Give Up? Or Surrender?

Sepia toned image with light haired woman, head bowed, looking at the sun over a treeline, with the words "I Give Up" on top

Why do “words” matter…after all they’re “just” words, right?

Ah, would that it were so. Yet we all know the power of words, don’t we?

Think back to those childhood taunts so uniquely guaranteed to drive us to a therapist’s office when we’re adults! The sad part is that it didn’t only come from other kids…it came from parents. Teachers. Ministers. Rabbis. The guy at the filling station.

Everywhere we turned we embedded these low energy words in our being and took them to heart.

You’re too fat.

You’ve got chicken legs.

Your breath stinks.

Your mama looks like a whale (that’s a real live one from my son’s life and he almost got kicked out of school for wanting to get in a fight over it.)

You’re too much this

…You’re not enough that.

Or there are the words of an angry spouse, upset child. Jealous boss. Overworked co-worker.

They’re all words and which ones cut us to the core and send us running for a big honkin’ tub of ice cream depends on what buttons are waiting to be pushed. And what hurts are ready to be healed. If you choose to care for yourself enough to do the work. Tolerate the pain and take the next step.

The pain goes deeeeeeeeeeep

One of the ones that has hounded me till very recently: I GIVE UP.

Whenever I thought it I could feel the judgments and taunts burbling to the top, waiting to tear me to shreds. Now mind you, I couldn’t tell you exactly who said these things. And somewhere, somehow, in some lifetime (if not this one) they got embedded wayyyyyyyyyy deep.

You wooose.

You weak-kneed wimp.

You good for nothing lazy ass.

Good people don’t give up. They don’t quit.


If you were really strong, you wouldn’t quit. You’d stick with it.

And on. And on. And on.

And all the words and pain came back to one overriding message: You’re not enough. If you were, you would keep on pushing, even if it hurts.

No matter how I say it. Hear it. Feel it. Push it away.

It definitely doesn’t UPLIFT.

It feels like failure. Like letting someone down. Like I’ve screwed up…again.

And this is one I hear over and over again with My BizGuests. It doesn’t matter that we’re working on a “BizBeastie” something or another because the MindsetBeastie knows no limits.

No barriers.

He’ll sneak in wherever and however he can!

So what do you do about this?

Oh so glad you asked darlin. So glad.

You make a new choice. (yes I realize that sounds easy and like I’m feeding you some sort of WooWoo Pablum. I’m not. And you are. At choice!)

Pale blue sky with sailboat in the foreground and the words be free: surrender

To be free on the water in a sailboat. Surrender. Freedom. Joy!


I was watching Iyanla Vanzant’s interview with Oprah the other day…and this one popped up in their conversation

SURRENDER looks like this, she says, throwing her arms into the air, ever so joyously. It’s freedom. It’s joy.

I GIVE UP looks like this, she says, slumping her shoulders, looking down at the floor.




From the change of such a simple phrase.

My energy went from a 3-4 to an 8-9 immediately. Such freedom. Such joy.

Now to practice using this new word rather than the old nasties…out with the trash they go.

Next Do-Able Steps to Tame the MindsetBeastie

  1. Grab your own list of the The Top 10 Words Stealing Your Success (it’s delivered right to your inbox)
  2. Pick a word you want to work with (heck, use I GIVE UP if you want to)
  3. Say the word out loud
  4. Using the Low-Ass Energy Scale, where “1” is Scoop me up with a spoon, I’m done and “10” is “Low-Ass Energy, What’s That, I’m Flying Baby”, what number comes up when you say your word outloud? How do you feel?
  5. If you’re anything less than 8, find a replacement word
  6. Say the replacement word out loud
  7. Better? Get a higher number?
  8. Excellent!
  9. Use the replacement word for 7 days every time you catch yourself using the drag-you-into-the-pits-of-hell word

So get a copy of The Top 10 Words Stealing Your Success delivered right to your inbox…these are the dragging most of us into the gutter, instead of sending us shouting for joy. Some may really make you sit and say, yup, that one puts me at a “1” on the Low-Ass Energy Scale. Or, nope, that one doesn’t get me.

So what number did you get when you checked “I GIVE UP?’ Tell me about it in the comments section. I’m all ears!

Big hugs, much love to you! MamaRed

P.S. A new Tame the MindsetBeastie course is coming first quarter 2015 and includes a printable ebook, printable 31 Day Journal and 31 days of encouragement to stick with it, delivered right to your inbox. When you grab your list of  The Top 10 Words Stealing Your Success you’ll be the first to hear about the launch.

P.S.S. What other word drain you to the nubbins! Pop in the comments section please!

  • You will love the Amy Cuddy TED talk called “Your body language shapes who you are.” (This system won’t let me put in the URL.) She talks about how your body position affects how you feel about yourself–she tells a great story, too. Excellent for overcoming that feeling of being defeated.

    • MamaRed says:

      That sounds like a wonderful TED talk Ellen and I’ll pop over to YouTube and search for it. Much appreciate the comment and the recommendation for more learning. Ya know I LOVE to learn! Hope all is well in the “world of Ellen!” Laugh lots, Love more! MamaRed

  • I banished the words “I Give Up” about a decade ago when in the midst of a life-changing crisis, an old friend told me that Giving Up or Giving In was not an option and I had to do better than that because I was better.

    When I feel that Gremlin creeping up on me, I re-frame and tell myself loudly “There’s GOT to be another way, think”. It is amazing how one’s energy levels rise and the grey cells rise to the occasion, MamaRed.

    Our thoughts are so important!

    • MamaRed says:

      Hi Vatsala…wow, that was a great learning (although can’t say life-changing crises are “fun” we definitely can learn from them, eh?). Love that phrase “there’s got to be another way” because it definitely gets you out of “this is it and that’s all there is” and seeing what else is possible. For me, allowing myself to surrender has given me a piece of peace that I hadn’t had. There are times when I pushed through when resting would be better for example.

      And you’re right our thoughts are SO important…the most important as I’ve learned in my later years! Where was that teaching when I was a youngster? lol

      Laugh lots, Love more!

  • Joao Reis says:

    yup, from 3 to 8, changing a single word. I’m kinda busy with learning to observe the “talker” inside my mind, but it’s more than interesting to engage into watching my speech and thoughts. surely it raised my awareness.

    • MamaRed says:

      Hi Joao! I’m ever so familiar with that “talker” inside my mind and some days wish I could “quit” catching my disempowering words so I could “Just” talk. Doesn’t work that way, for me anyway. Yes, I fall back into the old wording and after years of practice I catch it more often and more quickly (or one of my dear friends calls me on my sh** talk!).

      igKnighting passionately powerful possibilities!

  • Denise says:

    So I think my replacement word is shifting gears. Words do have power as do thoughts and I’m sure the words I give up come out of my mouth many times. But I try to look at it as shifting gears, not giving up.

    The other words I need to banish are always and never. There are no absolutes. Again, its a mindset that continuously needs to be re-adjusted whenever the feeling of giving up comes along.

    • MamaRed says:

      Love that one Denise..and, like you, I’ve got many words that pop out that I swore I had put to bed permanently. Always and never are a couple that don’t serve you say, there are no absolutes. Well, I personally have one…Love. Other than that, each one needs to be assessed based on who you are and what you’re up to in the world. Thanks so much for tackling what can be a challenging issue…shifting the words that take us down!

      Laugh lots, Love more!

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