The Power of Surrender: Part One
Knowing What To Focus On Leads to a Relaxed Life
Being a mom and living in an unpredictable world can often leave us feeling helpless and powerless. We juggle so many things, and the (often) unconscious desire to control every outcome can be overwhelming. We want our children to excel and be happy, our relationships to thrive, and for us to reach new heights of success.
Our insecurities, fears, and lack of awareness can manifest themselves in an array of forms. It can be overtly abusive or subtle and unconscious. Managing our own lives can be hard enough, but when we try to control things outside of ourselves, it leads us down a path of frustration and unhappiness. Unintentionally pushing away those closest to us based on fear rather than living with trust will only leave our hearts in despair.
Unfortunately, we are more controlling than we realize.
But the truth is that no matter how hard we work or plan, there is so much outside of our power. That doesn’t have to mean giving up entirely. I believe the most empowering thing we can do is focus on what we CAN control: namely, ourselves, along with letting go of what we CAN’T control.
In this two-part article, I hope to provide you with insights on how focusing your energy on your own mindset and development can serve as a game-changer for you (and those around you) throughout your life journey.
Locus of Control
An important psychological concept is the locus of control. It refers to our belief in what has control over our lives. Essentially, it’s our understanding of who or what is driving the boat; is it us, our circumstances, luck, or something else? Is it our responsibility, or is it someone else’s fault?
Taking the time to understand our personal locus of control can uncover previously hidden feelings and emotions. This offers insight into why we behave or think in certain ways. It can also be one of the most liberating experiences, as having internal control (over the right things) sets us up for greater success. This is way better than believing external factors are always dictating how we feel or experience life.
We need to take back the reigns and be accountable for ourselves and our decisions. At the same time, we must stop blaming external forces. This is not always easy but can have lasting benefits.
Understanding our locus of control — the way we think about life events — is the most liberating feeling. Knowing we are capable of shaking off expectations and preconceptions about what we should or shouldn’t be able to achieve helps us move past limiting beliefs. With a better handle on the decisions we make, it can open up a new world of possibilities…so long as we are willing to embrace them.
Taking ownership of our locus of control can help us identify new opportunities and outlooks while also being prepared for anything life throws our way.
What We Can Control:
Change our thoughts, change our lives.
A positive mindset can powerfully transform your reality. Don’t allow negativity to hold you back; instead, cultivate an optimistic outlook that empowers you to grow and overcome obstacles.
Remember: Our thoughts have a profound impact on your life, so we want to choose them carefully. With a positive mindset, you’ll find yourself attracting abundance and success. The choice is yours: Will you embrace positivity or allow negativity to weigh you down?
We can adopt new skills to help us manage our thoughts. Mindfulness is key to altering our mindset. We can start by simply observing our thoughts without judgment. You can make tally marks on paper or your phone to track the number of negative thoughts and judgments you have in a given day. With self-awareness comes great power and potential change.
(INTERESTING FACT: It takes seven positive thoughts to outweigh one negative thought.)
Mental Diet (What We Feed Our Minds)
Our diet is not only what we eat with our mouths. Our mental diet is important too. Don’t settle for junk information that will leave you feeling unfulfilled, drained, and negative.
Instead, choose uplifting and inspiring content that fuels your mind and soul. Move beyond the drama of gossip and the stale negativity of the news, whether you prefer motivational speeches, uplifting podcasts, inspiring books, or nerding out on your favorite subject.
Fill your mind with the good stuff.
Because when you control what you feed your mind, you take control of your life. So forget obsessing over your ex. Stop scrolling through social media and comparing yourself to others. Start obsessing over your own growth and potential. It’s time to nourish your mind with positive energy and unstoppable, empowering thoughts.
Physical Diet (What We Feed Our Bodies)
Take charge of our nourishment, and we will automatically feel much better.
The food we consume affects not only our physical well-being but also our emotional and mental health. Harness the power of dietary choices to feel your best inside and out. It’s time to control what we feed our extraordinary bodies. The body is the host for the soul, and we only get one in this lifetime. Why not take care of it and treat it like a temple?
(INTERESTING FACT: Consuming foods with artificial colors has been linked to hyperactivity in children, migraines, allergic reactions, and even cancer.)
It’s time to pay attention to what’s on your plate and make mindful choices for the sake of your well-being.
When To Say YES or NO
The power of a single word can change our lives.
Say “yes” too often, and we might find ourselves feeling powerless and used. But saying “no” can feel liberating and empower us to live a life that feels true.
It’s not always easy, especially when our loved ones are involved. (Yes, even your sweet little bundle of joy can and will take advantage if it suits them.) Standing up for yourself can bring you the respect and peace you deserve.
