The power of surrender

I was writing a post for our online communication business about overwhelm the other day. You can read it here. During my research, I was looking up other words for “overwhelm” using the very handy Thesaurus care of SHIFT F7. And do you know what I discovered? The Microsoft Word Thesaurus also provides antonyms, or opposites to the words you enter, a function I have never paid much attention to until now.

The opposite of “overwhelm” is “capitulate”.

surrender, coaching

Source: dinesh_valke

Or, “surrender”.

So, in my blog post, I discussed the tactic of breaking down your tasks into bite-sized chunks to avoid overwhelm. A great concept I use all the time, especially when it all feels too much and I risk procrastination. And then I found out that, according to the dictionary, the opposite of overwhelm is surrender.


So, to be clear, surrender is not about giving up and walking away. Or retreating in the face of battle. In fact, the Japanese language has no word for “retreat”. Instead, they call it “advancing to the rear”.

Are there times when it is best to “advance to the rear” rather than fight something? Would this give you a chance to get better perspective and learn? What are ¬†you fighting anyway? Is there another way?

Is there something you could do right now that would mean you do not feel overwhelmed. Do that. Now. Then try “advancing to the rear” and see what you are able to observe from there.

Feel better? Good.