How To Feel Great About Receiving When You Give Too Much
I reunited with my high school girlfriend this past weekend.
We were glued at the hip for 4 years as we explored boys, parties, and testing out that first teenage level of new independence. The biggest thing I remember about our time was all the hours at the beach, laying in the sand at Newport beach California, and competing to see who’d get the darkest tan … so important that was …
I am so glad we finally reconnected. Now my friend ( I’ll Call her Sherry, because she doesn’t know I'm talking about her here) … she’s quite the giver …. a floor nurse for over 30 years, a loving sister, a mother of 2 kids and now 3 grand kids …. a loving wife and devoted daughter who regularly visits with and takes her 90 year old dad on outings from his senior living facility.
She seems like the rock of her family … always pouring support to every family member , both in time and in money , and the depths of her heart into giving to them … Just listening to her made my heart sing for how much she gives…..
And part of me felt sad.
Because I could tell she was not a good receiver. Yes, quite the giver, but not so much the receiver … no time for herself to be nurtured and replenished. And I could tell, this without even asking because I knew she would NEVER complain.
She looked tired. Like really tired. She took care of her looks, but not as carefully as I know first hand she was used to doing ….
As I listened to how she was constantly in motion caring for everyone around her I asked her what did she do for herself, what hobbies brought her pleasure, what did she love to do in her free time?
I asked her, who else helps care for her dad ( she has 2 sisters and a brother) I asked, how her husband was taking some of the load off her back because he had recently been laid off.
I asked her, how long did it take her to recover from working 3 - 12 hours shifts that turned into 14 when she was on her feet all day, darting back and forth, caring for patient after patient … when she had aching knees and hips I could tell hurt when she walked.
To sum up her answer she replied, … "Oh, I don’t have time for myself, my family needs me because …. " and then had a long list of the reasons why her brother and sisters couldn’t help with elder visits, why her husband couldn’t help her, or why her classically millennial daughter needed so much financial support … and she just wanted to help …. that is what she is wired to do and she feels great about…
Giving is what she is made for.
Then I asked her, why does she puts herself last?
Why does she pick up the slack when others around her were fully capable of pitching in?
I asked had she considered another kind of nursing job that would not be so physically demanding?
And she answered with the classic ….
"I don’t want to be selfish,"
"I don’t want to take from others,"
"I feel guilty if I rest,"
"I feel like I am not doing my part."
"I have to support, but I don’t need support"…
"A good woman gives and gives and it’s not right to receive because I’ll be taking from someone else"
And there you have it …. why she looked so tired and had so many aches and pains in her body …. she was worn out because she was a giver and would NEVER allow herself to receive … because in her mind … asking for help and support means you are selfish, a taker, for some of us it means you aren’t capable enough, means you are not good enough …
Being selfish is the number one shadow judgment that so many heart centered giving women have adopted as something NEVER to allow themselves to sink into,
Being selfish can bring up very strong judgments about a persons character because, no one likes a selfish person, right"
A selfish mentality implies the person doesn’t care, they think only of themselves, they are lazy.
You would NEVER see a selfish person giving, right, because in a selfish persons eyes.. there is never enough for themselves … let alone others. So they "Take"
Or a selfish person can see themselves as better than others…. and would not lend a helping hand to help others out… selfish, right?
Selfish people don’t share. They "Take"
And no one, especially a woman hardwired and conditioned to give, would EVER feel right about being called selfish.
I know, my ex husband used to call me selfish, whenever I tried to set a boundary …
I remember being so run down from full time work , raising 2 toddlers alone inside a marriage, living 30 miles out of town in the country… with all the responsibilities of a 35 acre homestead…
I would ask him “Please pick up the kids from day care 2 nights a week, so I can have some time to myself"
Because more often than not, I had to work late and get groceries, and there were times when I wanted a little time to work out, chill, get a massage, and maybe have a happy hour with my friends like once a month.
He would tell me, “You’re being selfish,” "You want to take my free time from me so you can shirk your responsibilities to your kids …. true story, that is what he said. (good thing I followed my own hero's journey and decided I had enough, I deserved better and got a divorce!!!!!!)
Every time he said I was selfish, ALL my power would collapse.
I would feel guilty for asking and then I would go into major people pleasing mode to prove I was not being selfish …. and forget that I asked him for help.
And there lays a HUGE example of how being super careful to NOT BE selfish completely derails any efforts to receive and become replenished.…
Let me explain, we’ve established that when it comes to receiving more of whatever
… free time,
...reward of any kind,
The “I don’t want to be selfish” phrase comes up a lot! .... And stops us from receiving.
