Get Out of Your Own Way Tool #6: Surrender


This is the final installment in six-part series on how to get the heck out of your own way. At last. For real. And, I wish I could say’ for good,’ but honestly, you’ll have to go through some variation of these six steps again and again, but that’s actually a beautiful thing, because it means that you keep getting opportunities to toss some old baggage and shake things up.

If you’ve stuck with me these past six weeks, first of all, thank you! I hope you’ve uncovered some nuggets that are putting some new kind of fuel in your fire.

Last week I talked about the power of doing things differently. This week, I’m talking about the exact opposite—I’m talking about NOT doing things.

Specifically, I’m talking about surrendering. Letting go of the outcome. Suspending judgment. And accessing your trust muscles.

If you’re squirming in your seat a little as you think about doing the things I just listed, I get it. Most of the women I work with are great at the doing and the figuring out. You’re pretty smart, after all, and you can get crap-tons of things done. But at some point, you’ve got to make some space for the unexpected to swoop in.

I know what you’re probably thinking: How do you do that, exactly?

Here are a couple of ways

  • Don’t get attached to specifics. 

You’ve got to change your focus from the specific, tangible details (like, particular job title, or specific neighborhood if you’re house-hunting) to the broader, intangible qualities (like, what kind of contribution you’ll make or how what you’re working toward will make you feel).

When you can broaden your tunnel vision, you’ll be much more likely to run across an unexpected opportunity that fulfills your basic requirements better than you could have even hoped.

  • Be patient.

FACT: There is no such thing as ‘too late.’  (Click to Tweet!)

Byron Katie writes that there are only three kinds of business in the universe—yours, mine, and God’s. Timing is God’s business. So let Life, the universe, the man upstairs, whatever you call the force greater than you, work out when something will go down. In the meantime, you keep yourself focused on doing the things you know bring you closer to what you want.

I KNOW how hard it is to be patient, believe me! My coach even told me, “If I had to tell you just one thing you needed to work on that would help you the most, it’s patience.” (So if you struggle with this one, reach out and set up a sample coaching session—the first coaching call is always on me.)

  • Accept what you’ve been resisting. 

This is the most powerful thing you can do.

Life will send you things over and over so that you finally heal whatever’s in your way, whether it’s a belief or a fear. When you resist those situations, you essentially prevent yourself from breakthrough.

When you’re getting some circumstance that you don’t like, particularly the ones that keep presenting themselves over and over, stop resisting it, blaming it, or wanting to hide from it, and accept it. Be open to it. Show up for it. Own it.

You will always, always find a huge gift within the experiences you resist the most. Joseph Campbell, who wrote The Power of Myth said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” Let this sentiment inspire you to face up to whatever it is you’d rather run from. There is so much healing and growth available for you if you do.

If resistance is something you feel like you’re butting your head up against, I highly recommend the book I Don’t Want To, I Don’t Feel Like It, by Cheri Huber, who is a long-time Zen teacher who writes, I swear, at a fifth grade reading level, which is perfect, because that resistance in coming from a place that’s about as evolved as your average fifth grader.

So here’s an exercise to make all this ‘thinky’ stuff more real:
Take a blank piece of paper and draw a line right down the center. On the left at the top of the paper, write “What I’ll take care of” and on the right, write “What life will take care of”. Then make your lists.

If you want a new job, for example, the things you can take care of include things like polishing up your resume, continuing to take good care of the job you have so that you are putting good energy in to the work area of your life that will naturally overflow into your new work reality, reaching out to friends and other contacts and setting up time for you to share what you’re looking for and ask how you could support them.

And what you write in the “What life will take care of” column are things like, connecting me with the right people at the right time, sending inspiration just when I need it, working out the details of the job that is the next right step for me.

This is a nice visible way for you to see that not everything is on your plate. It frees you up and helps you stay focused on what’s possible instead of reasons why what you want won’t work or isn’t cool.

If you’ve got a comment, question, insight, or cool story to share about anything I’ve covered in this “Get Out of Your Own Way” series, I would love to hear it! Leave a comment below.


Want to be a better person, but don’t know where to start?

My new daily podcast, How to Be a Better Person, is here to help by sharing one simple thing you can do in the next 24 hours to rise. My mission? To help you live your best life.

Subscribe on iTunes Get podcast news