word surrender has as many variances as there are people on this planet – it means something slightly different to everyone.
Highly successful people however tend to use the notion of surrendering in a similar manner and the way we use surrendering allows us to line up with our desires and make progress in a lighter, relaxed state of action. Surrendering is also a process, it’s a shift in the way we perceive our challenges, our goals and ourselves.
Unsuccessful people tend to think of surrendering as giving in or quitting while the average person interprets surrendering as the ability to let go.
If you are new to Decisive. Empowered. Resilient. I want you to take a minute and go read these two posts that correlate with letting go and surrendering – as they will give a solid base for what we are covering here. Read Letting Go and Are You Resisting Success?
It’s really important that you can recognize how you’ve been defining surrendering until now and to also understand that there are different approaches to surrendering that might benefit you in a better light.
First Things First
Those who are successful have already done a few things first – which sets them apart and ahead. First, they have a solid groundwork from which to build their goals on. They know who they are, what they stand for, where they are heading, what their strengths are and they’ve been practicing being disciplined and diligent in their efforts on smaller goals.
So, if you haven’t worked on those steps – add them to your goals for the coming year. We have to start with building a strong foundation, if we try to skip this step and manage to somehow reach a goal or two – at some point that weak foundation will crumble, you will tumble and lose those results you so badly wanted.
Are You Aligned?
Something else that redefines surrendering for highly successful people is that they are aligned with their life purpose. They’ve taken time to figure out what they are passionate about and good at, and also figured out how to line up the goals they have with one or both of those factors.
What this does is create an internal fuel of energy, focus and motivation for their endeavors. It also means they are approaching their goals and applying effort from a state of joy, peace, ease, curiosity and enthusiasm for what they are striving after.
This ‘state of being’ when it comes to our goals makes a huge difference! All effort applied while it may actually include sheer hard work and effort – it is also infused with enjoyment of the process and is back by the fact they want to learn more about what they are doing and they want to get better at it.
So, when you have done the above: you’ve created the strong foundation to build on, you’ve lined up your goals with your purpose and/or passions in life, and you’ve matured to the point of enjoying the process for achieving and growing – the next step is surrendering.
Even successful people and experts face roadblocks and periods of frustration and not know what else to try or what steps to take next. The difference in how you define surrendering now comes into play.
The moment an unsuccessful person hits a roadblock they give up and make excuses. The average person will make it past a couple roadblocks, but because they have not laid the framework properly before setting out to achieve a goal, and they haven’t lined up their goals to create that inner fuel line or practiced long enough to develop wisdom and maturity – they too end up quitting – often just short of achieving their goal.
What happens though when a successful individual reaches these critical moments is the art of surrendering. Yes, it is an art.
The Art of Surrendering
If you read the linked article above on resisting success, you gained two tools and methods for handling some of life’s challenges. Successful persons will implement the tools they have for handling challenges and in addition when they reach the point of not knowing what else to try – they seek out mentors and masters to ask for help. They ask for help. They don’t ask for someone to do it for them – for that would deny them the chance to learn and become stronger and more experienced. Instead they ask a mentor to shine a light on the link they are missing or for a higher, better approach to try.
*Notice nowhere in there is the idea of ever quitting.
THEN highly successful people let go. They don’t let go of the goal. They don’t let go of the potential to learn, grow and change. Nor do they let go of the belief that they can do it.
What they do let go of is their grip on that reaching this said goal must be done in this manner or that way. They let go of the deadline and adjust it to allow themselves the time needed to learn, grow and apply (practice) what they are learning.
Surrendering at a Higher Level:
Let’s dive into surrendering at a higher level some more. Surrendering now means –
Humbleness – The realization you have more to learn and apply than originally thought. This doesn’t make you weak or a failure – it simply means you didn’t understand the whole picture when you started out.
Eagerness – Because surrendering often comes with needing to learn more and there is still a desire to achieve your goal in a slightly extended time frame – there is now an eagerness to discover what it is you don’t know that you do need. You become braver, and will begin reaching out to those more experienced who can give you insight.
Appreciation – You know you’ve made it this far and you also know you are totally capable of achieving this goal. Your awareness for your strength, resolve and willingness to press forward increases. You become appreciative of your life, your past experiences (both good and bad), and for those who have been part of your journey.
Gratitude – As your appreciation rises to a higher level, so does your sincere gratitude for God’s blessings in your life. From your mental, emotional and physical strength, for all the trials that have built you into the person you now are. You are grateful for this challenge before you, knowing it will only add to the strength and resolve you will need later on in life while pursuing something even bigger.
*Note here the difference between the successful approach and the unsuccessful approach. Instead of being humble, eager, appreciative and filled with gratitude – the unsuccessful person is filled with pride (unable to admit weakness or not having the answers), despair, resentment towards those who are successfully figuring it out, and are usually carrying the attitudes of entitlement and anger. Unsuccessful people will demand short cuts, free awards for no effort and then blame outwards when they fall short.
