How to Surrender Your Goals to the Universe

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I’m excited to share a lesson from my book The Universe Has Your Back about how to surrender your goals to the Universe.

We often block our own divine guidance when we are:

  • Highly goal oriented
  • Focused on the future to the point that we’re future tripping
  • Trying to make something happen

I taught on this topic in a Facebook Live session and took questions. Watch the video below or scroll to keep reading (or both):

Goals overshadow guidance

Here’s the passage from The Universe Has Your Back. It begins with a Universal lesson, which are sprinkled all throughout the book. This Universal lesson is: Goals overshadow guidance.

The part of me that wants to be in control doesn’t like the word hope. To my fearful mind, hope implies that there’s something I’m unable to make happen on my own. While I may not like that concept, it’s exactly what I needed. Hope helps us move through our problems and choose to perceive them in a new way. Hope is the conduit for miracles. For me to move past the sadness, shame and need to control, I had to surrender to hope and let go of my plans.

In this process, I was reminded of the need to turn inward for answers. Carl Jung said: “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” When we look outside for our faith we get lost in the dreams of who we think we should be, what we think we need and when we think we need it. But when we turn inward we surrender to the one and only truth, which is love. When we surrender to love we can experience our darkest moment as the greatest catalyst for transformation.

The pathway back to hope is through surrender. It’s not something that comes naturally to us — it must be a daily practice.

Stop trying to ‘make things happen’ and surrender your goals instead

I Surrender to a Power Greater Than Me | Gabby Bernstein | The Universe Has Your Back card deckThis practice of surrender is what I want to talk about. How can we look inside and awaken instead of looking outside only to dream?

We need to look inward and learn to rely on that presence of hope and faith much more. Our ego mind really wants to give up on that word, hope, because it implies that we can’t force something to  happen on our own.

But the core message of The Universe Has Your Back is to stop trying to “make” things happen and start aligning with a greater sense of certainty and serenity. In that alignment, you’re tuned in to a power greater than yourself.

And that is when the Universe begins to co-create with you!

The more in tune you are with the Universe, the easier life is

The practice of surrender is one of turning over your need to control, turning over your obsessiveness, turning over your belief system that you have to make everything happen.

This is something I’ve been working on in my own spiritual practice: accepting that the less I do, the more can happen around me. There’s a lot to be said for creating, showing up, and putting your heart, soul and sweat into something. But that action has to be backed with alignment.

The more in tune with the Universe that you are, the easier your life will be. You’ll be more faithful and better at healing your fearful perceptions. You’ll live with more ease.

Q&A with readers about how to surrender your goals to the Universe

In the Facebook Live video, I answered some excellent questions from the people who joined me. I condensed my answers below.

Don’t goals give us clarity?

Layla said: “I’ve found that goals can give clarity to attract what you want when you’re able to surrender to the exact results.”

Yes — this is a beautiful message! There is value in having clarity. Holding visions of where we want to go is a big part of how we manifest miracles in our lives.

There’s nothing wrong with having goals as long as they are surrendered. Holding a vision and having clarity on what you want is beautiful as long as you have offered up your vision and you’re in alignment with the Universe.

Your goal should always end with this idea: It’s this or something better.

Our need to control blocks guidance

When we insist on achieving our goal in a specific way or on a certain timeline, we interfere with the Universe’s divine plan and we actually block guidance. Our neediness and sense of pushing keep us from manifesting.

So check in with yourself. Ask: Have I offered up my goals? If you see that you haven’t, or that you’re future tripping, the practices in The Universe Has Your Back will help you release your goals and get into alignment with the Universe.

See what happens when you actually let go — when you say, “It’s this or something better.” When you’re in a place of surrender, your energy relaxes and you make space for guidance.

How to tell the difference between the Universe and the ego

Sophia asked: “How do you distinguish between signs from the divine Universe and those from our ego?”

Owl | How to surrender your goals to the UniverseWhen you’re receiving a sign from the Universe, it often feels like a great surprise or a gift. When it’s a message from your ego, it’s usually something you’ve been hunting for. You may be subtly manipulating circumstances to deliver you this “sign.”

When a sign comes from the Universe you’ll likely be a little bit blindsided and be like, “Oh! There you are. How cool.”

