4 Steps To A Softer Surrender.
A Dance Of Doing And Being.
Every goal requires a dance of doing and being. There are steps you must take to bring forth a vision, but there comes a point where action alone won’t help you realize this goal.
Picture your end goal as a remote cabin nestled in a picturesque mountain village only accessible via helicopter. It is through surrender that you let go and catch a flight when your feet can carry you no farther.
The biggest obstacle to surrender is fear. This protective part of yourself needs to be sure that if it lets go, you will be okay. The following steps show you how to work with fear and anxiety so you can ease into a softer surrender.
- Get to the root of any lingering fears.
Fears’ sole job is to keep you alive. Because fear takes this job seriously – thankfully! – it has a hard time letting go. To surrender, then, you will need to work through any lingering fears.
The following journal prompts will help you understand where fear is coming from and give this part of yourself what it needs to feel safe:
- How old does this fearful part of myself feel?
- What was fear protecting me from in the past?
- What is fear protecting me from today?
- How is my current situation like this past experience? How is it different?
- What does fear need from me to feel safe in this situation?
- What is one small thing I can do to support fear?
After working through these prompts, take a moment to acknowledge your fear, and thank it for protecting you.
2. Tend to what is within your control.
Now that we have touched base with fear, it is time to get acquainted with fears’ sister, anxiety.
As uncomfortable as it can feel, anxiety serves a purpose, which is to drive you into action. You can use this anxious energy to your advantage by giving it a job. This reduces worry over things beyond your control and allows you to funnel anxiety into purposeful action.
On a fresh page in your journal, draw a large circle. Within this circle, write down everything that you can control. This is your sphere of influence, and your anxiety’s new job. Pour any anxious energy into completing the tasks in this circle. If there are a lot of tasks in this circle, create a plan to work through each action over a longer period of time.
Outside of the circle, jot down everything beyond your control. These are the elements that you can surrender to.
3. Look for evidence of things working out in your favor.
We will now return to fear to reassure this part of yourself that it is safe to let go.
In your journal, reflect upon prior times of uncertainty where things worked out in your favor.
Here are a few prompts to get you started:
- List 3 instances where you took a leap of faith, and everything worked out in your favor.
- How is this current-day situation similar?
- What is the best-case scenario for this situation?
Surrender requires trust. This exercise uses evidence of prior positive experiences to boost your trust muscle and infuse you with a sense of possibility.
4. Tune into joy.
Now the heavy lifting is over – you have made friends with fear, taken care of what is within your control, and tapped your memory bank for proof that it is safe to let go. You have traveled as far as you can by action alone. Now is the time to catch a flight and kick back the rest of the way.
Give yourself as much time as you can muster – this can be anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour or even a full afternoon. During this time, allow yourself to get lost in an activity that brings you joy and connects you to something larger than yourself – wander in the woods, splash paint onto a canvas, meditate, pray, listen to music, dance, etc. The possibilities are endless, choose what excites you.
Let go of any timelines and allow yourself to be divinely taken care of. As though you have placed an order at a cliffside European restaurant, where the air is salty, obligations are few, and meals are long, leisurely excursions. Your entrée will come when it’s ready, and you are in no rush, because you are enjoying yourself and know the food will be well worth the wait.
Fear is ultimately here to protect you. By working with this part of yourself, as you did in the steps above, you pave the way for a softer surrender.