We all crave certainty and, even more so, control. Having it makes us feel like we determine our own destiny. Honestly, the idea of control feels powerful, and power feels good; but control is mostly an illusion — the harder you fight for it, the farther away you get. Ironically, the best way to attain real control, power, and mental peace is to surrender. In letting go of the very things that you can’t change, you remain in the driver’s seat of your own life.
Try conceptualizing control as being the way your body tenses up when something stresses or startles you. If you could just breathe, relax the shoulders, loosen your grip, and gently focus the mind, you would be far more capable of facing whatever came your way. That’s surrender! It’s a scary thought for people, but that may be because they believe that surrender is synonymous with giving up or giving in. The kind of surrender I’m referring to is the bravery to endure. You’re still driving, but your knuckles aren’t white from gripping the wheel, and you have space in your mind to make the next right decision.
With practice, surrender doesn’t have to be so scary. When you find yourself tensing up, digging in, and grasping for control, walk through the following steps:
I encourage you to think about the difference between control and surrender; neither one will necessarily stop you from making forward progress, but they will change the way you travel. With control, you will move through life with tension and toothaches from grinding your teeth. You may even hold yourself from making a positive impact. With surrender, you wake up each morning, assess what has arrived in the night, and move through it with a level of acceptance. It doesn’t mean you aren’t scared; instead, you accept the fear and move through without fighting tooth and nail.