We all talk of resilience, tenacity, going the whole 9 Yards, never giving up. These are powerful words and phrases to drive us through tough times and make us keep believing
But what about the times when we really should surrender a situation and say “enough is enough”?
3 years ago I was working with a group of people who invested in an idea I had. It was their first investment and it was my first independent experience of starting a business from an idea and going it alone without Thomas. I loved the idea, we were bringing to market the first Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing and we could change the lives of thousands of young people while we also helped thousands of small businesses to have a dedicated person running their online presence. A huge win win.
The problem was that the chemistry of those I was working with on the Board was not good. Very different values and attitudes and everyday became more painful and stressful.
I was working full time on this, traveling the length and breadth of UK and I kept believing that I had to work through the challenges of the people who were now in control of my life. I had lost control of it.
I had an amazing man working for me as Operations Director who was insightful and said to me one day.
“Penny, did you know that happiness is made of of three things.
1. 50% -Your constitution, are you a happy person?
2. 10% – Your achievement of the things you want in life – this is always changing and we can never be entirely satisfied
3. 40% – how in control you are of your life and choices- who you spend time with, your destiny, your values. Who you are.
This was a life changing moment for me and I knew that I had to change my situation and I knew it meant losing my dream and starting again.
Several months later, the Business I loved was sold to a great Training Provider and I gained control once more of my life. I stayed with the Business as a contractor for the new owners, but it was no longer my dream or my company.
While I was going through this transition I battled with myself hugely. Should I give up?was this giving up?
Then I read a section of “the Power of Now” and from the pages came the words “positive surrender”. Finally I got it. I realised that in life we have to know what really matters and what is the best direction – no matter how painful. We have to listen to our deep insights and trust our emotional reactions
This cannot be a knee jerk reaction. Many entrepreneurs are creators and they give up on an idea within their business too early as they find execution hard. However, deep down we know when we have given everything and the same results keep happening.
I am sure many of you will have gone through pain and loss and made some big decisions. Divorce, family breakups, friendships that have become destructive, clients you can’t work with. Leaving a home you owned and loved but you had to sell. The long term emotions can be huge, but perhaps reframing as “positive surrender” will change your memories and make you realise that far from failure, you actually took control and that made you 40% happier.
Written with love