Learning to Let Go of Control

What Does Surrender Mean To You?

Today I want to talk to you about letting go of the things that are out of your control. Controlling what you can, and letting go of the rest. Let me ask you, what does the word “surrender” mean to you? To me, it simply means to stop fighting. With yourself…with others…with situations…and with reality. So here’s where this video is coming from…

The other day, my husband and I were scheduled to fly back home from the Florida Keys. We left our house and drove to the airport to catch our flight. Everything was taken care of, we got on the plane, and we sat for quite a while before we wondered why we weren’t moving.

The flight attendant announced that there was a delay due to mechanical issues. You could hear the groans automatically! Then they came back on once more to announce that the mechanics were about 30 minutes out. So again, more grumbling and annoyance.

We waited some more. And finally, the pilot came out and said the malfunction was pretty severe, and that they would be disembarking us to wait in the airport. Finally, they told us that the flight was canceled and there were no more flights for a couple days. Instead of waiting around, we opted to come back to our house and just fly out later.

Just Breathe

I learned so many things from this uncontrollable situation. There were people who truly became unglued with a situation that was really out of our hands. As I was processing everything, I thought, as we breathe steadily through life’s ups and downs, we can’t control everything that happens.

The minute we take a breath and take our hands off the wheel and choose not to let the uncontrollable control us, there’s a peace that happens. We did not cause that situation with the plane. The flight attendants didn’t. The pilot didn’t. No one did! The best thing that we all could have done was just breathe. Let it happen. Think of things that were IN our control, rather than the things that weren’t.

Now, I was truly thankful that I was able to come back to my house and not let the event mess up my whole day. I coach people on these topics quite often – both in my private coaching business and my direct marketing business. I try to tell them that you can’t control the uncontrollable. So here are some observations I came up with stemming from this whole ordeal.

Don’t Miss What IS

1. If you and I spend too much time worrying about what might be, what should be, or what could be…we’re going to miss what IS. Not so much the present situation, but all the great things going on around us.

In our situation, we could have been troubled by all these things and forgotten about the palm trees, the sand, the warm weather, the fact that we were SAFE! That we weren’t up in the sky when the plane malfunctioned. That was a lot to be grateful for right there. If we’re thinking about what should or could have been, we miss the present.

Focus Your Energy

2. You cannot calm storms. What happens when we try to get in control? Our vision gets narrow. Our breathing gets heavy and shallow. We start to lose focus. I watched people get upset all around me at the airport. They lost focus! Our vision begins to narrow when we try to control things we can’t. Nobody wants to go through life in that turmoil.

3. Don’t focus all your energy on fighting or fixing or changing things. Focus your energy on what could be new. What can I do with this situation to make it brand new? I started watching reasonable people around me planning their next step. They were aware of the situation, but instead of losing control, they were focusing on what was going to happen next and solving the problem.

There’s Power in Our Response

4. The truth is, the biggest obstacle is in your own mind. It’s the way you respond. There’s power in our response to situations! We give up our power when we fly off the handle. We regain our power when we control the way we respond. When we have reasonable conversations and thoughts about what will happen next. It was enlightening watching those people who weren’t losing their minds over the problem.

5. Life’s surprises can be really great! My husband and I came back to our house and made lemonade out of lemons. My husband went fishing immediately, and he learned new fishing techniques that he wasn’t previously familiar with. Being happy about what can come out of a sticky situation is truly eye opening.

Create A Larger Pasture

So here’s a quote I love that really applies to this situation. I’m a farmer’s daughter, so it particularly struck a chord with me.

“If you want to control your animals, give them a larger pasture.”

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What does that mean, you wonder? Can you picture that? Trying to tightly control things and put a fence around things is what causes them to go awry. If we give our animals a bigger pasture and loosen up, and give them space, those animals roam freely and do what they naturally do. When we step back and allow things to happen, things will take care of themselves.

Your Homework

My homework assignment for you is this: think about some things that you’re trying to control in your life that you need to work on taking a more hands off approach about. Can you think of any? I challenge you to write those things down, and widen your vision and surrender to those and stop fighting for control.

I hope you got some value out of this! I’m all about paying it forward, so please pass this on to someone who could use a reminder to let go of control. Nobody is perfect! We all have a purpose in this life, and when we let go of trying to control every little aspect of our lives, that purpose becomes much more clear!

 

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