4 Ways Surrendering Control Makes Us More Successful


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power of surrender bookWe live in a culture that encourages type-A personalities who engage in multitasking, getting ahead, competing, and growing profits. The problem is, behaviors such as trying to control the outcome, working overtime, and pushing ourselves to the limit leaves us exhausted, stressed out, depressed, and depleted.

There’s a better way, and it involves learning how to surrender or let go of control. When we invite spontaneity, let ourselves be “in the flow,” and when we’re able to trust that everything will get done, it opens us up to more creativity, serendipity, and unexpected benefits such as joy, balance, and better health.

In The Power of Surrender learning to let go of our need to control difficult people, win arguments, or be in charge changes the way people relate to us. Instead of arguing, pushing back, or escalating the conflict with a rageaholic or passive-aggressive person, we can let go of the tension we feel. Once we do that, we can find a simple way to navigate the interaction, by agreeing with part of what they say, for example, or by offering a solution that has a common benefit.

Surrender helps us stay focused
In our business and personal lives, it’s easy to get distracted by wrong-headed ideas of success. We compare ourselves to others who are wealthier, higher up the corporate ladder, thinner, younger, or more attractive. Learning to surrender comparisons enables us to wish others well, and then we can refocus on energy on our own opportunities, talents, skills, and assets. As a result, we get instant relief from self-doubt, and a big jolt of confidence and purpose.

Surrender enables goal attainment
We’ve been taught to keep our eye firmly on the goal we want to achieve so that everything we do, say, and accomplish gets us closer to that goal. The problem with this approach is that it’s premise is faulty: We cannot control outcomes. There’s a better way. By keeping your eye on what you can control–your breath, your emotions, your outlook, and your self-care–surprising things will begin to happen for you. You’ll feel positive, happy, and healthy. People will respond to you. You’ll feel energized and inspired. Soon, you’ll have exactly what you want.

Surrender expands creativity
Being rigid and single-minded in the pursuit of success is like walking on a railroad. You may miss great things that don’t fall within your view. Letting go of our addiction to stress and struggle allows us to change our relationship to time and organization. We may find, for example, that looking up at the sky in the middle of a particularly jam-packed day lets the mind wander to the shape of the clouds, which leads to another thought. When we go back to our work, we have a new idea about how to tackle the task.

(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff’s national bestseller The Power of Surrender: Let Go and Energize Your Relationships, Success, and Well-Being)


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Judith Orloff, MD is a New York Times bestselling author with the upcoming book The Genius of Empathy: Practical Skills to Heal Yourself, Your Relationships and the World (Foreword by the Dalai Lama). She has also written The Empath’s Survival Guide and Thriving as an Empath, which offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people. She integrates the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Asia. More information about Dr. Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath Survival Guide Online Course and speaking schedule at www.drjudithorloff.com.

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