We all have days on which we feel kind of blah. Maybe it's because we don't feel well, or maybe it's because we have a lot going on at work and in our lives.
(Let's be honest -- we often have a lot going on at work and in our lives.)
But when one blah day turns into a string of them, it might be time to surrender.
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In Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles, author Barbara Stanny heralds Receptive Surrender as one of the four essential stages of achieving Greatness. "Surrender," in this case, doesn't mean giving up; it means letting go of constant busyness to allow for better things to come in to our lives.
Stanny writes, "Think of Surrender as a practical strategy to ensure you're proceeding in the direction of Greatness rather than spinning your wheels chasing mediocrity."
Here are five signs that you're ready to stop chasing mediocrity and start surrendering.
1. You're tired
It's one thing to have a thorough mind-and-body exhaustion after a good day's work.
On those days, you may be tired, but you're satisfied with what you've done. The ache in your muscles is from purposeful exertion, and a flagging mind indicates that you spent your day absorbing and processing information.
The other kind of tiredness, the type that indicates that you may need to surrender, is different: you feel as if you've been expending energy without much movement or progress.
If you're tired and it's not from engaging in satisfying, meaningful work, it might be time to surrender.
2. You're depleted
In the same vein as being tired, depletion feels like you have nothing left to give. It might be in terms of energy, compassion, or creativity, or it may be something else altogether; the common thread is that you feel completely tapped out.
If you feel like you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, it might be time to surrender.
3. You're uninspired
No matter what we do, our work requires a certain amount of creativity. For the software architect, it's how to write the leanest, most efficient code. For the writer, it's how to best express a thought or emotion. For the parent, it's how to raise your children to become contributing members of society.
When you're lacking inspiration, you lose the creative force that makes you great at what you do. If you feel like you're forcing your work, it might be time to surrender.
4. You feel consumed by "shoulds"
This sign is typically a by-product of feeling unmotivated and uninspired. When you lose your motivation or inspiration, you undertake many of your actions because you "should."
You "should" clean up your code. You "should" spend an hour writing. You "should" build Legos with your kids.
If you can't see the reasons behind your actions and you're doing things because you "should" do them, it might be time to surrender.
5. You can't see the way ahead
When you embark on a journey, you rarely see the whole path. You may see the ending, and you may see immediately in front of you, but there's a big, hairy area in the middle that you can't possibly know. And that's okay.
But if you can't see your immediate next steps, or if you can't possibly imagine your end game, it might be time to surrender.
Lynn Daue is an achievement strategist, author, and hula dancer. Through Release & Refine, her signature four-week time and task management program, she helps busy women surrender. Learn more at releaseandrefine.com.
A version of this post was originally published at lynndaue.com.