This is a little bit of a follow on from last week’s episode about the identity death and rebirth process of change, so if you haven’t listened to that episode yet I suggest you start there.
When we’re talking about any kinds of changes and identity shifts in any way we need to learn to let things go.
We need to learn to be in those moments of uncertainty and essentially, surrender to the process.
So this is all about the art of surrender.
This is something it took me a while to truly learn.
I’m an enneagram 6 so naturally I’m quite the planner. I’ve always liked to look at all potential outcomes with a tendency to veer towards the worst case scenario.
So this is a valuable skill to learn because that’s no fun. It makes everything feel harder, like you’re swimming against the tide or pushing water uphill.
It’s recognising that trying to control everything is a protection mechanism. It FEELS safer BUT there’s a LOT more mental suffering involved than there needs to be.
It’s about literally stopping fighting with yourself and the process. Learning to handle all the things that can make it more difficult.
So we’re talking about releasing the need for control.It’s about allowing, not controlling or forcing. Even when you say those, which feels easier and more enjoyable?
How many times have you suffered in your own head about a potential or worst case scenario and the reality was far better. That has its merits at times for sure and is certainly where I’ve spent most of my life. BUT, what if you can have the same outcome WITHOUT the suffering in your own head first?
That would be better, right?
So it’s learning to trust that whatever the outcome you WILL be ok. This is something I really live by. I have ‘everything happens for a reason’ tattooed on me in latin. Many people cringe at that phrase, and I get it. For me it really is a life philosophy and my interpretation of it really is how I’ve learned to surrender.
It’s not my natural state of being by any stretch of the imagination. But my solid belief is that whatever happens to me (or FOR me, wink, wink, nudge, nudge) no matter how awful it feels at the time. I completely trust that something good will eventually come from it.
Even if it takes time.
I know in my bones that eventually I will be looking back and saying, that was awful, but if it hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be who and where I am now.
It’s a solid belief system for me. I got there by looking at the evidence across my whole life. It’s ALWAYS been true. Even the darkest of things has had a positive outcome or lesson that I’m grateful for eventually.
When you have that, you don’t feel the need to control as much and do the all important process of not having an attachment to the outcome. It’s hugely freeing.
It’s another reason why I call it growing pains. It doesn’t stop it being painful at the time. All change is painful, like I said last week, we’re fighting against our unconscious programming and our nervous system’s idea of what’s SAFE. So it’s going to be uncomfortable.
There are a few other things you can do to lean into the art of surrender.
Firstly, you really have to know what it is you’re working towards or moving away from. Knowing what that looks like and at the same time being open to it being a bit different, better even. How many times have you heard someone say ‘it’s even better than I could have imagined’?
Be open to a few potential nice surprises along the way. ‘This or something better’ vibes! Stay open. Stay curious.
Deal in truth, not story.
Figure out what the story is lying underneath the truth. What are your biggest fears around you not controlling the outcome? What would you do if those things actually happened? Where could it lead? Question everything. Is it REALLY true? What else could be true?
Remember that momentum can be QUICK. Things can feel like you’re totally stuck and things are never going to change, then the next minute your entire life is different and everything has clicked into place. So try not to focus on the negatives of where you’re at right now, as long as you’re taking action you ARE moving forwards.
If you’re needing to let go of a part of yourself or something or someone in your life, recognise that it is NOT a failure. Things change. People change. Circumstances change. Let go of what you know in your heart isn’t good or right for you anymore. What’s more painful, the pain of staying where you are or the pain of letting go? Only you can decide.
Educate yourself and understand the inevitable parts of the process.
Keep reminding yourself of what you’re moving towards.
When you find yourself too much in your head, get into your body. Go for a walk, move in any way that feels good to you, breathe deep belly breaths, meditate. Don’t forget that the mind influences the body, but the body also influences the mind. I find it one of the quickest ways out of my head and back to regulation and it’s training you out of overthinking the more you do this.
Let’s be honest, where has trying to control everything got you so far. Where can you honestly say that approach has been the best and the way that you’d suffer the least?
How would it feel if you could let go of the reins a little bit?
Ease off the mental load.
Protect and prioritise your peace.
You’re not supposed to know all the answers, and no one ever will!
The art of surrender is not about not taking action. Far from it. It’s about taking action with deep trust that it’s all going to work out how it’s supposed to.
Think about how and where you could practice this during the rest of your week and see how it goes!
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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