Coach’s Corner: The Art of Surrender
Written by Dan Dillard
The first time that I was challenged with the concept of surrendering, I wasn’t comfortable with it. When we are immersed into Austin’s entrepreneurial culture and the modern era of endless innovation, we get inundated with rhetoric surrounding perseverance and tenacity. We herald dogged grit and strive to be as relentless as we can possibly manage. The words "surrender" and "abandon" are dusty and unused in my vocabulary as I have tirelessly fought to stay afloat in my own journey.
However, the last two years of my life have been filled with a vast array of Austin’s founders, makers, and movers, and time and time again I’ve been faced with the antithetical realization that to succeed is to truly surrender.
In our lives, we face a great deal of discomfort and fear, and this is only magnified for entrepreneurs and leaders. In order to combat discomfort and fear, we resist through the use of ego, caution, and perception. To surrender is not to "give up" but rather to give into greatness. Ego allows us to presume define "who we are," caution allows us to shield ourselves from the potential of failure, and perception allows us to convince ourselves that we are not ultimately responsible for our own greatness. Holding onto these things is like unconsciously reaching for the blue pill, choosing a life of comfort, security, and ignorance. But if we decide to surrender our ego, abandon our caution, and become comfortable with the uncomfortable, we can be truly free to create the world.
Of course, I don’t claim to be Morpheus, offering you the opportunity to be freed from an illusory world as vast as The Matrix, but I can offer you the perspective that countess innovators and contributors in Austin have to share. In my own journey, I’ve had the chance to hear what many founders have learned from being too cautious, waiting too long to plan, allowing the perfect to the enemy of the good.
I find that ego is often the most difficult thing to surrender. Through my own journey, and through others, I’ve learned that yielding pride, judgments, and self-importance in lieu of being authentic is what can allow us to pursue true greatness.
"Always say 'yes' to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say 'yes'
to life—and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you." ECKHART TOLLE
Surrender to what IS and remain in each eternal moment. Surrender to the unknown. Surrender to opposition in order to emerge triumphant. Surrender to your obstacles so you can eliminate them. Surrender to serve in order to truly lead. Ultimately… surrender to yourself.
So now, when I hear concepts that make me uncomfortable, I won’t fight that discomfort, but get comfortable in it. I choose to embrace it. For two wonderful years, I’ve learned so much from of all of the wonderful individuals’ stories told on these pages, because I’ve chosen not to resist growth and change. I hope you’ll join me in taking the red pill, too.