surrender: the freedom of not knowing

If nothing else has shown us our lack of control, 2020 has. We do the best we can, but there’ll always come a point when there’s not much else to do. There will always come a time when the only option is to surrender.

Breathe. Stretch. Shake. LET IT GO!

Y’all know that song? Well, that line is one of my mottos for 2021.

If nothing else has shown us our lack of control, 2020 has. We do the best we can, but there’ll always come a point when there’s not much else to do. There will always come a time when the only option is to surrender.

What is surrender?

For the longest time, I thought surrender meant giving up – losing. And losing voluntarily isn’t really my style, so naturally, surrender wasn’t a concept that I embraced. But – through time, trials, and some research, I see the beauty of it.

Eckhart Tolle describes it perfectly. Allow me to share his words from his book, Stillness Speaks:

When you fully accept that you don’t know, you give up struggling to find answers with the limited thinking mind, and that is when a greater intelligence can operate through you. Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.

To surrender is to admit we don’t know. That admission prompts us to ask questions. In the process of asking, we learn.

compare these scenarios:

Scenario A: It’s the first day of class. Howard enters with the assumption that he has nothing to learn. He figures he already knows exactly what the teacher is going to say, so he tunes out the lectures and his classmates. Howard leaves the class with the same mindset, beliefs, and level of knowledge he came with.

Scenario B: It’s the first day of class. Howard is excited to meet his teacher and dive into the material. He is curious and open to expansion. Because Howard knows he’s in class to learn, he pays attention to the lecture and the questions being asked. Howard take notes and adjusts his life, based on the information he learns.

WHICH SCENario will work out best for howard?

Yes, Scenario B! Howard is much better off with an attitude of surrender, or allowing himself (his mind and his life) to be transformed by the class.

The unspoken agreement on the first day of class is that students walk in expecting to learn something new. That process would be seriously interrupted if folks walked in thinking they already knew everything.

I see life a lot like class, and it’s easy to slip into autopilot and approach life like Scenario A. We, human beings, often forget [or refuse] to pay attention, learn, and adjust as necessary. No wonder we get stuck!

Good news: It’s okay to get stuck. There is another way.

Life becomes a lot less stressful WHEN we understand our position as students.


Surrendering is about getting a clear view of ourselves and of God. We are students, expecting to be shaped by the Lead Teacher, God, and the loving lessons He has for us. A willingness to humbly apply what we learn is the key to moving forward.

Let’s face it: Learning and growing sounds nice, but facing our lack of control is a real challenge.

Here are 3 tips to practice waving your white flag:

  • Understand your identity as a Beloved, Child of An Almighty God. Yes, those are a lot of adjectives, and each of them is important. Let’s take a closer look.
    • Beloved: dearly loved
    • Child: below an age of maturity
    • Almighty: having complete power
    • God: Love; creator and ruler of the universe; the Supreme being

Sometimes, it’s hard to surrender because we don’t quite understand how much God loves us. In this life, we are adults with adult responsibilities. So – it makes sense to forget we’re still God’s children, in the process maturing. Understanding that (1) we have a lot to learn and (2) we are dearly loved by an all powerful God empowers us to gladly surrender our desires.

  • Start the day with giving it away. This one is quite simple. Giving away the day could look like saying, “God, take this day. Have your way. I trust you.” Of course, change up the words to fit you and your personal relationship. In whatever way works best for you, make the decision to let go before anything happens. When situations come up throughout the day, remind yourself of your decision.
  • Look for the lesson. Remember that everything is for your good – that is your growth and development. Literally everything. When times are tough and it seems like there’s nothing you can do, remember your position as a student. Ask yourself, “what is this here to teach me?” And take notes!

What does surrender look like for you?

5 Practical Ways to Build Confidence

We all know confidence is important, but how many of us were taught how to get there?

Trigger Warning: the first sentence of this post is a blanket statement.

We all know confidence is important, but how many of us were taught how to get there? In my post, “What are you made of?” I talked about how our level of confidence affects the way we respond to life. Now, let’s discover how to actually build that confidence.

Maybe many of us really are confident. However, I’d be willing to bet that some of us are faking it until we make it. Look – this is a judgement free zone – we all fake it sometimes (ha).

I don’t think pretending to be confident is bad at all. There’s actually evidence that shows that just sounding more confident can improve how others perceive you – makes sense.

But if the goal is to actually be confident, some work has to be done. Here are 5 Practical Ways to Build Confidence:

1. Help someone else.

Volunteer. There’s nothing like experiencing how much you have to offer others. Sharing your gifts is a great way to acknowledge your unique strengths and abilities.

2. Don’t be afraid to say, “party of one.”

Spending time with yourself is a sure way to develop confidence, because you realize how great your company is! The first time I took myself on a date was during my freshman year of college. I saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I absolutely enjoyed the way I talked to the screen, gave unsolicited advice to Katniss, and jumped dramatically during all the intense scenes. If I was with someone else, I’m not sure I would have noticed these quirky and super wonderful things about myself.

When you take some time to enjoy your presence, you begin to develop your interests and find out more about the activities you enjoy.

3. Establish a self-care routine.

The key word here is routine. Regularly meeting your own needs is a great way to make sure your confidence is in-tack. Self-care looks different for everyone, and it’s important to find what’s best for you. If you’re new to this, here are some activities that work well for me:

  • Going for a run
  • Practicing yoga
  • Writing in my journal
  • Lighting candles
  • Dancing to my favorite tunes…solo.

4. Make a mistake, and learn from it.

Perfectionism is tough. Unattainable expectations take a toll on self-esteem. Mistakes are signs of growth. I like the phrase, fail forward.

Reconstructing how you view failure can boost your confidence. Did you see Will Smith’s video on failure? He talked about how the most successful people fail a lot, take the lessons, and consider them added wisdom. Think about the last mistake you made. How are you better now because of it?

5. Say Yes!

It’s an easy word on paper, but putting it into action can be a beast! If we pay attention, we’ll notice how many opportunities come by and how many we pass up because of our fears. Saying yes, even when your comfort zone screams in agony, is the one of the best things you can do to boost your confidence.

What’s your confidence level? What are some things you do to keep it sky high?