How Surrendering Works for You

My most memorable wrestling match in high school was against the toughest kid I had ever met. This guy had muscles growing on top of his muscles. Before the match, he was across the gymnasium, mouthing curse words that I hadn’t even heard before. I was intimidated. But something in me snapped in that moment and I realized that there was every possibility in the world that my best was good enough. To this day I don’t know where this came from, other than God, because I rarely thought that way as a young boy. But there it was… the confidence to bring my all. As I look back now, having done a lot of work on myself internally, I can see that it didn’t matter how that match turned out because I was committed to showing up and bringing everything I had with me. I had surrendered the outcome, because it no longer mattered. I won by the way. Surrendering outcomes works out best when we bring our whole selves to the situation. Showing up with the full force of our lives for the world to experience. We do our best work. Bring our whole life force to the table. And the only thing left to do is surrender the outcome and see how the world responds to the fullness of us.

In our relationships it's bringing all of our goodness. It's bringing all of our love. It’s being totally present with the people we’re with and demonstrating that we value their time. Some people get freaked out when we bring it all, because they're not used to doing that themselves. They have no idea what it would be like to give instead of take. They approach their relationships like one big convenience store where they can continually pull ‘supplies’ from the shelves. But for others it will melt away their facade, call to their deep and draw out their true self. What a gift.

The beauty is that from our perspective it doesn't matter what their response is. We bring it all and we surrender the outcome. We're going to be just fine living that way regardless of how people respond to us. We know we can’t control other people. We can spend a lot of time and energy trying to, but it will lead us to some of our darkest life experiences. It doesn’t matter if they embrace us or reject us, because we are living from the deep. It’s not that it doesn’t hurt. But if it does, we own that pain instead of trying to stuff it. And in the end we know that we come out on top simply because we show up fully.

In our work it means showing up every day, putting it all on the line. It doesn't matter if we're entrepreneurs or working for somebody else. People recognize the depth of our work and the great substance in it. We don't need favors, because the right people respond to our work in the right way. The people we've always wanted to work with come knocking on our door. They recognize that we're showing up and doing our best work, just like they do. The work is inside of us and we have to do it. Not just for the response, but because it is what we are made for and we know it. We create with all that we are and then we surrender the outcome.

There is freedom in doing the difficult and painful interior work. But it allows us the privilege of being fully present with all that is around us. It brings insight and clarity that living a comfortable life just can’t afford. Trying to live a high quality inspirational life, in all of its fullness by way of comfort is a lot like trying to get to the top of a mountain without leaving your couch. It can’t be done. The real question is, do you want to be on the couch or the mountain?

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe

"I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome." - Golda Meir

"We can learn the art of fierce compassion - redefining strength, deconstructing isolation and renewing a sense of community, practicing letting go of rigid us-vs.-them thinking - while cultivating power and clarity in response to difficult situations." - Sharon Salzberg