Here’s an example: If you’ve read The Universe Has Your Back, you know that one of my signs is an owl. It’s a sign that guided my husband and me as we searched for and then found our Mountain House.

Well, recently we moved on from our Mountain House and bought a new house in the same town! After we’d closed, my broker mentioned he had a gift for us, something he saw and thought I’d like. When we walked in the door, I saw his gift and unwrapped it in the hallway. It was a beautiful bowl … with an owl print!

Now, my broker hadn’t read the book and I’d never talked to him about an owl being my sign. I was very content with the choice I’d made. The Universe just surprised me with it, saying, “Welcome to your new home! You’re on the right track.”

This is how you know it’s the Universe. When a sign is from the Universe it will be in your face. There will be no question.

If you haven’t read The Universe Has Your Back, the book includes a step-by-step practice on how to ask for and receive signs from the Universe.

How do you know you’ve surrendered to the Universe?

Danielle asked, “How do you know you’ve surrendered?”

This is a great question. And the answer is very simple: You wake up without anxiety about your goal. You feel more ease. You feel more relief. You have the same experiences, but you feel very differently about them. When you surrender a goal to the Universe, you feel at peace when you think about it.

I hope this book serves you and gives you the greatest sense of certainty and safety in the midst of the chaos of the world. Thank you for reading and for being the light.

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I created a free 4-track album of guided meditations to help you in every area of your life. One of the meditations is a powerful manifesting meditation. You can practice it daily, or as often as you like, to greatly enhance your manifesting practice.

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  1. Good afternoon!
    I’m trying in my rational mind to come to terms with the loss of my oldest son four years ago. I have detached from a lot of things since and acquired others. It’s a new life where nothing is the same! By studying spirituality for many years prior to his death I got through the last four years. I’m trying to deepen my faith and become more present rather than so detached – I feel sometimes that my life is happening outside of me. It’s difficult to describe but I am hoping for some pointers to reconnect.

    1. I’m deeply sorry for the loss of your son, Sigrun, and I want you to know that I’m holding you with a lot of love and compassion right now.

      To help you process your feelings of grief and loss, I encourage you to reach out to a grief counselor or support group in your area.

      In the meantime, here are some other resources that you might find helpful:

      • The Grief Club by Melody Beattie
      • Tears to Triumph by Marianne Williamson

      Important note: Unexpected emotions can arise when you practice EFT. If your loss is very recent, or if you feel overwhelmed by grief, tap with caution or wait until you have recovered more. Talk your therapist or doctor before tapping if you’re new to it or not sure how to handle strong feelings that may come up.
      • Brad Yates video for tapping on loss & grief:
      • The Tapping Solution (Nick Ortner) 52-minute audio lesson and EFT guidance on processing grief:


      • Jack Kornfield guided meditation on grief:
      • Chopra Center written guidance on meditating after loss:

      Additional resources
      • On The Grief Healing Blog: you’ll find an overview of resources, such as grief support groups. It was reviewed and updated in June 2019.
      • The Grief Club is an online community with a blog, resources, and coping tools

      You’re in our thoughts.

      Sending you much love,

  2. Hi Gabby, we are always told that to achieve our goals we have to work hard. How can I surrender my goals to the support of the Universe while still moving towards them and putting the work in? Much love, Holly

    1. Great question, Holly. When we commit to our daily spirit practice, we create the space via prayer and meditation to receive guidance. This guidance leads to inspired action, so rather than taking action from a place of fear and lack, we are taking action based on joy and faith. Here is another blog post that you might find helpful: /getting-want-doesnt-struggle/

  3. I’m 45 years old and I’m trying to surrender the goal of wanting another baby – a goal I have been holding onto for three years. Surrendering feels like mourning the fact that I may not have another baby and become OK with that. But manifesting is all about getting on the same energy frequency – visualising it – feeling it as though it were here. How can I let the goal go and truly surrender if every morning I am visualising and getting on the frequency of having a baby? To surrender means no practices or mediations about having a baby?

    1. Great questions, Razia. Surrendering does not mean no practices or mediations about having a baby. When we truly surrender we are releasing the need to control the outcome because we have so much faith that the universe will deliver in the right and perfect way at the right and perfect time. Here are some additional posts and practices that you might find helpful:

  4. I didn’t quite get what you are trying to say mam.
    1)what is this thing or process when you say alignment?can you please elaborate on that.
    2)I am a class 13th student( you would understand tht if you were in india).
    and I cant really explain you how it feels to be in 13th. In short miss can you just tell how to surrender a goal.