Stronger Faith and Desire – When we rise to a higher approach in life, we let go of all desire to just quit and lose hope. Instead we begin to experience greater faith and desire. As those states listed above arise, we realize how capable and strong we really are and these moments of recognition only deepen our faith and desire to reach our goals. Our faith builds as we get closer and closer to it and the desire for expanding beyond this current goal for bigger dreams is planted.
Increased Worth and Belief – We realize that even though at this moment we are feeling challenged and a little disappointed that the path to our current goal isn’t going quite as well as hoped, we know we will indeed reach it. As those seeds of crazier and more ambitious goals are planted we realize we really are worthy of achieving whatever we set out for in life. The belief that we can reach them builds every day.
As our self-worth and belief strengthens, we experience moments in this goal, the one we are digging our heels in, in which we chuckle at ourselves. Shoot, if we can get this far and also believe that we can go after dreams bigger than this one, then surely, we are able to handle the challenges we are facing in this goal.
Letting Go – This concept of letting go shifts into a higher meaning as well. We let go of the very negative emotions that others drown in. We let go of needing to know all the answers, of having to be perfect, of needing to be strong and capable every step of the way. We transform those emotional states we first felt (the ones that everyone else caves under – anger, frustration, despair, lack of hope and belief, pride, fear) into sources of personal power. We let go of the need to feel those things and instead see ourselves for exactly where we are at in the process – temporarily stuck.
Flexibility and Willingness – As we let go, not of the goal but of that stuck mentality, we welcome flexibility coupled with willingness. We realize we have to let go of that grip and become flexible in our approach, even retreating for a bit to figure out if we missed a lesson a mile back. In our humbleness, we become willing to embrace whatever this moment and this goal requires of us and has in store for us to experience. We lose all fear, in looking at our reflection in the mirror and in looking outwards – at what is staring us in the face.
Peace, Ease and Serenity – In that empty vacuum of space that is created when we calm ourselves from negative emotional states comes the trifecta that tends to miraculously moves us forward, dissolving the very thing that had us tripped up. We find ourselves in a state of peace and serenity, instead of fighting and resisting our challenges, we just stand still.
Sometimes things need to line up and we just need patience. Sometimes we are trying to force things to happen with our goals that are not meant to be part of our path for obtaining it. Sometimes we cause chaos because we don’t know how to be calm and quiet ourselves down.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to just achieve everything with such ease and grace? This is exactly what we are talking about here. They’ve risen up in their approach to life and reaching their goals. They get up each day and do what they love (again here is that aligning goals up with your passions and purpose – it creates pure joy and ease when you do what you love). Everything seems to line up quickly, and everyone seems to want to help them reach their goal.
All they’ve done is mastered the art of surrendering. They’ve worked through and embraced what having a higher approach involves: humbleness, eagerness, appreciation and gratitude, improved self-worth and belief, faith and desire, the ability to let go, becoming flexible and willing. Most importantly, they decide to utilize their highest efforts and this can only occur by being in a state of peace and serenity. Compile the art of surrendering together and you get ease, both in spirit and in pursuing your goals.
For the Seasoned Achiever:
If you are one who is able to set and achieve smaller goals fairly consistently, you likely find yourself pursuing multiple goals each season. That is, you can plan ahead, sometimes years in advance what goals you want to take on and when. You’ve developed the ability to think long term, to create and put together various puzzle pieces of your life in ways that will benefit you the most. You’ve mastered your time, energy and ability to focus.
This approach works really well when you figure it out. Until an unexpected life event occurs or you hit burnout. That lineup of goals you had comes to a screeching halt and you panic, dig deep and apply yourself even harder thinking you can catch up and get the wheels of your grandfather clock working again. Then it seems like the hardships and challenges are flying in faster than you can blink. (FYI forcing things creates resistance – we want to approach it all in a peaceful state of ease – patient diligent effort.)
Does this sound familiar?
Often the screeching halt to our efforts and goals isn’t even our doing, it’s usually when those in our life have an emergency or life event that directly impacts us and our time and energy. Or maybe you just tried taking on too much and your health retaliated or you had a moment of awakening and realized these goals you are working on have nothing to do with who you want to be down the road.
It’s okay. Seriously. If you are reading this far it is likely you are the Type A achiever and allowing yourself to embrace a season in your life that is not Type A productive could be one of the hardest challenges you will ever face. Not feeling like you are in control or productive can be a deep, personal sucker punch.
Focus on breathing, relaxing and walk yourself through the steps above on higher surrendering.
One of the most blissful moments in life happens we can let go temporarily of our expectations for others, for our future and simply learn to be in the moment maintaining a state of poise and grace regardless of what is going on. Try to keep perspective. This ability may be the very skill your big lineup of goals and dreams requires you to develop now – before you get any farther into them!
I hope you have found the insight here to be helpful! I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or drop me a message.
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