Striving vs. SurrenderApr 20, 2023
Is getting a life we want a matter of striving or surrender? This is a question that I am often asked in coaching.
When you start to understand how much untapped power you have to create the life you want, it’s easy to get focused on your own efforts, creative abilities and striving.
But it doesn’t take too long to realize that there is a whole lot that is still outside of your control. This is where the surrender piece comes in.
It’s all about finding a balance of taking responsibility for your life with being open and receptive to God’s plan for you.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing a powerful way to think about your agency and God’s will to give you some guidance and help when you need to decide if it’s time to strive or surrender.
Is it time for striving or surrender?
Even when we understand that there is a balance between creating results for ourselves and surrendering to God’s plan, it can still be hard to know which we are supposed to do.
When things aren’t going the way you think they should be, should you put in more effort or let go and create space for God to move in?
It creates a tension that can feel pretty confusing.
A really simple way to approach this is to ask yourself in whatever situation you're in… What part of this is my business? And what part of this is God's?
I want to give a little visual here that you can’t see on the podcast. The Model is a way of describing our human experience, and it’s made up of five parts:
I like to think about it this way: The top and bottom (your circumstances and results) are where you surrender. The middle (your thoughts, feelings and actions) are where you strive.
We often have very little control over the circumstances in our lives. These are things that happen outside of us, out in the world. They are the facts of our lives.
Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate which parts of our lives were created by us, created by others or just happened. But it doesn’t really matter. Because, ultimately, figuring out who is responsible does not change the circumstance.
All that matters now is what you do within those circumstances. Concentrate your striving into the parts that you can control, which is what you think, what you feel and what you do next.
Striving: Thoughts, Feelings & Actions
This is all about asking yourself:
- How am I going to think, feel and act within a particular circumstance?
- Who am I going to be?
- How am I going to use my agency within these particular circumstances?
These are the parts that you can control every time.
We want to believe that we are totally in control of our results, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.
You can always control the result inside of you - how you experience your life.
But there are plenty of results that you don’t have 100% control over, like the revenue in your business, the choices your kids make, the timing at which you hit your weight loss goals or whatever else it is in your life.
I really want you to think about the value of surrendering your result line. This is the space in which you can invite God into the equation.
Part of His will and His plan for us involves the timing and the amount and the delivery of our results. By surrendering our results, we create space for the experiences that God wants us to have within our own lives.
Surrender is not giving up
Sometimes when we think about surrendering, our brain just wants to give up on all of it.
Your brain thinks that if you don’t totally control the circumstances or the results, if you don’t know if what you’re doing is going to work, then what is the point of putting in the effort?
But the purpose of our striving is to take responsibility and choose for ourselves the middle of our model.
The point of doing the work is actually not to create results. The point is to change ourselves. To grow and strengthen ourselves, build our skills and expand our abilities.
We can surrender the result line and know that God is always working for us and that the timing of our results is always in our best interest. Then, we can just keep working the part that we have ultimate control over - our thoughts, feelings and actions.
When we believe that all our results are right on time, all of this is happening for us and that we’re getting the exact lessons we need, then we can keep going.
- The roles that striving and surrender play in creating our lives
- How to know if it’s time to put it more effort or surrender to God’s will
- Examples of what this looks like in real life
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