  5. I had a query. Do you consider universe alive or it being itself a conscious god? I was just curious. Thanks for the article.

    1. I consider the Universe to be the same as God, Source, and love. It’s the everpresent energy of love within us and around us. This source of love is there to guide us whenever we are aligned with it.

  6. Hi Gabby,
    I read your book The Universe and I love it. For a long period of time I liked to do the practice about creating your own reality. The imagination that you can realize your visions and wishes made me happy. But then I came again across the passage about surrendering and let the universe take the goals. And now my anxiety returns. How do I know that my wishes correspond to the plan of the universe? I realized my resistance: I am frightened of the plan of the universe. It is a bit absurd because as I chose my sign, I decided to take a triangle and as I read on, I discovered that the triangle is a symbol for commitment to the universe. To let go all your control and goals. To trust into the universe. I am confused right now and not willing to let go my goals and control. Just decided to leave a comment:)
    Greetings from Hamburg:)

    1. All that is required of you is the slightest willingness to surrender. It can be very difficult to let go of our need to control and to trust in the Universe. When you ask for guidance and pray for the highest good, the Universe gets to work. What unfolds for you may not be what you expected or thought you wanted — but it will ultimately be even better. I recommend starting a daily surrender practice, because surrender is not a one-time event. Check out my Super Soul Sessions talk on the 5 steps to spiritual surrender. <3

  7. Dear Gabby,
    Thank you for the lovely inspiration you are, and thank you for coming into my life gust on time!
    I am a Bulgarian that lives in London, and these past weeks feeling so grateful that I speak English so I can learn from you and open my heart to a new way of living.
    Just would like to ask for ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ and your other books published in Bulgarian if possible as I would love to be recommending and buying them for my mum, family and friends. Thinking about how many people could benefit from your knowledge. Thank you so much for who you are and what you are willing to give to us, hoping for books in Bulgarian

  8. Hi Gabby,
    I read your book twice & I love it! I do have a question regarding signs; I chose a sign & I see it everyday, what does it really mean? Is my sign to common? And I tested other signs. What is the reasonnable time frame for a sign to appear?

    thank you
    melissa 🙂

  9. I love receiving signs- it’s so beautiful. My favourite before purchasing the masterclass I wanted to see a red kite. I wasn’t expecting the red kite to be a bird which we saw in a movie st the cinema. I only asked for the sign on the way there, funnily enough we didn’t get chance to see the movie we wanted to see – so the universe moved us to watch the movie with a red kite bird flying in the sky near the end of the film. Magical moment

  10. Thank you Gabby, since letting go I feel so free and do t feel anxious anymore. Not chasing rainbows, every day I would say why aren’t I busy in my beauty room – people obviously don’t like me. Since letting that go other opportunities have appeared and I can now let that side of my business go. Although I’m still struggling with parts of my new business with what content I can share with consumers as I am writing courses for clients and don’t want to give too much away. I need some guidance with that! Also thank you, thank you, thank you since starting the masterclass, I am also wishing and yearning to start a new page which a new domain I have just purchased I feel the urge to write but not sure what about as yet. More prayers I feel for guidance. I am receiving a new gift every day – much love

  11. Last night I was stressed, in tears and worried I’d taken on too many important tasks….there just isn’t enough time to do them all. Then I wake up to your email with the like to this video 🙂 an amazing sign from the universe letting me know I don’t need to worry! Thank you Gabby and Thank you Universe xxx

  12. Thank you so much Gabby for all that you do!! I’m a super goal oriented person that loves clarity and has a hard time with trust and hope when times are tough. I’ve been struggling for a couple of weeks with an issue and when I read your blog, I felt such relief. Thank YOU!! You are amazing. Thank you for helping me get back in alignment. xoxo

  13. I just LOVE the concept of wearing your goals like a loose garment, so that life can flow through us with ease and we’re not blocking the abundance that otherwise would love to come to us and through us. Thank you for this! It resonates with me so much (I’m in the practice of melting into what is, softening my resistance to grace, and following my dreams without fear!). It’s so beautiful and helpful; everything you share is. 🙂

  14. I remember the first time that I heard you tell the owl story and then I decided that my sign would be a peacock. I don’t know why but I just decided that way. Then last year I realized that they keep peacocks on the property of the cathedral that I live near in NYC! So random! I sometimes have asked for a sign but then I always forget to notice. Oops.

