Can I let you in on a secret? I love this season of giving. It’s smack in the middle of my comfort zone. Giving has always come easy to me. But receiving? Well, that’s a different story…
I’m getting better at it, but asking for what I want or need—then actually making the space to receive it—has always made me feel really vulnerable. Sound familiar?
Here’s why this is important (especially this time of year): Those of us who are more comfortable giving than receiving often go further into that tendency over the holiday season. We give, give, give and never allow that energy to flow back in our direction.
This creates an imbalance in our brains and our bodies. It robs others of the chance to feel valuable and included. And it’s one of the major reasons we often come back from the holidays feeling depleted. I don’t know about you, but I have big dreams for the year (ahem, decade!) ahead, so something’s gotta give.
Ready to break the pattern?
Today we’re talking about the healing power of receiving. This was the theme of the month for my Inner Circle Wellness membership and it resonated deeply with the community, so I’m excited to share a taste of it with you!
First we’ll unpack some of the limiting beliefs that tend to hold us back from receiving. Then we’ll talk about three joyful ways to open yourself up to receiving: By getting clear on what you need, allowing the little things into your life and making gratitude part of the practice.
Why do we resist receiving?
Many of us subconsciously block ourselves from receiving the abundance the universe and others have to offer. We might do so because…
- We believe we’re not worthy
- We’re self-conscious about being too demanding
- We’re scared to give up control
- We think we can do it better ourselves
- We’re worried that asking for help makes us weak
- We’re afraid we’ll be rejected if we ask for what we need
- …And so on
I bet you’ve had some of these thoughts (I sure have!). But how would you feel if someone you cherish told you they had these thoughts about themself? I suspect you’d lovingly tell them it’s total BS! And you, my smart friend, would be right.
Opening ourselves up to receiving starts with debunking those limiting beliefs. And while that doesn’t happen overnight, it’s not as hard as you might think. The key is replacing the lies we tell ourselves with the truth.
You ARE worthy.
Right here, right now, just as you are. You deserve support, attention, advice, empathy—all of it. There are no exceptions to this rule! Being your incredible self is all you have to do. Please let this in. If you don’t believe it right now, then I’m asking you to be open to believing it in the near future—while also making it your mission to mindfully and actively reclaim your worth. Impossible? Only if you believe it to be!
Allowing yourself to receive is not the same thing as being demanding.
You know the warm fuzzies you get from giving? Receiving is the other side of the same coin—you’re giving someone else the experience of giving. Telling yourself you’re too demanding just blocks you both from that joy.
I’ll share an example from my own life. My mother often wants to gift me things or experiences that she knows will make my life easier or be meaningful in some way. But for the longest time my answer was “I love you, no thank you.” Why? Because I didn’t want to put her out or seem incapable. Plus, I worried about unwanted (and made up!) expectations that could come from accepting her offer. Basically, I built a laundry list of reasons to block her love. And you know who felt bad? Both of us! Now I say YES with love and not only do we both feel good, we also feel more connected.
You don’t always have to be in control.
For many of us, the feeling of being in control is a safety net. We might think: Sure, I’m juggling way too much, but at least I’m doing the juggling. If I let someone else help, I can’t ensure the outcome. But that mindset can bury us.
I know how hard it can be, but please remember that you can’t do everything yourself. There are capable folks who love the crap out of you and want to help. And if things don’t turn out as planned or you’re disappointed, that’s ok. Don’t let those experiences convince you that you always need to be in the driver’s seat. Trust that everything will work out exactly how it’s supposed to.
Asking for help takes courage.
We get a lot of messages that we should be able to handle everything life throws at us without missing a beat—that admitting we need help is a sign of weakness. But it takes courage to trust someone else, to say what’s really on our minds and be honest about what we need. That’s why it’s strength, not weakness, that inspires us to ask for help.
“No” really is the worst that can happen.
Let’s talk worst case scenario: You muster up the courage to ask for what you need and you’re met with a big, fat no.
Take a deep breath and look that no straight in the eye. It’s not so scary now, is it? When you acknowledge that possibility—and remind yourself that you can survive it—the fear of no loses some of its power.
Then what do you do? Just because you got a no this time doesn’t mean you should add that responsibility back to your already towering pile. Instead, think about ways to get what you need without throwing yourself under the bus. Can you simplify the plan or negotiate a new agreement?
Bottom line: Don’t use every no as an excuse to block other channels of receiving. Get creative and look for solutions that work for you and the other parties involved!
3 Ways to Practice Receiving
So we can agree that receiving is good for us and we should make space for it in our lives. Right? Good! But… how? You might already have some ideas brewing based on what we covered above, and here are three additional pointers to get you started:
Get clear on what you need.
Allowing yourself to receive opens up a world of possibilities. When you’re ready, start thinking about what you need. What could you ask for help with? What kind of support would lift you up? Brainstorm some ideas, then get more specific about exactly what you’re looking for. Is there a timeline? Who will you ask and how can you best communicate with them? How will you make space to appreciate the receiving when it happens? The clearer you are on what you want to receive, the more likely it is to happen.
Focus on the small stuff.
Receiving isn’t always about help or grand gestures. In fact, often the practice of receiving is opening yourself up to the little, everyday things. Let your partner make you coffee in the morning. Receive each inhale and exhale you take…
Sometimes, receiving is as simple as allowing a compliment. What do I mean by that? Well, think about the last time someone gave you a compliment. Maybe your friend told you she likes your shirt. “Please, this old thing?! I look like a mess!” Or perhaps a coworker noticed your great work on a project. “Well I had a lot of help.” We’re programmed to dismiss compliments and we often don’t even realize we’re doing it!
So next time someone compliments you, avoid the knee-jerk reaction to disagree. Because guess what? You DO look gorgeous and you are a totally smart badass. You might be surprised how good it feels to stop resisting the little stuff and instead, let it in.
Gratitude is an important part of receiving. Of course, we want to show our appreciation for the help offered. But what I’m really talking about is reflecting on and appreciating everything you’ve already received. Taking time to think about what’s currently abundant in your life shifts your perspective to a more positive place, which is crucial when you find yourself in a deficit mentality. I do this by keeping a gratitude journal. In fact, writing about what I’m grateful for on a daily basis is essential to my Success Mindset Practice, which is a key element of my Results Journal system.
You can start your own practice simply by asking yourself what you’re grateful for today. If you want to learn more about the gratitude practice I use and try it out for yourself, go here to get the journal.
Make every season the season of receiving.
I hope you can make some room in your life to receive, dear one. You don’t have to do anything special to be worthy. And remember: The more we receive, the more energy we have to give. The more we appreciate what’s good in our lives, the more gifts we receive. It’s a magical cycle that has the power to replenish, inspire and heal. Allow it!
Your turn: What will you allow yourself to receive today? Please share one thing in the comments below!
Peace & room to receive,
Journaling is the number one tool I’ve used to increase my health and happiness, write multiple New York Times best-selling books and launch and grow a 7-figure business. Now it’s your turn to supercharge your health, amplify your joy and rock your goals with the same system I’ve refined over decades. Get your Results Journal today!