With the holidays in full swing and Christmas sneaking up on us this week, it seemed like the perfect time to get some clarity around giving and its neglected counterpart, receiving.
Because you better believe your business income and impact is directly linked to both your ability to give AND receive.
What I find for most of my clients is that they’ve got the giving part of this money-making, business equation down, and if anything, lean into over-giving. Over-receiving on the other hand never seems to be a thing, does it?
Most of us have been conditioned with the idea that "it's better to give than to receive", which is a beautiful thought and sentiment.
And, look, giving IS important. I teach ‘give, give, give, and give some more’ in my sales process and sincerely believe in giving and sharing value in business before asking for money, giving back, giving freely (without expecting anything in return), and giving is one of my business (and life) love languages.
Giving is one side of the money flow coin that allows you to be open to receive more abundance and be in the natural flow and cycle of money.
The problem is, on a very practical level, if you believe in the power of giving, someone has to be on the receiving end for the cycle to work. What message do you send when you judge yourself for receiving only to turn around and expect someone else to receive the gifts you're giving?
Can you see the false logic in this thinking?
The resistance to receive outside of business also blocks the very things you say you want in business, like money, clients, impact, new ideas, and new opportunities. In fact, a common conversation I have with clients is about opening them up to receive more of the good stuff.
Being open to receive as much as you give isn’t a muscle reserved for the holidays; after all, how you do one thing is how you do all things.
Our relationship with receiving often goes back to childhood and the messages we internalized around being “good” and “nice.” As an adult and business owner, you don’t want to seem greedy or (gasp) bitchy, and many people have been taught that receiving sends off precisely that message.
But, there’s a fundamental message you send yourself when you resist receiving. It sounds something like, "I don't deserve this."; "I'm not good enough."; "What will they think of me?"; or even, ”How will I ever repay them?" and “No, thanks. I don’t want more of that.”.
Receiving often also clashes with cultural views of how you’re supposed to behave socially. And, the holidays tend to kick up some of the lessons learned growing up.
Whenever you judge something, you send a memo to your subconscious that what you’re judging is something to be avoided.
When the internal tape is playing telling you it isn't "good" or "nice" to receive (instead it’s “bitchy”), you can be sure you’ll sabotage or block other opportunities to receive.
If you want to make more money doing what you love and feel damn good while you’re at it, you have to be willing and open to receive and let the good stuff in!
In an article for Oprah.com, Martha Beck shares, “Refusing to receive leaves us chronically empty, prone to addiction, obsession, codependency, or an eternal psychological hunger that's never quite satisfied.”
Those are some serious side effects, and I’m pretty sure that’s not what you’re going for in your business or your personal life.
I get it, though. Receiving gifts and support can make you vulnerable. Resisting receiving can defend and deflect against intimacy, success, expansion, and the uncomfortable territory that comes along with it.
In turn, many heart-centered business owners are more comfortable giving.
When you decline a gift, money, compliment, positive feedback, or refuse help, you’re not only doing yourself a disservice (and literally block the good that’s already around you from coming in), you’re taking the benefits of giving away from the giver.
And, for my entrepreneurs who like a little control (you’re so not alone), let’s be real: generous and kind as giving is, it also puts you in a place of feeling like you have power and control. Relinquishing that sense of control to be open to receive can kick up some discomfort.
If you’re hitting an edge with receiving, let me remind you receiving isn’t only about you, your business, and getting more of the good stuff. The act of receiving gracefully is also about acknowledging the giver and the gift. After all, you need two to tango, and to be able to give, there has to be someone there to receive. Don’t be a greedy giver 😉
So this week and holiday season, as you lean into giving with an open heart (which I’m ALL about -> this isn’t instead of, it’s BOTH giving and receiving), I’d invite you to also practice receiving with an open heart to allow the beautiful cycle to complete and open you up to more of the good stuff in your business and life.
Wishing you your version of success and a very happy holiday and Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate!