We all have those days on which we feel kind of blah. Maybe it's because we don't feel well.
Maybe it's because we have a lot going on at work and in our lives.
(Let's be honest—we often have a lot going on at work and in our lives.)
But when one blah day turns into a string of them, it might be time to surrender.
5 Signs It Might Be Time to Surrender
In Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles, Barbara Stanny heralds surrender as one of the four essential stages of achieving Greatness.
"Surrender," in this case, doesn't mean giving up; it means letting go of constant busyness to allow for better things to come in to our lives.
Think of Surrender as a practical strategy to ensure you're proceeding in the direction of Greatness rather than spinning your wheels chasing mediocrity.
Here are five signs that you're ready to stop chasing mediocrity and start surrendering.
1. You're tired.
It's one thing to have that good mind-and-body exhaustion after a good day's work.
On those days, you may be tired, but you're satisfied with what you've done. The ache in your muscles tells of hard work; the sluggishness of your mind is simply your brain whirring to a stop for the night.
The other kind of tiredness, the type that indicates that you need to surrender, is different: you feel as if you've been carrying a weight with you and the only relief is under your covers. (Not to be confused with depression, in which the weight is colored with overwhelming sadness.)
If you're tired and it's not from engaging in satisfying, meaningful work, it might be time to surrender.
2. You're depleted.
In the same vein as being tired, depletion is that feeling of having nothing left to give. It might be in terms of energy, or compassion, or Acts of Service, or any number of things. The common thread is that you feel completely tapped out, as if you have nothing left to give.
If you feel like you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, it might be time to surrender.
3. You're unmotivated.
Each of us has a force driving our work and our actions. Perhaps it's fame and fortune, or for our families and children, or a personal sense of accomplishment. When you no longer have that motivating drive behind your actions, they become meaningless.
If you are questioning why you're doing what you're doing, it may be time to surrender.
4. You feel consumed by "shoulds."
This sign is typically a by-product of feeling unmotivated. When you lose your motivation, you undertake many of your actions because you "should."
You "should" call your friend.
You "should" do the laundry.
You "should" go on that business trip.
If you can't see the reasons behind your actions, if you're doing things because you "should" do them, it might be time to surrender.
5. You can't see the way ahead.
When you embark on a journey, you rarely see the whole path. You may see the ending, and you may see immediately in front of you, but there's a big, hairy area in the middle that you can't possibly know. And that's okay.
But if you can't see your immediate next steps, or if you can't possibly imagine your end game, it might be time to surrender.
So how DO you surrender?
As the originator of the idea of Receptive Surrender*, Stanny gives the best answer in Sacred Success:
The best way to start is by finding patches of stillness in the crazy quilt of your day, clearing your calendar of the nonessential, carving out unstructured time to connect with your Soul.
We go over all of these concepts, plus time tracking and Personal Core Values, in Release & Refine, my four-week time and task management program.
In Release & Refine, I share my delicious secrets of how to:
- create pockets of time to do nothing but pamper yourself on a physical, mental, and emotional level
- discover where your time is going—and how to redirect it in a more meaningful manner
- rid your schedule and your to-do list of meaningless, hum-drum, and otherwise unnecessary tasks
- define your Personal Core Values and build your Commitment Filter
- succinctly catalogue the things in your life that get under your skin
- tend to what you really need
- and so much more!
If you like the sound of this, you can learn more about Release & Refine here.
*At least by this name. There are similar concepts in other religions and cultures, as evidenced by the Italian dolce far niente, the Buddhist Sunyata, and the academic sabbatical.