It’s time to break free from that people-pleasing mentality and learn to say “no” with confidence! No more sacrificing our own desires and goals to make others happy. It’s time to prioritize your own well-being and set boundaries. Saying “no” doesn’t make you a bad person; it just means you value your time and energy. It also commands respect by default. When others notice you don’t say yes to everything, they will begin to admire your self-respect and reciprocate it to you.
So go ahead and give yourself permission to speak your truth and say “no” when you need to. Take control of your life back, one word at a time.
“I am on this vibe, if it doesn’t make me happier, healthier, wealthier, or free up my time- the answer is not just NO, it’s HELL NO!” – Jess Sims
Boundaries (And How to Enforce Them)
Unlocking the key to setting boundaries starts with recognizing your core values. It’s the compass that guides your decisions, actions, and relationships. So before you define what’s okay and what’s not, take some time to explore what truly matters to you.
Our values can lead us to a more fulfilling path and shape the way we engage with the world. Remember, knowing boundaries protects our mental and emotional health, and self-awareness starts with identifying core values.
Let’s have a real talk about boundaries, shall we? It’s easy to talk about loving and respecting ourselves, but what about others? Are we really putting our money where our mouth is? Because let me tell you, one of the biggest boundary violations out there is stalking an ex through social media, gossiping, or snooping.
If someone is preaching about respecting boundaries but doesn’t practice it themselves, we need to question whether they truly understand the concept. Let’s be mindful and truly live out the respect we preach.
Time is a precious commodity. And believe it or not, you have complete control over how you use it.
You may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but in reality, you have the standard 24 hours, just like everyone else. Don’t fall into the trap of saying, “I don’t have time,” because that’s simply not true. The harsh reality is that you may just need to rearrange your priorities and cut out some of those mindless time-wasters. (such as talking, thinking, stalking, or obsessing about what the ex is doing on social media, etc)
I’m not suggesting you give up scrolling through social media entirely, especially if it’s a crucial part of your business. However, you can cut back on that time and use it to focus on other endeavors that will provide you with better growth and satisfaction.
Achieving a work-life balance is within your reach, starting with managing your time effectively. Mastering time management can help keep us focused, organized, and less anxious and stressed. It also helps us get more done.
Who We Spend Time With
Our social circle greatly influences who we are as individuals. Tony Robbins, a renowned figure in personal development and a virtual father figure to me, shared a thought-provoking exercise:
Take a moment to reflect on the five people you spend the most time with. These individuals provide insight into your own character and potential future. If your circle consists of negative, judgmental, gossipy, or manipulative people, chances are you possess similar traits. Conversely, surrounding yourself with positive and driven individuals who inspire others can greatly impact your own growth.
If you aspire to improve your life, it may be necessary to upgrade your social circle as well. Seek out groups of people who embody the qualities you aspire to possess. Let go of relationships that hold you back from attaining happiness. By surrounding yourself with the right influences, you can elevate your own potential.
As human beings, we have a basic need to express ourselves, to communicate who we are and what we stand for to the world around us. And as Americans, we have the incredible privilege of living in a society that values individuality and self-expression. From the clothes we wear to the music we listen to, we are in control of how we express ourselves to the world.
But it’s important to remember that self-expression isn’t just about what we wear or how we decorate our homes. It’s also about the way we communicate and interact with others, the opinions we share, and the values we uphold. At the end of the day, self-expression is about being true to yourself and living your life in a way that feels authentic and fulfilling. In a world where so much is beyond our control, that’s a pretty incredible thing.
Taking control of our lives can often feel like a daunting task. We often worry about external factors and find ourselves getting caught up in outcomes we cannot control.
However, by radically accepting what we can and cannot control, we open ourselves up to personal freedom and intrinsic happiness. Surrendering to facts and letting go of things beyond our control creates space to focus on the things that truly matter. Instead of wasting energy on trying to change others or outcomes, we can focus on improving ourselves and nurturing our relationships with loved ones.
It’s important to remember that while we may not always be in control of what happens around us, we can always control our perspective and actions.
Stay tuned for part two of this article, where I go over the things we CAN’T control and how this awareness is the key to long-lasting life joy!
Make sure you read Part Two of The Power of Surrender.
In part two, I go over the things we are not in control of and how we can avoid despairing over these factors.
I am Jen,
As a dedicated life coach specializing in co-parenting, divorce, and single motherhood, I bring a unique blend of professional expertise and personal experience to my coaching practice. I am deeply committed to helping women not only survive divorce but also thrive as they transition into their roles as single mothers. I provide tailored coaching to assist my clients in developing effective co-parenting strategies, fostering healthy communication, and creating nurturing environments for their children.
I am also the author of the best-selling book “I am Amazing: From Invisible to Invincible”. My self-help memoir offers hope and inspiration for anyone who has felt overwhelmed by life and their struggles with mental health. With raw honesty and vulnerability, I provide an intimate look at my journey from victim to victorious.