  15. Hi Gabby I have two of your audio books. I have been trying to over come my fear. I am in the process of possibly losing my career. I am trying not to feel like a victim but everything feels unfair. What do you recommend for me to try?

  16. Hello Gabby,
    My name is Rasa.
    I love this book,love your meditations ,i am member of miracle membership ,
    it helps me a lot. thank you !!!
    i told my daughter that feels like i have new friend,because i am watching video ,reading books,
    meditating with you every day. Sorry for my gramma. I am from Lithuania and trying my best:))
    My question is -I want to know more about oracle cards,where can I find more information
    about and how to buy them.
    Thank you
    Lots of love

  17. At this moment I a sad because I am not working and pennyless. I dont have any idea about what I want to do or where I want to go…
    What is your advice?

    1. Concentrate on what is working in your life Cristina and find joy in that. Once you are in a space of joy the universe will show you the way and you can take action from a spiritual aligned space. I find making a gratitude list of all the things that I do have helps me bridge those negative thoughts into positive ones. Get into that feeling of joy and abundance and watch the magic that happens xoxo

    2. Cristina
      What’s an area in your life you keep hidden from most people. That vulnerability. Try to focus love there and let your “perceived weakness” tell you a story. Your story of what’s important and the gifts you have to offer. It’s often what we’re “hiding” that ends up being our divine strengths.
      Waves of love!

    3. Enjoy the freedom of not working and having all the time off, I was the same too and just when I really needed it most the universe provided and I am currently working two jobs and about to embark on a long well earned holiday and was also offered to be the manager after only a month working there as a casual, I am grateful for this opportunity and I am also greatful for the time I was jobless and struggling because well I had a lot of me time and I am also able to appreciate the long hard hours

  18. Soy de Argentina, no hablo inglés, solo comprendo un poco, gracias al traductor de Google que tradujo la página pude leer, me gusta mucho lo que habla Gabby, y quisiera el libro en español. Saludos.

  19. The timing of this reminder is my Sign 😉 I’ve been so focused and Athena-like in my goal setting that I have lost track of the surrendering, the trusting, the faith, the joyful letting go. Desperate to move house, getting anxious… And then this pops up in my inbox! There it is- how cool! 😀 “This or something better” is a lovely mantra. Thank you ever so much Gabby!

  20. Hi Gabby
    I commented before on how much I love your book! I’ve gifted it out two additional copies to other people and have listened to it twice on audio. I had no idea about saving my receipts to get your manifesting workshop. Is there anyway I can still access the workshop without my receipts?
    I’m also doing the digital spirit junkie master class right now and loving it. If I need to purchase another book I will but thought it would ask first. XOXO

  21. Hello Gabby thank you so much for your guidance as it has help me embrace my feelings through a divorce and out the other side more successfully than I could’ve done it alone… I’m becoming more aware and I’m living love and letting go!… my question for you is, how do I get your life feed so I can comment as you were speaking? There’s something wonderful coming my way and I am open to receive it! Looking forward to your response ! sally canton can:)

  22. I acknowledge that I have received my sign when it comes as blatantly as a billboard, “in your face”, though I do admit to looking for my sign as well……does that count when you look and see it?? I often receive my sign but I find the waiting and patience to be difficult and sometimes painful. I am spiritually aware, have recently surrendered my issue, I get my sign but definitely struggle with the waiting, it’s confuses me! 🙂

  23. Thank You Gabby for Reminding me to “Practice” to surrender… I was asking this morning to oracle cards wether or not I would be able to forgive and let go and the card I pulled was the six of air which more or less says that change is coming… and then I received your e-mail titled: Do you find it tough to let go? Which is exactly whats happening… I am envision cutting the proverbial cord/letting go. Thanks for being part of my practice to surrender everyday…the Universe is definitely showing up for me!

  24. Thank you Gabby!
    Whenever I pray to the Universe to for answers to some questions, I often get them in posts and videos from you 🙂

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