When you see the word surrender, what comes to mind? It usually signifies defeat, giving up, giving in or waving the white flag. It’s associated with weakness. I’ve come to realize a different meaning for surrender.
About six months ago, I kept noticing the word surrender in what I read or heard, so I wrote it on the white board in my office not knowing what significance it held. During this time I was in the midst of rebranding my coaching business and this new business plan just didn’t feel right. I was a part of a business building mastermind group with about a dozen other coaches and things were really taking off for everyone. Well, everyone but me. Others were landing big contracts, being on radio and television shows and putting together some big events. I felt like everyone was on the fast train and I was left behind at the station.
I was putting a lot of time and effort into my new business plan. Every spare minute I would sneak up to my office to get some work done. I figured if one of us was interacting with the kids (ages 8 & 11) then that was enough. In talking to my wife one morning, I came to realize that I, The Family First Coach, wasn’t putting my family first. Our kids love spending time with us and want family time, not with just one of us, but with both of us. So I started to take another look at how I wanted my business to be, how much time I was willing to commit to it and how much time I wanted to commit to my family.
Then one day, as I saw the word SURRENDER on my white board, it dawned on me that I needed to surrender and let go of what everyone else defined as a successful coaching business. I needed to surrender and let go of how the typical male role in the family is defined. This was a tough thing to do! Letting go of being with the elite coaches and their thriving global businesses was a tough pill to swallow. Being in a role where I’m not contributing financially as much as I had in the past was something I was not comfortable with. But bigger is not always better.
The biggest surrender, though, was changing from telling God what I wanted my business to be to asking Him what He wanted me to do with my business. This reminded me of JFK’s inaugural address: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” In a similar way, I now changed my mindset for my business to ask what I and my business can do for God. As cool as that sounds, it sure is tough to let go of control and to be open to the unknown. I know where I’m at right now is where I’m supposed to be, but I have this feeling that God has something bigger in store for me. It’s exciting yet scary!
I now see surrender not as a weakness but as a STRENGTH! It’s hard to let go of the ego. It’s hard to let go of how I defined success as it related to how big my business is. It’s hard to let go of society’s definition of the husband’s role around the house. It takes strength, which I ask for every day, to let go of control, to let go of society’s ways and definitions and to trust that God will put me in the lives of those that need me and put me in the lives of those I need. It’s a true blessing to be able to help people through my work and also have the time I get to enjoy with my family. I surrender!
What do you have to surrender to and let go of?