Surrender isn’t a word that Navy SEALs entertain, and it may also make you feel uncomfortable. Surrender for a military mission means defeat and a less than honorable one at that. It is losing, often seen as quitting and weak. But the term is also used in a different sense these days, as in releasing negative or unhelpful things that have a stranglehold over your physical, mental, and emotional life. One must surrender the old to make room for newness, leading to growth and transformation. In this context, surrender is not quitting, but the act of letting go. Warriors and leaders can benefit greatly by embracing this form of surrender. It is crucial to learn to let go of old patterns and behaviors that aren’t serving you any longer.
Let’s look at three ways this new art of surrender can benefit you.
- Controlling What You Can
One of the fundamental aspects of learning to let go is respecting that you cannot control every aspect of your life. Instead of viewing surrender as a defeat, consider it a re-balancing of your efforts to get more optimal results. You don’t give up your dreams or goals; rather you relinquish attachment to pet beliefs, outcomes, and your designs on how you will get there. You can only control the inside work. Once you act in the “real world” (as opposed to your own virtual reality), no plan survives contact with reality. Learning to control the inside game is the work we do at Unbeatable Mind.
- Forging Unwavering Trust
Surrender demands trust—in yourself, in others, and in the potential for goodness in all people and situations. Letting go of negative memories and forgiving those who have hurt you builds your own trust in your worthiness, as well as forges trust in you from others. They see you as non-judgemental and accepting, creating psychological safety and opening up creative opportunities. Surrender allows you to trust yourself to be the creative force of your own world. Trust has been degraded significantly since 2010, so if you can trust yourself and others, you will have a huge competitive advantage. When you release the vice grip of fear, you unlock a world of unforeseen opportunities and synchronicities.
- Embarking a Journey of Transformation
Surrender involves letting go of the need to always “do something” on your hero’s journey. It requires you to make space for self-reflection, ruthless self-discovery, and unyielding personal growth. Every leader needs time and space for growth to occur once the seeds for that growth are planted. Striving to achieve a noble task is akin to planting seeds, but you need to pause and reflect, meditate, and restore, to allow those seeds to germinate. You can look around to nature for proof of this crucial principle. Balance and growth are found in the dance between doing and being, between achieving and becoming.
At a recent SEALFIT event we discussed how it is the empty cup that provides the shape for new learning. Surrender also means learning to empty your cup to clear the space for new things to enter. Clinging to the full cup of ideas, knowledge, and accomplishments locks you into a fixed mindset and a memory-based future. To tap into your true potential, and embark on the ultimate hero’s journey of your life’s most important work, you must let go of what you think you know and embrace the mystery and magic of the unknown. This empty-cup attitude will allow you to find and express your purpose… and live the life you were meant for.
Remember, surrender isn’t about giving up or being passive; it’s about finding a harmonious balance between doing and receiving. By embracing the power of letting go, cultivating trust in the universe, and being courageous, you open space for self-discovery. In that space, you can align with your purpose and passions, and embrace the wisdom of surrender. It’s time to unleash that warrior within by letting go of anything, not in service to your highest good.
— Mark Divine