For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I want to give up all the time.
Give up on writing when the ideas don’t flow immediately. Give up on my morning exercises when they really start to challenge me. Give up on a task when I just can’t figure it out.
When I was little, I was a terribly sore loser. I’d quit games when I was losing badly. I’d stop trying if things weren’t working for me. Once, I’m not proud to admit that I even threw a golf club because I was playing mini golf poorly.
I’m no stranger to wanting to give up. I feel that impulse to give up all the time.
But I’ve noticed an interesting thing always happens—that moment of wanting to give up always coincides with the very moment of no longer being in control.
It’s like I’ve kept this illusion of control going for long enough—and life has validated it. Ideas came, exercise felt doable, the task for easy. And then suddenly life stopped validating it. And I stopped feeling in control.
And giving up is always a choice to stay in control. Because, at least if we give up, we know what will happen. We can save face and tell ourselves it didn’t work out because we didn’t care enough.
If we keep going, we’re boldly choosing the unknown. What’s outside of our control. In fact, we’re freely handing that control over to something else. Maybe something bigger than us. Our subconscious, the Universe, our vision.
It’s only in moments when I want to give up that I ever grow. When I want to give up exercise and choose to keep going, I grow mentally and physically. When I want to give up but write anyway, I grow spiritually and emotionally.
Growth happens when we merge with something bigger than ourselves, something that can pull us forward into more.
We can’t be in control of that process. Because we can only control that which we know. And we’re talking about expanding into the great unknown and leading ourselves forward.
My biggest epiphanies and transformations have been on just the other side of wanting to give up. When I swear this isn’t possible and that I’m not capable, but then I choose to do it anyway, magic happens.
An idea comes that’s bigger than any idea I’ve had before. Or I’m able to exceed my previous exercise goals. Or I’m able to open my heart even more in my relationship. Or I’m able to help people in even bigger ways.
It’s not often miles down the road from wanting to give up. In fact, it’s just around the corner. It’s like wanting to give up is this threshold. And just crossing it—just doing it anyway—is what unlocks the magic.
Because that’s the exact moment when we open to something bigger than ourselves. When we surrender that control. And let our vision guide us. Rather than fearfully trying to manage it every step of the way.
I like to write on here each day. Because, truth be told, I stopped planning these posts years ago. I show up and just write what’s coming up for me that day. And I spend maybe 30 minutes putting it all down. And then send it out, regardless of what I think of it.
It’s a practice in surrendering control every single day. Because, most days, that tiny twinge of “I have nothing to say; I should give up,” pops up. And I have to choose to give up or to just start writing anyway.
We visionaries perpetually exist on this tension. We’ve been told we’re “too much” and “not enough.” Giving up is a default impulse. We’ve started over 1,000 times before. Our computers are littered with half-baked ideas and unfinished projects. Our ambitions of a new routine or initiative usually putter out before we build up momentum.
It’s doesn’t feel safe for us visionaries to hand over control. So giving up is the ultimate form of control. Of attempting to keep us safe.
If we can control our actions, then we’re safe. If we can choose the known path, we might not get hurt.
We might never realize our vision, either.
Visions are inherently bigger than us. By their nature. By their design.
They pull us beyond the realm of what we believed was possible. And toward a destiny far beyond our conscious control.
We think so often it’s all on us. Like we have to just will this vision into life. And work really hard. And make it happen. We put so much pressure on ourselves.
Like the vision isn’t alive. Like it isn’t working its magic on us, too.
But, when we surrender, when we stop pushing and striving and trying to control so much, we allow ourselves to be transformed by the vision. We allow it to carry us when we’re afraid. We allow it to give us energy when we have no more.
It’s not something we have to thrust forward. It’s something we dance with. We commune with. We exchange with.
It’s something fully alive. Something we’re in a relationship with.
I don’t try to control Garrett (often) or feel like I need to put all the effort in to make our relationship successful. It’s a dance. I have to surrender to it. I have to open to his genius and magic, just as much as I honor my own.
Tight control impedes intimacy. It closes us off from ever letting something in beyond ourselves. Something that might surprise us and cause us to expand even bigger.
Our vision is so much bigger than ourselves. And when we reach that point of wanting to give up and still allow ourselves to continue on, surrendering control and being pulled by the magic of our vision—that’s when we expand beyond ourselves.
And access our full genius.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Do you ever want to give up?
— Do you ever feel like something is too hard and you secretly just want to give up? Maybe writing copy when words just won’t flow? Or painting when you aren’t feeling the inspiration? Or running a program when people aren’t signing up?
— Do you wonder if it’s just impossible? Does it feel frustrating and overwhelming? Do you have dozens of half-finished works and false starts that never seem to get completed?
— What if your genius is just on the other side of wanting to give up? What if the only way to truly connect with your genius and create your vision is to surrender control? What if continuing forward, even when you’ve moved beyond what you can control is how you grow into something bigger than yourself?