Because no one likes a “taker”, no one likes or wants to rely upon someone who just "uses" or "gives" to get.
But we are talking extremes here …. Major extremes on the giving and receiving spectrum
The givers … who wear themselves ragged giving all the time, and not taking very much, not charging much, if anything if they are in business to give to themselves … the taken advantage of folk.
And the takers: those who feel like everyone else HAS things and they don’t. Who feel the only way they can have is to grab … to get … they feel so empty inside, so without, they have to take from others, in an attempt to get… the needy folk
When these extreme ways of being are in play, The Law of Circulation …. which represents the flow of giving and receiving … the flow of abundance, right, it gets all out of wack when giving or receiving is out of balance…..
LET ME EXPLAIN;
The givers who don’t receive eventually get worn out, and secretly resentful (although they will say, "I'm Ok, Im fine")
And the takers who never give ... let alone give back … end up alone, empty and resentful …. and will probably talk about how unfair life is.
So, how do givers become better receivers, and how do takers become better givers?
Bob Rosen wrote in his book about leadership and productivity….
“Our theory of human development is based on a model that you’re either selfish or you’re community oriented. The truth is that you need to be both. It’s not an either-or. "
I will add to all this by saying that Yes, being a better receiver and a better giver, is tied to core personal beliefs that support a strong self worth & strong self esteem."
But there is a way to start becoming a better receiver right now.
We can START by beginning to re-frame the negative shadow beliefs of the definition of “selfish” by looking at the universal law of circulation better.
So we can make sure we are giving and receiving from a place of fullness, joy and gratitude. So we can joyfully participate in the flow of abundance.
The Law of Circulation is a 3 step process that once started continues in an ever expanding upward cycle of growth abundance and prosperity.
Step One: Activate with yourself what you want to give because you can not give what you don’t have. (I’ll talk more on that another day)
Step 2: Circulate what you want more of… because you can’t keep what you don’t give. (I’ll talk more on that another day)
Step 3: Allow yourself to receive … because you can not sustain what you don’t receive.
And today I want to talk about Step three of the LOC…
Allow yourself to receive. When you are in the flow of abundance giving and receiving feels natural and delightful, right?
You’ve heard that. I will also go as far as to say that giving and receiving is the SAME feeling ….
Let me explain: The trick is to give from a full place of already having what you want to give..
That is one reason why we get training, and become skillful as something… because we may start out wanting to be an acupuncturist, or a digital marketing specialist, but we are not yet “full” of the skill that make us “Skill- full” right?
So we get training to fill ourselves up with value we can give and share.
Before we can give our skill and deliver it expertly … we must be full enough with the skills time and energy to give …so we can share what we are great at and love to do.
So you are WANTING to give and serve, not from a scarcity places of “I have to” or, “its expected” or, “this is how you get” or giving with the feeling of ONLY “responsibility, or of giving just to "Get”.
This type of giving will always leave you feeling … lacking …. because there is nothing joyful in the act of giving… its a chore almost.
Think about it, remember the times when you gave from your heart, because you KNEW your gift would really help someone, or make them happy somehow … would bring them joy or pleasure, right?
You “receive” joy from giving …. and that is a blessing, right? It feels marvelous, like you've given joy to someone you truly care about.
If you are a giver, and it is time to receive, …. you don’t want to appear, greedy or selfish, you don’t want to appear a taker, too greedy, right?
So you won’t “take from them” …. because your mindset is wired, is programmed to believe that receiving is bad… its selfish …. and there is NO way you want to be selfish ….
I’m gonna say something that may shock you, that may make you feel bad, that isn’t the accepted way of thinking about giving and receiving…..
I would say that you are being selfish by refusing to give the giver the delight of giving … remember how you LOVE giving to others????…
When you shut down and don’t allow yourself to receive… you ROB the giver of the feelings of giving… and chances are, you do that enough, and they’ll stop giving to you … because on their end… it goes flat …
Some sensitive people would even feel like you did not like them, if you never received their gifts. They might start to feel uncomfortable around you and probably will go else where to give.
And you’ll be left in the downward spiral of giving from an emptier and emptier place …..becoming more and more worn out, probably resentful unless you replenish and receive.
So, GIVING can be viewed as a SELFISH ACT … just as RECEIVING can be viewed as a Selfish act … because they both leave you with MORE and feeling BETTER than when you started.
Kinda heavy … ya, that's me a deep and heavy person on a mission to bring light into the confusion of fear.
And as counter intuitive as it seems embracing a little bit of selfishness is completely healthy.
