Surrendering to Success

What comes up to your mind when you think about a successful person?

  • A hard worker who forces themselves to work day and night?
  • Self-discipline, lots of stress, even anger?
  • Aggressive, competitive, argumentative?
  • A take no prisoner approach to life and work?
  • A go-getter?

Sure, that’s a way to become a success if you manage not to kill yourself or someone else in the process. There’s another gentler way to success, which I’ll call surrendering to success.

What Does Surrendering to Success Mean?

Surrendering to success means letting go of what keeps you from succeeding.

Surrendering to success is not forcing yourself to work. It is relaxing yourself to work.

Think about a minute and answer the following question.

What keeps you from succeeding?

  • Is it your distractions?
  • Is it hanging out every night?
  • Is it lashing out to your colleagues?


  • Is it not getting yourself to sit down, concentrate, and do the work?
  • Is it not summoning the courage to take risks?
  • Is it not being able to make that hard decision?

Whatever it is that keeps you from succeeding, it has an emotional charge that is powering it. Your urges are pulling your strings to distract yourself. Your anger makes you lash out to your colleagues.

It is the stress of unprocessed emotions that keeps you from concentrating on your work. Your fear is preventing you from taking a risk and making that hard decision.

Look for the underlying emotion that fuels your obstacle to success. Is it anger, fear, desire, or another intense emotion?

Whatever that emotion is, you can discharge it. Once you let go of the emotions that keep you from doing your best work, you’ll do whatever is necessary and reach success on autopilot.

Forcing Yourself to Success

Forcing yourself to success is like driving a car while the emergency brake is on. You’ll wonder why you can’t accelerate even though you drive at full throttle.

You’re spending a lot of effort, but most of it gets wasted on your inner resistances. You don’t make much progress to justify the energy you expend.

When you release the emergency brake, you realize that you accelerate at a much faster pace even without slamming the throttle.

How Can We Release Our Inner Resistances?

We can release our inner resistances by discharging the underlying emotion. That means becoming aware of the emotion, staying with it without trying to express, suppress, or change it, and waiting until it subsides.

Yes, that’s a lot of emotional labor, and it takes time, but so does forcing ourselves to override those emotions.

The advantage of the letting go method is that the unwanted emotions dissolve over time. When we force ourselves to overpower them, those emotions stay where they are. Same or greater amount of force is needed to overpower them.

The story of Michael A. Singer is an excellent example of surrendering yourself to success. He has documented his life from a confused college student to the CEO of a billion-dollar software company in his book The Surrender Experiment.


There are two ways to success, forcing yourself to success and surrendering to success.

Forcing yourself to success involves trying to overpower your inner resistances with ever greater force. It is like driving at full throttle while your emergency brake is on.

Surrendering yourself to success is about letting go of your inner resistances in the first place. It is like releasing the emergency brake such that your car accelerates much faster at the touch of the throttle.