In fact I would say life enhancing, because as soon as you do the inner work to embrace to own a bit of your selfish side to embrace that, in fact, a part of you is selfish …
That is when you claim that you are important. ….
Self love act right there…. just allowing yourself to be a bit more selfish and allow yourself to receive what someone wants to give….
Potential delight and joy on both sides… right? win win …..
Because the act of receiving signals yourself, the universe and others that you are important enough to be given
… Free time to replenish
… Finances to nurture your life and those you care about,massages, hair, nails, hikes, yoga exercise
... All things to receive ……, so you can come back fueled and on fire to HELP MORE!
Think about the people in your life, successful people that are givers… right,
They give a lot, but yet they also are a bit selfish.
Do they have people respecting their time and their resources?
Do they tend to get more of what they want?
And with that time and resources, do they get to give more?
Are they able to hold strong loving boundaries … that is a win for everyone?
I’d answer yes.
I’d answer that if you are a giver, the way to give in even bigger and more impactful ways is to become a better receiver…..
Lets look at this shadow quality a bit more.
What does a person get when they are being selfish?
They ask for what they want and typically get it
They set boundaries around their time
Around what they are willing to do
Around what they are willing to give
Do they get to lean back and let others help them take up the slack?
What would it feel like ... if you were to become just a bit more selfish and ask for what you really want, not what you know is appropriate?
What would it be like to actually say NO to someone .... because you just don't want to, instead of doing it anyhow, or coming up with excuses WHY you have to say no?
What would it be like to be just a TAD bit more selfish?
Being just a tad bit more selfish opens the doors to receiving, allows others the joy of giving and contributing AND it opens the doors to so much more power and energy ….
I've had so many women tell me … but I feel so icky, it doesn’t feel right … right?
"I always feel “guilty” when I take too much"
I want you to know, that when that comes up, it is an inner signal that says…
"OH my, I'm receiving too much! " "Its too much!!!" … "I'm not a match for that!!"
"I don’t feel comfortable or good enough to receive that …"
Of course my programs and courses definitely boost self esteem and strenthens boundary setting skills, so that you are a match to recieive what you truly want.
AND, here is a 3 step process you can use at home to coach yourself to be a better receiver
Keep a receiving journal. This is an exercise to build awareness about how you FEEL about receiving … so you can make changes if your feelings conflict with gratitude, delight and joy.
STEP ONE: Write down EVERYTHING you receive to get you in the habit of noticing that you already are a great receiver ….
STEP 2: Write down how you FELT about receiving. Was it easy, surprising, were you grateful or secretly guilty?
STEP 3: For each item where you felt uncomfortable, you did not believe, maybe you were looking for THEIR hidden agenda, take a moment to find a way to FEEL delightful about what you received…..
Write down at the same time every day everything you’ve received for the last 24 hours. The morning sunlight, the fresh air, the comfort of you bed, The smile of a family member or greeting of a pet
Think about the responses of those you’ve given to … your customers, your family, your friends …what did they give in return …. even if it there was no response, write that down and how you felt.
How does it feel to go to a grocery story filled abundantly with food to feed you and your family …. and be able to pick out exactly what you want …. of course that you can pay for…
You don’t have to raise your own chickens, right?
How grateful are you for those farmers that put the systems in place and all you have to do is pick up a package, pay for it then take it home. right … that is receiving.
All the ideas you get to help others ... that is receiving.
Whatever assistance you get from others even tho its not from who you wanted it from ... that is receiving
The invites for lunch or drinks
The assistance of a sales person
How do you feel when you receive money and get paid?
How do you feel when you receive gratefulness for giving?
This exercise is to help you become so much MORE aware of how you receive on a daily basis... so you can fill up and NURTURE yourself with gratefulness... because being grateful for something implies that you FEEL Blessed to have received "it".
The point is, when you become aware, you get to choose what to focus on … you can either feel great about being the receiver of someone who WANTED to please you to make you happy or you can fall back into the habit of feeling like, "Oh, its too much, I don’t want to be selfish or take from you."
Feel free to comment below or send me a messenger message. I’d love love love to hear how this exercise went for you.
Remember, boosting belief in your self value and the value of your products and services is the fastest way to feel great about receiving … and on this home page me is a link to a transformational tapping process to help you connect to the value of the products and services you provide!
So you can STOP feeling ICKY or GUILTY when you receive "too much" and feel authentically confident that the premimun prices you charge .... is a VERY FAIR and equitable exchange for the value of your products and services.
Sending love and light to you, your family, and you biz,